Steerpike

Americans baffled by monarch’s role in Queen’s Speech

Americans baffled by monarch's role in Queen's Speech
Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Text settings
Comments

It appears the Queen has become the latest figure to be dragged into America's culture wars after attending the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday.  Her speech, which set out the government's policies for the new parliamentary session, mentioned a bill to introduce mandatory Voter ID in British elections – something that has caused the monarch to become lionised by some Republicans who now view her as a champion against electoral fraud. 

The Republican State Leadership Committee has done its best to herald Her Majesty as a fearless fighter in the war on woke, declaring: 'The woke cancel culture mob continues to call voter ID racist. Now that the Queen of England will require an ID to vote, will Dems cancel her too?' 

Former Florida congressional candidate Lavern Spicer has piled in too, writing 'The Queen of England is about to start requiring Voter ID (probably because she’s wondering how Sadiq Khan’s crazy ass got elected again) but America is still trying to call it racist. Is it racist now when the UK does it?' Donald Trump's ex lawyer Jenna Ellis asked rhetorically 'Is the Queen racist?' while conservative journalist Kyle Becker smirked 'The Queen of England is *triggering* the left worldwide with major announcement.'

This misreading of the Queen's title, inability to vote and entire constitutional purpose was not merely confined to political activists in the States. News outlets like The Hill declared confidently that 'Queen Elizabeth II promises to ban conversion therapy' while Post Millenial said simply 'England will enforce voter ID laws' managing to get the date wrong too with its accompanying caption 'The Queen of England is set to announce on Monday that citizens will be required to show IDs.'

At least Americans are not alone in misunderstanding the Queen's role. The leader of the French Greens Julien Bayou greeted the news of the gay conversion therapy ban by personally contrasting the 95-year-old 'Queen of England who shows herself more liberal and protective of minorities' with his own president Emmanuel Macron in an attempt to illustrate how age has no bearing on personal politics.

Even some in the UK failed to appreciate the Queen's constitutional role, with self-styled constitutional buff and ardent anti-Brexiteer Femi Oluwole trying to start the hashtag #NoMoreQueensSpeech and claiming 'She's not speaking for the people. She's speaking for the Tories' – ignoring of course that in her 69 year long reign Elizabeth II has performed the same function for all governments, regardless of party.

It seems now that some in the Royal Household have taken alarm at the Queen being used as a political football in this way. The official @RoyalFamily Twitter account has now been called into action to remind excitable politicos: 'The Speech is not drafted by The Queen, but by the Government, outlining policies and proposed future legislation.'

Still, must be a change to see republicans applauding a monarch for once.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk

Comments
Topics in this articlePolitics