Australian-born British gay activist Peter Tatchell revealed that he had refused an invitation from the organisers of the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations to join the event as a ‘national treasure’.

Tatchell, in a piece in The Guardian, cited his opposition to the monarchy, the royals’ history of “war, colonialism and slavery” as well as the Queen’s refusal to acknowledge her LGBTQI “subjects” as the reason for refusing the honour. 

Tatchell said that he was surprised to receive a letter from the organisers inviting him to join the pageant outside the Buckingham Palace on June 5 on the final day of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations “as one of a select group of ‘National Treasures … celebrated, respected and admired people’.”

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In a post on social media, Tatchell said that while others including Gary Lineker, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Bill Bailey and Joan Collins accepted the invitation, he turned it down.

Queen Doesn’t Appear To Be Gay Friendly

The activist, who is a supporter of the campaign group Republic, said he turned down the invitation for a number of reasons. “While I doubt that the Queen is a raging homophobe, she doesn’t appear to be gay friendly. As far as I know, the words lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender have never publicly passed the her lips since she ascended the throne in 1952,” said Tatchell. 

Responding to defenders of the monarchy, who claim many of the royal staff are gay men, Tatchell said : “So what? Having gay staff wait hand and foot on the Queen is proof of nothing, apart from the fact that she likes well mannered, well groomed male servants.”

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Tatchell pointed out that though the Queen is a patron of over 600 organisations, not one is an LGBTQI charity. Her 2014 letter to the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard on its 40th anniversary was a generic congratulation, without any mention of the LGBTQI work that the charity does. 

War, Colonialism And Slavery

Tatchell said Queen did not visit the victims or the scene of the 1990 Soho gay pub bombing, that killed three and injured 70 others. 

“To be ignored for seven decades feels like a deliberate snub,” Tatchell said, acdding, that the “Queen is head of a flawed institution that is out of step with liberal, multicultural Britain.”

He said that the Platimun jubilee celebrations were a gigantic public relation execfrcise for the royals. “The royals are steeped in a history of war, colonialism and slavery. The crown estate derives much of its assets – including properties and some of the crown jewels – from past royal conquest and exploitation,” he added.

In another post on social media, Tatchell posted a photo of Prince William, the second in line to the throne, with a hashtag calling for abolishing the monarchy. “Time to move on from this hangover from feudalism. Power, status & wealth should not be inherited by a very privileged royal family. Time to make Britain a mature democracy with an elected low-cost purely ceremonial head of state,” said Tatchell.

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