'We should all dress fancy': Whitehorse residents remember late Queen Elizabeth II

·2 min read
Emily Marilyn Rooke, 8, wore Frozen's Disney's princess coronation outfit to a commemorative ceremony in honour of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Whitehorse. (Sissi De Flaviis/CBC - image credit)
Emily Marilyn Rooke, 8, wore Frozen's Disney's princess coronation outfit to a commemorative ceremony in honour of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Whitehorse. (Sissi De Flaviis/CBC - image credit)

Whitehorse residents came to remember Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II this morning at the Jim Smith Building.

Among the attendees, eight-year-old Emily Marilyn Rooke stood out from the crowd with her green, purple and gold dress. She wanted to make sure to show up looking her best by dressing up like a Disney princess.

"I'm wearing a coronation costume. It was the fanciest one that I could find," she said. "I just feel like if we are gonna honour the queen, we should all dress fancy."

Although Rooke was excited to attend the ceremony from Whitehorse, she also had mixed feelings about the day.

"I'm kind of upset that the Queen died, but I'm also kind of wondering what King Charles will be like," she said.

Rooke's mom, Sara, said the eight-year-old was reflecting on the intricate relationship the monarch has with Indigenous people in Canada during the car ride there.

Sissi De Flaviis/CBC
Sissi De Flaviis/CBC

At the morning's event, there was a live screening of the national ceremony from Ottawa. Yukon's 36th Commissioner, Angélique Bernard, also shared a few words.

"Over the last 11 days, we have seen worldwide words of gratitude, love, respect, admiration for the Queen."

Bernard said the Queen served as a personal inspiration as she was able to balance her family, personal life, her role as a mother and her work.

"She became queen at 25 and she did it beautifully for 70 years. So, hats off to her," she said.

Travis Liu, who recently moved to Whitehorse from Oakville, Ont., said it was important for him to formally remember the Queen even from a remote location.

"She has been the only monarch that I have personally remembered in my entire life, and her personal virtual and her leadership all throughout the years has been incredibly inspiring to me," he said.

Liu said even in the increasingly politicizing world, the Queen represented a symbol of unity.

"As an immigrant, as an ethnic minority, we all come from different historic backgrounds, of course," he continued. "But I believe the Queen, in her generation, in her own right, represents a very triumphant and different monarch from her predecessors. And I believe she will have a very heavy mark in history."

Sissi De Flaviis/CBC
Sissi De Flaviis/CBC

Those in attendance were encouraged to wear black ribbons and sign the book of condolences. Although many Yukoners have signed it, it is unsure where the book will end up.

Bernard said her office received a note from Buckingham Palace noting "they don't want to receive the books."

"We are maybe looking at the Yukon archives or it will be at our office," she said.

Another event will be held to commemorate the Queen's passing on Saturday. A walk, starting at 1 p.m. at the Rotary Peace Park, finishing at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre fire pit.