(LEX 18) — Queen Elizabeth II visited Kentucky five times during her reign. A lot of people across the Bluegrass State felt a particular fondness for her.
"I will confess I've been emotional about it since this morning," said Dr. Robert Farley, a senior lecturer at UK's Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. "I think that a lot of people here at the Patterson School, these are all people who are very connected to international politics have been emotional. We had a class going on, and we stopped, and the faculty walked in and announced the passing of the queen, sort of a moment,"
Kentucky's iconic horse industry is what drew Queen Elizabeth to Kentucky so many times.
"The queen was an avid follower of horse racing. It was, I believe, her favorite sport and she was a participant in the training and the ownership and had attended Keeneland, had attended the Kentucky Derby on multiple occasions over the course of her reign," Farley said.
Now, for the first time in 70 years, Britain is preparing to welcome a new monarch. It's a momentous event watched closely by many in the United States.
"This is something that one out of ten Americans has experienced. and the Americans who have experienced a Royal funeral, a Royal coronation, are now very old, and so this is something that's very new to us. I think a lot of people are anticipating what the next couple of months are going to look like with respect to the United Kingdom," Farley said.
As someone with a passion for international relations, Farley will be curious to see what the reign of King Charles III will look like.
"On the one hand, we might see a more activist monarchy," Farley said. "On the other hand, Prince Charles himself is now quite old. He's the longest-reigning heir-apparent in British history, and so I'm not sure exactly how much energy we're going to see coming out of the monarchy."