World leaders and the many admirers Queen Elizabeth II drew during his 70-year reign offered an outpouring of well-wishes to the Royal Family following her death Thursday, but many of the most popular posts were jokes, criticism or outright hostility toward the late monarch.
The Royal Family announced the queen’s death on Twitter at 1:30 p.m., which became the most popular tweet of the week, according to social media tracking firm NewsWhip.
The message has attracted nearly 1 million retweets as of Saturday morning and more than 2.5 million likes.
Seven of the top 10 tweets this week concerned the queen’s death, according to NewsWhip, topped by the Royal Family’s post and followed by a tweet from the account of the fictional Paddington Bear saying: “Thank you Ma’am, for everything.”
But after that, No. 3 most popular tweet about the queen was a joke from @unfortunatenatalie loathing the “woke nonsense” of having a “MAN queen” succeed Elizabeth (more than 800,000 likes by Saturday morning, ET).
A tweet from @sifanelepotwana mocking a BBC video of Elizabath’s “longstanding relationship with Africa” as “rebranding colonialism” also cracked the top 10 this week, along with a tweet from @roun_sa_ville remembering Elizabeth as “a head of state, a monarch, a mother to multiple pedophiles and most importantly a devoted cousin to her husband.”
Terms like “Black Twitter” and “Irish Twitter” also trended throughout the day Thursday as groups historically oppressed by the British Empire and colonialism took a pugnacious approach to her passing.
Twitter removed what was perhaps the most antagonistic tweet about the queen, from Carnegie Mellon University professor Uju Anya. She tweeted shortly before the queen’s death: “I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating,” which was widely condemned, including by Carnegie Mellon—and most famously, by Jeff Bezos, who wrote: “This is someone supposedly working to make the world better? I don’t think so. Wow.” Twitter stated the message violated its rules on “abusive behavior.” Anya has refused to apologize.
The tweet from the Royal Family marked the first formal communication about Queen Elizabeth II’s death, with the family saying she “died peacefully at Balmoral,” a castle in rural Scotland. The queen, 96, was the longest-serving monarch in British history. Her 73-year-old son, King Charles III, became monarch following her death, and made his first public appearances as king on Friday, greeting crowds outside Buckingham Palace, meeting Prime Minister Liz Truss and giving a speech noting “profound sorrow” over his mother’s death. The queen’s funeral is expected to take place 10 days after her death as part of a longstanding transition plan, but arrangements have not been formally announced.
What To Watch For
Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral is expected to be one of the most high-profile events in British history. President Joe Biden said Friday he plans to attend.