LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNT) — People across the U.S. and in Kansas are mourning the death of iconic British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

The longest reigning British monarch died at 96 on Thursday. Queen Elizabeth II spent 70 years on the throne after taking on her royal title at just 25 years old. The Queen’s reign “defined an era.” She became a pivotal symbol of British culture.

Sally Helm, owner of “Brits,” a store selling British tokens, teas and trinkets for 27 years, spoke about the cultural icons presence in her store. Several displays are decorated with mementos, donning the Queen’s signature merry smile. 

“We have lots of tea towels and mugs … colorful queens on it,” Helm said, going through her collection of items. “I always think that you’ve been touched by something British every day, but you may not know it.”

Helm and her childhood friend, Susie Pryor, opened Brits in a small side street in the historic downtown shopping area of Lawrence, Kansas, in the summer of 1995. Helm’s “life-changing” trip to England inspired her to open the shop, surrounding herself with what she “loved the most” about the U.K. 

In an interview Thursday, Helm lauded the Queen’s leadership of her country and remembered the “warmth” of the British people from her travels to the U.K. 

Queen Elizabeth II has also had a lasting impact on fellow Anglophile and “Brits” Tea Curator Maggie Allen.

Allen started working at the store during her college years at the University of Kansas. Today, she helps craft specialty tea blends, like “The Queen’s Jubilee.”

“This one I made for the Queen’s Jubilee … very floral and celebratory,” Allen explained as she proudly presented her commemorative blend.

Allen has also helped Helm continue to keep the monarch’s legacy alive in the town of Lawrence and for customers who stop by. She said she’ll always remember the Queen as a “beloved” ruler.

“This is beyond losing a celebrity,” Allen said. “She is somebody who is really significant to us as Anglophiles, so we are really feeling it here.”