It’s been a year since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and there is so much to reflect on her amazing legacy. 

Queen Elizabeth served the crown for over 70 years, making her the longest-serving British monarch and the longest verified reign of any female head of state in recorded history. 

Spending 70+ years dedicated to the people of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth is a feat that is impressive, whether you live in the United Kingdom or not. That’s why there is a new permanent memorial being planned for what would have been Queen Elizabeth II’s 100th birthday. 

According to the Associated Press, Queen Elizabeth’s former private secretary has been appointed as chairman of the Queen Elizabeth memorial committee to consider proposals for a proper tribute to the Queen. 

Committee members are planning to do something that honors Queen Elizabeth’s life of public service and the numerous causes she supported to hopefully create a “national legacy program” that honors the Queen. 

The recommendations for the permanent memorial will be presented to King Charles III and the prime minister. 

When Queen Elizabeth passed, Canada honored her in several different ways all across the country. One big reason why is because Canada is a constitutional monarchy, which means the British sovereign is the ceremonial head of state, according to CTV News.

This means that Queen Elizabeth II was, in fact, Queen of Canada as well, but that title was more to separate her as a distinguished figure for Canadians. 

Close to Western New York, there was a several weeks-long tribute to the Queen by lighting the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls in a royal blue color – the same royal blue hue that matches the color of the jewels worn by the Queen in her last official Canadian portrait.

But did the Queen ever come to Western New York?

She came very close! When she traveled across the pond to mark an official opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1959, she was close to Western New York, but instead she ventured out onto tour of her commonwealth of Canada. 

News reports at the time stated that the closest Queen Elizabeth would be to Western New York was just over the border in Hamilton, Ontario on July 2, 1959. The Queen had previously visited Hamilton back in 1951 when she was Princess Elizabeth, but she would later revisit Hamilton again in 2002.

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Relive the Glen Amusement Park and Casino

There are parts of Western New York that you never knew existed, and one of those places may be the Glen Amusement Park and Casino.

If you can’t remember an amusement park at this location in Williamsville, that may be because Harry Altman’s Glen Amusement Park and Casino, a center of attractions for western NYers, was destroyed by a massive fire September 1968. A fire destroyed the park in September 1968.

Thankfully, Ron Urban, who grew up in WNY and lived inside the Glen Amusement Park and Casino complex, has held onto photographs from as far back as 1946 when he lived in that childhood home, along the banks of Ellicott Creek and located below the falls.

Even if you weren't able to see the Glen Amusement Park and Casino in person, now you can relive the memory of this historic part of WNY -- all thanks to Ron Urban and the photographs he has kept over the years.

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