Local displays pay tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II

Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 11:22 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) — At the 47-year-old family-owned Rainy Day Books, https://www.rainydaybooks.com it was a given that they would need to create a window display after Queen Elizabeth died on Thursday.

“She was so respected and honored and revered, and it’s just our way of saying that we want to honor her too,” said bookseller Lisa Ball.

Ball is a history buff with a special interest in British history. She’s been to England 20 times.

She made quick work of curating a collection, partly because she had just put one together in June for the celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which marked 70 years on the throne. She was the first British Monarch to reach that status.

The centerpiece is a thick non-fiction title by Robert Hardman. Ball referred to it as a new definitive biography of Elizabeth Windsor. Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II was published in April, just two months before the Platinum Jubilee celebration.

Not everything in the window is so weighty, nor is it all non-fiction.

It includes mystery novels, two in a series, which feature a fictional version of the Her Majesty.

“This features the Queen and her personal assistant being detectives after a murder has happened in Windsor Castle,” Ball said, holding up a paperback copy of The Windsor Knot, the first in a series by Sophia Bennett, which is followed by All the Queen’s Men.

There’s also a biography that Ball refers to as “dishy.” Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters is written by Andrew Morton, the author best known for his “sensational” biography of Princess Diana.

A child walked by with his mother on Friday and stopped at the window to point.

“Look, that’s her when she was younger,” he said to her.

She told KCTV5 he’d asked her if they would be watching more news about the Queen when they got home.

Rainy Day Books did not leave children out of the display. They also included a Little Golden Book on Queen Elizabeth.

“There’s a whole new series now featuring very strong women. This one featured Queen Elizabeth, and this came out just right before her Platinum Jubilee in June,” Ball said.

Meanwhile, at the Lawrence, Kansas store Brits, purveyors of British goods https://www.britsusa.com, the items featuring the Queen’s image range from tea tins and tea towels to plastic bobble head figures that give the Royal wave when activated by the sun.

Owner Sally Helm, and American-born Anglophile, said the past two days brought customers who’d never been to the store.

“We’ve all talked about the Queen and how unusual it is now on the news to hear them talk about the King,” said Helm.

Her window display is more like a traditional memorial: a framed photo of the Queen, surrounded by flowers and flanked by candles.

“We all expect it to happen but not when it does happen,” Helm said of the Queen’s death.

Moments later, a thought dawned on her.

“I had already ordered 2023 calendars [featuring Queen Elizabeth], so I wonder if hey’ll be printed,” Helm mused. “I’d want a calendar just the same.”

Many of the items in the store were created to honor the Platinum Jubilee.

Back at Rainy Day Books, Ball said the Platinum Jubilee coming just months before the Queen’s death is something she thought of when the news of her death came on Thursday.

“I was very sad, and it was it was inevitable. I mean, we knew that being 96 years old, she might pass at the moment. But at the same time, I’m so glad she made it to her 70th year on the throne. I think that was the goal of hers and I’m so glad she made it,” Ball said.

While showing one more title, she got to thinking that the as-to-now complete history of the British Monarchy published this year may soon need an update.

“Tracy Borman has put forth a book called Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy. It goes from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II,” she said, then paused to add, “so later, she’ll have to revise it and include King Charles III.