Her reign stretched over 70 years and touched nearly every part of the world, reaching as far as Wichita Falls, Texas.
“My initial thoughts were, ‘This isn’t real, this is some spam stuff,’ and I deleted the email the first couple of times,” Rider High School Band Director Loy Studer said. “Then they called us, and I still thought it was fake because it was British people on the phone, and then we realized this was a real offer.”
The offer that Studer is talking about was the invitation to represent Texas by participating in the first event of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration back in 2012.
The invitation was a moment neither he nor his students will ever forget, and with the Queen’s recent passing, it’s one they’ll always cherish.
“When you’re there, it’s very noticeable, the impact that the Royal family has on the British society and community, and even though there’s some back and forth, there really is a love for the Royal Family, and it’s cool to be a part of that in a small way,” Studer said.
Being a part of the Diamond Jubilee especially meant a lot to the community, something Mr. Reginald Blow can surely tell you.
“I was even unexpectedly surprised when I received a pair of cufflinks from the Lord Lady Mayor of London that were issued by the Queen to give to me as a School Board President in 2012,” Blow said.
As School Board President at the time, Blow and the entire Texoma community helped get the band across the pond to make this possible.
“I also had two daughters who were members of the Rider Band, and it was an exciting time, and Mr. Studer capably lead them, and it’s something they will never forget,” Blow said.
“We would have never gotten to do that without the hardwork that we put in, and so we understand it’s an honor and very humbling, and we knew it was very special then because the Queen was very special then, and we want to continue that,” Studer said.
As everyone waves a final goodbye to the Queen, Wichita Falls gives her a final thank you.
“My well wishes for King Charles the Third and my complete admiration for her, being able to hold her realm together and reign for 70 years and keep the promise she made when she became Queen that she would stay until her time was over, and she did that gracefully,” Blow said.
Queen Elizabeth’s coffin was carried from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday, September 14, where the late monarch will lie in state for four days, until her funeral on Monday, September 19.