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Festivalgoers express opinions about Queen Elizabeth's passing and the monarchy


Rachel Martin is in London, and yesterday she went to a neighborhood festival in the southeast of the city to take in people's reflections about the queen's passing.


We're at an arts and music festival in the neighborhood of Peckham. And it's pretty crowded. There are all kinds of families walking around, people balancing coffees while pushing their strollers, lots of pop-up shops. I'm looking at a couple of very cool, colorful murals. And we're going to go chat with some people to see how they're marking this moment of the queen's passing, what it means to them, if anything.


ANJELO DISONS: (Singing) If I could see this love...

MARTIN: A guy named Anjelo Disons is performing onstage. He's wearing a black T-shirt and a gold pendant in the shape of Africa. When I caught up with him, I asked how he and his family were feeling about the queen's passing.

DISONS: I'm second generation, so my mom came over. She was from Uganda. And Uganda is part of the commonwealth. And what she meant - like, how she unified a lot of countries. However, to me personally, I'd be telling fibs if I'm saying it meant - she meant the most to me (laughter). Do you know what I mean?

MARTIN: Anjelo's friend is one of the event organizers. His green beanie covers his dreadlocks. And he's bouncing his baby daughter in his arms. He didn't want to give his name because he is nervous to say this.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: That's not my queen, yo. It's the queen. It's not my queen.

MARTIN: I ran into a group of young women taking in the scene. And when I asked one of them, Nancy (ph), if she thought about lining up to see the queen's coffin, she laughed out loud.

NANCY: Like, I was getting my hair cut by my hairdresser. And she was like, yeah, I might go and queue. And I was like, what the hell (laughter)?

KESTA: Yeah.

MARTIN: Her friend, Kesta (ph), tells me that the monarchy is an outdated institution.

KESTA: I think the symbol of what she represents, I think, is sad in itself and has caused a lot of harm to other people.

MARTIN: We walk away from the stage, down an alley full of hip boutiques. And we find Sajida Kahn (ph). She's wearing a traditional shalwar kameez. She adjusts her light-brown headscarf over her gray hair.

What are your reflections about the queen's passing?

SAJIDA KAHN: It is quite sad because I have so much love and respect for her. I loved the way she lived her life.

MARTIN: Sajida says she's lived in London for 38 years. She's originally from Pakistan. I ask if she connects the queen to the darker parts of Britain's colonial past.

KAHN: I don't see her in this light, that she was a cruel person or whatever has happened in the past or happening even now. I don't think she has anything to do with it. That is my understanding.

MARTIN: Sajida's adult daughter is standing in the doorway of a shop. She doesn't want to be interviewed, but she makes it clear she does not share her mother's views of the queen. Now, this is just one afternoon in one neighborhood in London. But of those we talked to, most felt like Anjelo, the musician we heard from earlier.

DISONS: It's time for a new age. It's time for new, progressive thinking. And I think this is the perfect opportunity. And she was loved by many. But it means that, OK, she's now sadly passed away. But can certain things pass away with her?


UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) I wish I knew...

MARTIN: And these voices, these perspectives, represent the Great Britain King Charles now inherits.


UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) Oh, you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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