Was Queen Elizabeth II a true ally of the LGTBIQ+ collective?

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, we revisit its significance for the LGTBIQ+ progress the UK has experienced over the past seventy years.

The United Kingdom went into mourning on September 8 after it was officially confirmed that the monarch Elizabeth II died aged 96. Now that everyone is looking at the historical significance of his figure, we ask: what was his contribution to the advancement of LGTBIQ+ in his country?

Since he ascended the throne in 1952 after the death of his father, King George VI, Isabel Alejandra Maria Windsor presented herself as a leader without prejudice to any party, regardless of political party. Almost always true to his strict training, hieratic personality and iron discipline has avoided expressing his own views on any matterincluding the LGTBIQ+ match, of course.

Although Queen Elizabeth II always has given actual consent to laws that promote LGBTQ+ equality in the UK it is no less true that he has never explicitly expressed personal support for such changes. So during her seventy-year reign, the media had to read between the lines to try to understand what the sovereign’s personal LGTBIQ+ position was.

The first time that the monarch spoke about LGTBIQ+ rights in an official speech in 2003when he told parliament that his government would introduce legislation to legalize civil unions.


He did not speak publicly again about our group until fourteen years later, in 2017when, at the opening of Parliament, the Queen declared that his government will tackle “discrimination against people based on race, creed, sex, disability or sexual orientation”.

Between these two distant dates there was another important milestone in LGTBIQ + matters where the monarch was present:

One of the first major pieces of LGBTQ+ legislation Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal assent was Sex Offenses Act 1967. Thanks to this law, it was decriminalized for gay men over the age of 21 in England and Wales to keep sex private. But it wasn’t until 1980 in Scotland and 1982 in Northern Ireland when homosexuality was effectively decriminalized.

in 1998 received royal approval human rights law which brought the European Convention on Human Rights into British law for the first time. This law helped protect the rights of LGTBIQ+ people in the UK.

in 2002was decreed Adoption and Childhood Actwhich allowed same-sex couples to adopt children for the first time.

in 2004 they legalized Civil partnerships in England and Wales.

In the same year, another radical law came into force which received royal assent, on Gender Recognition Act (GRA). Thanks to this law, a process was started for people after legal gender reassignment.

in 2010, It was approved on Equality Actwhich prohibits discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity in a number of key areas.

in 2013Queen Elizabeth II supported a letter to the Municipality which reads: “We are relentlessly opposed to all forms of discrimination. Whether for reasons related to sex, race, color, creed, political ideology or other reasons.

In the same year, Protection of Freedoms Act enabled LGTBIQ+ people to have their previous convictions expunged.

also in 2013 gave her Royal Assent to the Marriage Equality Bill, which was instrumental in making same-sex marriage a reality in England and Wales in 2014. In that sense, there has always been polarization between those who wanted to see her approval as the same – same-sex marriages personal support and those who claim that she was only for civil unions because she believed that “marriage” was something sacred between a man and a woman.

Since 2014, LGBTQ+ rights have been at a standstill in the UK; for example, conversion therapies remain legal despite the current government’s promises.

And although it must be remembered that all these royal assent do not help to see what the Queen’s position is, because in fact it is the role of any monarch to give her approval to legislation established by Parliament, it is also true that During Elizabeth II’s nearly seventy-year reign, the United Kingdom became LGBTQ+. Few Monarchs have seen as much social change as Queen Elizabeth II has, and it’s more than likely that no future monarch will see as much progress in one reign.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten with the Queen

in September 2018 It was very celebrated Lord Ivar Mountbatten, Elizabeth II’s third cousin, has come out as gay and announced her upcoming marriage to partner James Coyle. There were no surprises about it. The royals said nothing, least of all the Queen, whose connection with Mountbatten was by the way quite distant. The wedding took place and no representatives of the close circle of the royal family were present.

George Kent

Mountbatten No He is Queen Elizabeth’s only gay relative, her paternal uncle George Kent and his nephew, Viscount Linley, they were too. At the same time had lackeys and gay friends such as his private secretary Patrick Plunkett, his butler and confidant William Tallon or his bodyguard Michael Trestrail. They assure that he felt particularly comfortable in their company and therefore never gave up their proximity, despite the suggestions of his more conservative advisers.

Another reality is that throughout his long reign he has named very visible LGTBIQ+ people Knights and Dames of the Order of the British Empire, such as Ian McKellen, Elton John, Carol Ann Duffy or Judith Anderson. On the contrary, we must also remember that he bestowed this same award on several openly transphobic activists.

Other royals have been more outspoken than the Queen in their support of LGBTQ+ rights, notably Prince William and Prince Harry. in 2019 William stated that he would support any of his sons if they were homosexual, while Harry showed her support for Mermaids, a charity for trans youth.


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