SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — People around the world are mourning the death of England’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

Her reign reached across continents and even touched people in Savannah. WSAV spoke to a British-born business owner about the Queen’s impact and legacy.   

“I think that a part of every British person’s heart will die today because she means so much,” said Lesley Francis, a British-born citizen now living in Savannah.

Francis lived in England for 40 years before moving to the states, where she now runs her own public relations and marketing company.

She shares what losing the beloved Queen means.

“To me, it would be like finding out that your favorite president who you are very attached to and that was extremely important to you,” Francis said. “All I can say is imagine that multiplied by about a thousand times and you’ll have some level of the shock and sadness going through the British people right now.”

And Americans in Savannah with no ties to England reflect on the loss of a global icon. 

“I’m sad,” tourist Jeanne Pack said. “She was a good woman. She ruled with grace and dignity in that role. Despite having two you know two ways of thinking in England. She’s to me, the is the closest thing we have to a fairy tale here in the United States.”

While some opposed the monarchy, there’s no denying the impact of a woman with seven decades of service.

“She took this responsibility at the age of 25 and she was a magnificent example of how women can be leaders,” Francis said. “The fact that she did that and she led so well for so many decades was inspirational certainly to girls like myself.”