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British business owner in Central Georgia mourns loss of Queen Elizabeth II

The death of Queen Elizabeth is a topic of conversation at the British Pantry

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — The day Queen Elizabeth II died, the owner of the British Pantry and Tea Room, Jan Francis, shut down her business.

She went home to mourn.

"I didn't want to face anyone that particular day," she admitted.

Jan is back at work.

The 77-year old busies herself taking orders and stocking the shelves with things that people like from across the pond.

"I know I'm elderly and the queen has been in my life all my life," she recalled.

It's like losing a friend or a family member.

"I know that when I've heard the national anthem, I've cried -- even now, it's been a very emotional period, even watching some of it at night when I've got home," she said.

So the woman who uses words like "crikey" honored the Queen the only way she knew how, she started looking at recipes to serve.

"This week, the menu is Callaloo soup," she said. "The queen was not big on potatoes or pasta -- she was a hamburger person if ever there was one.  She loved her hamburgers."

Robbie Martin is like a lot of Jan's customers. They've provided comfort and shared concern.

"So Miss Jan, I just felt I have to come and talk with her," Robbie said with emotion.

"Believe it or not, all have apologized for the passing of the queen, some have come up and hugged me and everything," Jan exclaimed.

It surprised the crusty cook because the United States doesn't have a monarch, but the death of a woman with legendary status is one of those events that a lot of us will remember in our lifetime.

And as for Jan, she will keep the British experience alive one meal at a time.

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