THOUGH New York City cast off most of its streets named for British monarchs after the evacuation of British troops from New York City in 1783 — Pearl Street, for example, was once called Queen Street — there are some glaring exceptions, including Kings and Queens County, which were named for the British monarchs when NYC was chartered in 1625, King Charles II (the third Charles ascended on September 8, 2022, after the 70-year reign of his mother, Elizabeth II, ended with her death) and Charles’ wife, the Portuguese-born Queen Catherine of Braganza. For nearly 30 years, a statue depicting Catherine was supposed to be placed somewhere in Queens, but anti-colonial sentiment has seemingly tabled the project. Kings Highway in Brooklyn and Queens Boulevard took their names from the boroughs in which they circulate. In any case, the links to Charles II and Catherine are disputed.
Only one street in New York City is presently named Queen Street, and it can be found in Willowbrook, Staten Island, running approximately 15 blocks between Bradley Avenue and Manor Road. At its west end, as you can see here at Wellbrook Avenue, some of its older suburban atmosphere persists with a lack of sidewalks. Who can say if it honors a British monarch or a developer named Queen; it is surrounded by streets with vaguely British names, with Harold Street one avenue to the south.
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