Queen Elizabeth II Dies Aged 96: The Queen & LGBT Rights

Queen Elizabeth II Dies Aged 96: The Queen & LGBT Rights
Image: Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, passed away on Thursday at the age of 96. “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace announced in a statement. 

Charles, who is now King, in a statement said: “The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.”

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother.  I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world,” said Charles, who will be known as King Charles III, with Camila designated as Queen Consort. . 

The Queen’s Speech

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth, who ascended to the throne in 1952 and reigned for 70 years, oversaw the passing of many LGBTQI law reforms by the Parliament over the years. 

However, the first time that the Queen mentioned the community was only in 2003, when in her Queen’s speech, she said the government was committed to “increased equality and social justice by bringing forward legislation on the registration of civil partnerships between same sex couples”.

The next time she mentioned LGBTQI rights was in her 2017 Queen’s Speech. “My government will make further progress to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability, or sexual orientation,” the Queen had said. 

Queen Did Not Attend Her Gay Cousin’s Wedding

Lord Ivar Mountbatten (right) and his husband James Coyle.

In 2013, the Queen gave her assent to the same-sex marriage law that the Parliament had passed. In 2016, the tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail had reported the Queen’s was “reluctant” to give her assent to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. However, other reports had Palace sources rubbishing the story. 

In 2018,  when her cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten married his partner James Coyle, neither the Queen nor anyone from the inner circle of the Royal family attended the wedding. 

“They don’t really talk about it”, Mountbatten told Tatler magazine, when asked about the Royal family’s response to the marriage of the first member of the extended British Royal family to come out as gay. 

Ollie Roberts. Image: Instagram

The same year, Queen Elizabeth’s footman, Royal Air Force veteran Ollie Roberts (21), the first out gay man to hold such a position, resigned. The Sun reported that Ollie had resigned as he felt “let down”, after Buckingham Palace demoted him for “courting publicity”. 

Queen Signals Ban On Conversion Practices

Last year, the Queen had announced the government’s plans to enact a law to ban so-called conversion therapy or practices that seek to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity in England and Wales.

“Measures will be brought forward to address racial and ethnic disparities and ban conversion therapy,” the Queen had said in her speech to the UK Parliament in May 2021. The law is yet to be passed after the government sought to exclude trans persons from the ambit of the law.

Tributes poured in for the Queen from across the world.

“We send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. At this sad time we reflect on the the end of a very significant era for the UK,” Stonewall UK said in a statement posted on Twitter.

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One response to “Queen Elizabeth II Dies Aged 96: The Queen & LGBT Rights”

  1. The article should have informed SSO readers that the Queen’s speech are, in fact, the Government’s. Neither the content nor the words are hers – the speech is entirely produced by the Government of the day.

    We do not know what the Queen’s view of LGBT are. As with everything else, QE2 never expressed a view or opinion.