Following the Queen's death on Thursday, many people are sharing their condolences, thoughts, and memories. 

Chloe McKenzie, a resident of Mitchell who was born and raised in northeast England, says she is still in shock following the Queen's death. She says she moved to Canada in 1997 but still feels a strong connection to the Queen. 

“She was the nation's grandma. With your grandparents you feel that they're invincible, yu feel that they are going to live forever and that was the case with the Queen as well. Yes, she was 96 years old but you don't expect this. I still can't believe it. It is so sad. She was an amazing lady.” 

When Alyson Loewen was in elementary school, she went on a field trip to see the Queen in Dauphin. She was bored so she began running up and down the stairs of the amphitheater. 

“My teacher was really unhappy with me and tried to get me back with the class and I just angrily said to her 'I don't care about some boring old lady anyway' and as I was turning to run back up the stairs all of a sudden, I saw these shoes and all of the people in front of me and looked up and saw the Queen right in front of me.” 

Loewen says she was terrified, but the Queen surprised her. 

“She just had this twinkle in her eye and a little smirk and she bent down and she whispered 'these things are kind of boring, aren't they?' I was just so thrilled that she was cool and for a couple of years I was constantly like, 'she talked to me, she talked to me!” 

Loewen says she will always remember the Queen through the lens of that playful moment.  

“Even now, you go on the internet and there are positive and negative things but there is always that 'yeah, but I met her and there was that little smirk and twinkle and there is that fun side to her.” 

84-year-old Werner Rempel took in the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in a one-room schoolhouse in Randolph. He notes he can't believe she ruled for over 77 years. 

“That is amazing to me. First of all, many people don't live that long let alone be on the throne that long. I am a little bit of a Monarchist and as such, I think we were fortunate to have a stable government under the same monarch for a very long time.” 

Rempel says he believes Queen Elizabeth II was a stabilizing force. 

Rosenort's Tracy Dueck says she was able to have tea with the Queen back in 2013. She notes it was an unbelievable experience.  

“It felt like a dream, how do you go to a palace and have tea on their grounds and eat all sorts of fancy sandwiches and ice cream in the presence of royalty, that sounds like a dream to me. Me and my mom got to do that.” 

Dueck says she applied online and by some wild chance she was chosen. Nearly 8,000 people were in attendance, so it is not what you would call intimate, but Dueck says at the moment, that didn’t matter at all.  

At the beginning of the event, Dueck says all of the guests at the palace formed a line to welcome the royals. She notes it is an experience she'll never forget. 

“They walked down the steps and they walked down this big cue that was made. Certain people get pulled out of the crowd ahead of time to talk to them. We were not on that list but I made it happen, we talked to Camilla, we talked to Kate, we got to see the Queen and see her walk by and she is adorable. We didn't talk to her, but she looks like that grandma that you would want in your life.” 

Dueck notes yesterday's news brought with it a noticeable weight and it will be surreal to move forward without Queen Elizabeth the Second. 

Princess Consort Camilla at the Queen's garden party in 2013.Princess Camilla at the Queen's garden party in 2013. Photo credit: Tracy Dueck.