A nod to the queen stateside

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For 77-year-old Patchogue resident Penelope Grippo, the recent passing of the Queen hit home. Growing up in Luton, England, Grippo recalled her hardships living with her father a wounded WWII veteran, and siblings.
“The queen has meant a lot to me and my family,” she noted of why her home donned English flags and decorations in honor of the queen’s passing.
Due to poverty, she went to work at the young age of 16 helping provide for the family. She was the youngest operator to work at the exchange helping with incoming calls all over the world. During her time working she met the queen.
“She was very beautiful,” she said explaining that though she was instructed not to address her they did have a brief conversation. “She stopped at me and said I was very young. I said yes, your majesty my daddy was burned up in the war. She said she was very proud of my father and proud of me.”
Grippo has since lived in her Patchogue home located at 99 Lake Shore Drive, the old lace mill house, since 1981.
“I have seen a king live and die, the queen become the queen and now see her die and now the new king Charles,” she said proudly of her heritage. “In honor of her life, I decorated. She will always be my queen.”
Remembering watching the queen’s coronation on a small black and white tv at her home in England, she said she has plans to host a party with family in her home during the king’s coronation.
“We have mourned and cried, now we must celebrate her life,” she said.

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