Queen Elizabeth II Voter ID Announcement Explained As Monarch Makes Speech

Queen Elizabeth II told Britain's parliament of plans for voter ID cards Tuesday—but U.S. conservatives appeared to have gotten the wrong impression, U.K. commentators said.

The queen, 95, traditionally gives a speech at the State Opening of Parliament, which marks the formal start of the parliamentary year, and sets out the government's agenda. This year's was her first major public event since Prince Philip's death.

The event is steeped in royal tradition, from the crown being driven in its own car to an MP being "taken hostage" by the palace.

However, one aspect of the day that appears to have been lost on some U.S. conservative commentators is that the queen's announcements do not reflect her personal beliefs or political positions.

The Queen's Speech, State Opening of Parliament
Queen Elizabeth II ahead of her speech in the House of Lord's Chamber during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on May 11, 2021 in London, England. The queen announced the government's legislative program. Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Instead, the monarch simply reveals the legislative program of the government of the day, whichever party is in power.

In this case, it is Prime Minister Boris Johnson's policy that the queen has outlined and he is the one who is being accused by critics of voter suppression.

Rachel Clarke, author and palliative care doctor in the U.K, wrote on Twitter: "Voter fraud is simply not a problem in the UK. This is voter suppression, pure and simple.

"It's unnecessary, discriminatory and straight out of the Trump playbook.

"Shame on @BorisJohnson for trying this on."

For some reason US conservatives seem to have suddenly got the impression that the Queen is a big voter ID fan. pic.twitter.com/j3qYIWUg6w

— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) May 11, 2021

On Tuesday, Sky News reported the queen had told Parliament: "Legislation will be introduced to ensure the integrity of elections."

Business Insider political editor Adam Bienkov wrote on Twitter: "For some reason US conservatives seem to have suddenly got the impression that the Queen is a big voter ID fan."

He posted screenshots from conservative accounts calling on liberals who opposed voter ID laws in the U.S. to denounce the queen as racist or confess their own hypocrisy.

Hey @marceelias, is the Queen racist? https://t.co/IcKHVYG27A

— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) May 11, 2021

Former Donald Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis received 4,700 likes, at time of writing, for a post asking Marc Elias, founder of the progressive advocacy group Democracy Docket: "Is the Queen racist?"

She added: "What a p*nsy little cop-out. Marc won't respond because he either actually believes the Queen is racist for supporting voter ID or he knows he is a total hypocrite.

"Which is it, Marc?"

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?

— Lavern Spicer (@lavern_spicer) May 10, 2021

Former GOP Congressional candidate Lavern Spicer wrote: "The Queen of England is about to start requiring Voter ID (probably because she's wondering how [London Mayor] Sadiq Khan's crazy a** got elected again) but America is still trying to call it racist.

"Is it racist now when the UK does it?"

Turning Point USA founder and radio host Charlie Kirk wrote: "Looking forward to widespread calls from the left to 'cancel' the Queen of England over the UK's voter ID policy."

The queen traveled to Parliament alone on Tuesday in a black Range Rover while the Imperial State Crown came in its own car.

Elizabeth sat alone for the ceremony as Prince Philip's throne was removed from the House of Lords chamber, the Daily Mail reported.

She was accompanied by her son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Elizabeth wore neither mask nor the Imperial State Crown.

Before the queen arrives, it is custom to carry out a search for gunpowder—dating back to Guy Fawkes' plot to blow up Parliament in 1605.

It is also custom for one MP to be ceremonially "taken hostage" at the palace, in theory to protect the monarch from an attack by Parliament members.

The tradition dates back to the era of Charles I, who was executed after a conflict between royalists and parliamentarians.

Jim Fitzpatrick, a former ceremonial hostage, told the BBC: "If anything happens to the monarch, the same fate will befall on one of our senior colleagues."

He said he asked the head of the Armed Forces about the procedure, should the arcane rule be invoked.

He claimed he was told: "If anything had happened to Her Majesty, we would have made it quick. We would have just shot you."