AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – George Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Aiken set up a memorabilia room with a condolence book that will be sent to Buckingham Palace.
“She has witnessed 15 presidents, she’s witnessed 15 prime ministers,” said Reverend Scott Ayers, the director of the funeral home. “But there’s been one Queen.”
The room was organized following Queen Elizabeth II’s death two weeks ago, but the Ayers has been collecting royal family memorabilia for over 35 years.
Around 200 people have come to sign the condolence book since the room opened about a week and a half ago, he said.
“We’ve seen a lot of parents bring their children in, that’s what’s been so amazing,” he said. “As a history teacher, I do strongly recommend that parents bring their children in.”
Most of the relics are priceless and date back to the early 1900s – all the way back to Queen Elizabeth’s father and uncle: King George VI and King Edward VIII.
Some are rare pieces that are only one out of 500 made. There is even an original document signed by Queen Elizabeth herself.
“We will never see this again in our lifetime. We will never have another monarch, as long as any of us are living, that will ever serve 70 years,” Ayers said. “So, this is just an opportunity for parents to let their children become part of history.”
Ayers said a few British immigrants have come in to pay their respects and share their stories, and the condolence book will bring a piece of their life in the CSRA back home across the pond.
“They would be able to find this book we’re sending to Buckingham Palace and find the messages that they’ve written,” he said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to do this for the community.”
The book will be open for the public to sign until Wednesday at 5 p.m. There is also a virtual signing option on the funeral home’s website.