David Wimberley, British expatriate and owner of George & Dragon, has plans to celebrate the queen’s life by offering her favorite cocktail, a Dubonnet and gin, to his bar patrons. Photo taken on Sept. 8, 2022, in Phoenix. (Photos and story by Emily Mai/Cronkite News)

September 9, 2022

Cronkite News

British expatriates in Phoenix mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Inside George & Dragon English pub in central Phoenix, cheers and toasts in honor of the late queen could be heard from British expatriates in Phoenix and the regular patrons during the early afternoon Thursday.

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The British community in Arizona is small but closely connected, according to David Wimberley, owner of George & Dragon. Wimberley was at home when a friend called with the news: Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday. She was 96. Soon after, calls from other British expatriates mourning the queen’s death poured in.

Wimberley has met members of the royal family when they visited the U.S., including Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II’s sister, and he speaks highly of the royal family’s character and kindness.

The George & Dragon English pub is a gathering place for the British community in the Phoenix area. David Wimberley, the owner, likes to adorn the walls with photos and items pertaining to British history. Photo taken on Sept. 8, 2022, in Phoenix.

“I never personally met the queen herself,” Wimberley said, “but she was like everyone’s grandmother or mother, everyone loved her. She will be sorely missed.”

Wimberley had planned to fly back to the UK for a football match, but it has been postponed due to the queen’s death.

According to a Lake Havasu City news release, to mourn and honor the queen, the city is illuminating the London Bridge in purple lights – the color of royalty – for the next three nights. The London Bridge was disassembled in the 1960s and parts of it rebuilt in Lake Havasu City.