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Queen’s portrait removed from Oxford Uni room in ‘disgusting’ anti-colonial move

3 min read

The Queen has been "cancelled" by Oxford University students who voted to take down her portrait in what's been called a "disgusting" anti-colonial vote.

Graduates at Magdalen College said the poster of Her Majesty that had been pinned up in a common room "represents recent colonial history" and "patriotism and colonialism are not really separable".

British Monarchists Society founder Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills told the Daily Star: "I will be writing on behalf of the BMS to David Clary, President of Oxford's Magdalen college.

"The removal of the Queen's portrait is unconscionable and shows the worst of our education system. If students were taught about the monarch and the position she occupied they would very well feel different.

"This is a disgusting display by Oxford and they should be ashamed!"

It comes after the college's graduate student committee voted to remove the artwork from its Middle Common Room (MCR) by a large majority.

It will now explore replacing the portrait with "art by or of other influential and inspirational people".

One student argued that the move was "about making people feel welcome" and any future depictions of the Royal Family will be subject to a vote, according to the Guido Fawkes blog.

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President of Magdalen College Dinah Rose QC has hit back at the wave of criticism on Twitter.

She wrote: "Magdalen strongly supports free speech and political debate, and the MCR'S right to autonomy."

She said that the artwork was "an inexpensive print" of the Queen bought in 2013, adding: "Are we going to police the posters they put on their walls?

"Being a student is about more than studying. It's about exploring and debating ideas. It's sometimes about provoking the older generation. Looks like that isn’t so hard to do these days.

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"Maybe they'll vote to put it up again, maybe they won't. Meanwhile, the photo will be safely stored."

One royalist opponent told Guido Fawkes: "In an era where debates on no-platforming and cancel culture rage strong, effectively 'cancelling'' the Queen and brandishing her as a symbol of colonialism – so often used as a synonym for racism – sends a dire message that is sure to enrage.

"Moreover, it is culturally insensitive for a common room so heavily comprised of international students to seek to remove a national symbol from a British institution.

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"The cultural heritage of all nations has the right to be respected, and a common room that does not do so cannot claim to be inclusive."

Twitter user Samantha Smith said: "The Queen was a pioneer of anti-racism in an era of widespread segregation and apartheid. Imagine trying to cancel the reigning monarch."

The Daily Star has approached Oxford University for comment.

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