Queen Elizabeth II condolence book available to sign in Chicago
CHICAGO - Chicagoans are sending their sympathies to the people of Great Britain, as a book of condolences has been made available for the public to sign at the British Consulate downtown.
"She was an amazing woman of grace and service and I think she was a great example for all of us," said Catherine Kelly, who is among hundreds of people who have stopped by 625 North Michigan Avenue this week, an office tower that is the home to the city's British Consulate.
Hundreds are sharing their thoughts about Queen Elizabeth's passing in an official book of condolences.
"So many people around the world feel such an affection for the queen and want to express themselves," said Alan Gogbashian, British Consul General to Chicago. "And that's no different in Chicago. So we've been seeing a steady stream of people coming through the door and paying respects by signing the book."
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The book sits on a simple table adorned with a small vase of white roses and the last official portrait of the queen. The condolence books are being made available at all British embassies and consulates around the world, and will be sent to the Royal Archives in London.
FOX 32 Chicago asked Donna Hefton what she wrote in the book.
"Well, I wrote 'Her Majesty, a legend for our age.' Cause she is."
Kelly, who was visiting Chicago from Omaha, said, "No matter what you feel about the monarchy or the colonialization and all of those conversations, she did her service. And she took her job very seriously. And her life very seriously. And she was committed to it."
There is precedent. In 1997, thousands of Chicagoans stood in line when the British Consulate was in the Wrigley building to sign a book of condolences after the death of Princess Diana, who had visited the city just months earlier.
Queen Elizabeth visited Chicago once in 1959. Her motorcade took her down Michigan Avenue just steps from the consulate where people are still remembering that visit today.
"She arrived by Royal yacht at Queen's Landing, right opposite Buckingham Fountain," said Gogbashian. "So some people who remember that time reminisce about that visit. It was a special visit."
The Books of Condolence will be available for the public to sign every day this week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Friday.
In addition, there will be a virtual Books of Condolence that you can sign online at http://royal.uk.