"The Queen has been such a backbone to our culture."
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The flag at half-staff above Buckingham Palace on Thursday.
The Union Jack lowered to commemorate the death of Queen Elizabeth II - after seven decades on the throne.
Her passing being felt not just in Britain, but around the world.
In the lobby of the country's Consulate in San Francisco, several already leaving tokens of their affection.
"The Queen has been such a backbone to our culture that it's almost difficult to imagine a world without a woman influencing and running our country," said Alex Sinclair.
Sinclair is the founder of Willow on the Green- a British food store in San Francisco.
He says The Queen's widespread admiration in his native country stems from her lifetime of service.
"She wasn't just a figurehead. She fought in World War II, she was part of the munitions. She has been a world leader and influenced the way that countries have evolved and grown in a positive way," Sinclair.
Queen Elizabeth last visited California in the 1980s, making stops in both the Bay Area as well as Yosemite National Park.
During her stay, she met with then Assembly member Willie Brown - who ABC7 News caught up with Thursday.
"Her passing is frankly a sad day for many of us that had the pleasure of personally meeting her. Her visit with me in Sacramento is one of the highlights of my public career," Brown said.
While Elizabeth's presence was a source of stability for millions around the world, her death will usher in a time of transition for a British Crown that has seen challenges in recent years.
And as the world waves goodbye, many in the Bay Area say they'll continue to remember her fondly.
"The whole world was excited that this amazing woman has reigned for 70 years. Most people have never known any other Queen," said Amy Dean.
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