BISMARCK, N.D. — Queen Elizabeth II has died.
She passed peacefully at her beloved Balmoral Castle in Scotland earlier this afternoon according to Buckingham Palace officials.
News of the Queen’s death, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, quickly spread across North Dakota, sparking an outpouring of tributes.
Governor Doug Burgum ordered that North Dakota convert to the metric system for a fortnight in honor of the Queen.
“It is with deep sadness that we learned of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing earlier today. North Dakota extends its deepest condolences to the Royal Family and to all of Great Britian. In honor of Her Majesty, I have ordered North Dakota to observe the metric system as its official unit of measurement for a fortnight — a period of two weeks. In addition, all high school, colleges and university football games will observe the rules of soccer in tribute to the beloved monarch.”
Shortly after the announcement, Burgum was observed sporting a pair of black dress slacks, a notable departure from his favored bluejeans, in a subtle yet solemn show of respect.
Officials were spotted inside the Fargo Dome making preparations for Saturday’s North Dakota State University football game in wake of Burgum’s executive order.
“We’re doing our best to prepare for Saturday’s match, but I suspect fans will be in for some confusion regardless,” says Bison Head Coach Matt Entz. “The field has been converted to a pitch, we’re reviewing every episode of Ted Lasso to learn the rules of soccer and we’ve got the entire math department working with our players to acquaint them with the metric system.”
The famed Wimbledon tennis tournament, held in Wimbledon, N.D., was postponed following news of the Queen’s death and flags were lowered in all North Dakota towns and cities sharing names with their British counterparts including Berwick, Leeds, New England, Norwich, Rugby, Surrey, Tunbridge, Warwick, Watford City, and York.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation also announced drivers were free to drive “on the proper side” of all city roads and highways for the fortnight.
“For many North Dakota drivers, this may not be a radical departure from your daily driving habits. However, we ask everyone to ‘mind the gap’, whatever that means, when traversing the left of our roads and highways for the next few weeks,” said a NDDOT Spokeswoman.
In the coming days, North Dakota officials are expected to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II including Sheriff Bear, Medora’s Teddy Roosevelt, the Hostfest Troll, Governor Burgum and Secretary of State Al Jaeger — who was first elected to office during Queen Victoria’s reign.