WACO, TX (FOX 44) – In Queen Elizabeth’s 70 year reign over the United Kingdom her legacy has also affected some here in the U.S.

That legacy includes moving to modernize the country away from colonialism and British descendants here in Central Texas are at a loss of words.

Steve Hanick from Burnet County says his mother grew up in London marrying his father during World War II.

Hanick travels there when able to reconnect with his family overseas, and today’s news was hard for him to take in.

“It’s a sad day, obviously, but it’s a day to reflect on an incredible woman,” said Hanick.

Hanick last visited his family four years ago seeing different sites across England and Scotland.

When news came Thursday afternoon of the Queen’s passing, he received a pillow of the United Kingdom to remind him of his roots.

“I had ordered [it] about a month or so ago for my wife’s birthday and never did arrive on time and I was getting a little worried,” said Hanick. “But today, of all the things that arrived in the mail, it was an interesting coincidence.”

When asked about his cousins in England, he believes they’re watching their screens like we are trying to understand what’s next for England.

“Charles now, there’s been a lot of controversy, obviously, and his life and family, everything else that’s gone on, so he may not have that smooth transition that he would maybe hope for,” said Hanick.

Seeing Queen Elizabeth as a sign of stability, A&M Central Texas history professor, Dr. Jerry Jones, shares similar thoughts to Hanick.

“The United Kingdom can’t count on someone with her qualities all the time, and Charles is a different figure,” said Dr. Jones. “He is a little more distant and aloof. He doesn’t connect with the public in the same way that Elizabeth was able to do.”

For anyone here with direct ties to Britain, Hanick encourages them to stand proud.

“Yes, she’s past, but hopefully her legacy will continue to mold further generations,” said Hanick.

Dr. Jones says with the Queen’s passing, Prince Charles has already assumed the position of king, and the country will be in a designated period of mourning.

Shortly after her funeral is when Dr. Jones expects the public coronation will be held.