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Northwestern experts available to discuss Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, legacy

EVANSTON, Ill. — The United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, died this afternoon at her Balmoral Castle residence in Scotland. A figure of stability and tradition during her reign of seven decades, her death constitutes a moment of transition for the U.K.

Below, Northwestern experts offer thoughts on the Queen’s life and legacy. To arrange interviews with them, email Max Witynski at

Erin Delaney is a professor of law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law with a courtesy appointment in the department of political science. Her scholarship explores constitutionalism in comparative perspective, focusing on federalism and judicial design. She earned her PhD at the University of Cambridge and can discuss the Queen’s role as monarch, constitutional politics in the U.K. and the transition of power.

Matthew H. Johnson is the Kenneth F. Burgess Professor of Anthropology at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Johnson is a dual U.S./British citizen who earned his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He is an expert on the archaeology of the British Isles and has written books on castles, traditional houses, landscapes and the archaeology of capitalism. He can discuss the role of the monarchy in British history and culture and the future of the country the Queen leaves behind.

Quote from Professor Johnson:

“Elizabeth II was monarch for an unparalleled 70 years. She was a constant in my life, and in the lived experience of all British people. Her passing comes at a critical juncture for the country that she loved. Britain faces un uncomfortable, even dark future: the consequences of Brexit, economic crisis and decline, a cultural and political reckoning with the legacy of Empire, and possibly the unravelling of Britain itself. The monarchy has shown itself to be an incredibly resilient institution over the centuries, battered by individual scandals and constitutional crises but always surviving — and adapting. Whether it will continue to survive and adapt I do not know.”