Oxford students want to hang Queen's portrait – minister outraged

Oxford students want to hang Queen's portrait – minister outraged

Oxford students want to hang Queen's portrait – minister outraged

Magdalen College She stands for "recent colonial history": Oxford students want to take down a portrait of the Queen

Students at Oxford University want a portrait of the Queen in their college because of their connection depend on British colonial history. A committee voted by a clear majority to remove the 1952 photo.

Students at the UK's prestigious Oxford University have hung a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in a lounge, sparking controversy. The majority of students at Magdalen College voted to remove the picture from their common room because, for some students, depictions of the monarch "represent Britain's more recent colonial history," the Times reported on Wednesday.


British royal family historians on Harry and William's confessions: "This calls the institution of monarchy into question"

Education Minister reacts with outrage

The British Education Minister Gavin Williamson reacted angrily and called the students' decision "absurd". Elizabeth II, who will celebrate her 70th jubilee next year, "is the head of state and symbolizes the best of Britain," Williamson wrote on Twitter. During her tenure, she worked "tirelessly" to "promote British values ​​of tolerance, openness and respect around the world".

The chancellor of the university, Chris Patten, also reacted angrily. "Freedom of expression allows even intelligent people to be abusive and obnoxiously ignorant," he told the Daily Mail.

Portraits don't actually hang on the walls in UK public schools. Exceptions are some colleges of the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford.

Companions and Adversaries

The Queen's Companions: This woman made her cry

1 of 8

Oxford students want "neutral place for all members"

The President of the Student Committee, which is responsible for the common room at Magdalen College, told the Mail Online the decision was made after a discussion about the room's purpose. Matthew Katzman said the fraternity decided that the common room should be "a welcoming and neutral place for all members," regardless of their background or opinion.

The President of Magdalen College said the students' decision was not representative of the prestigious college. However, she defended the students' right to "freedom of expression and political debate". "Being a student means more than just studying," she added. "It's about exploring and debating different ideas. Sometimes it's also about provoking the older generation."

In Great Britain, many students took part in protests against racism and police violence last summer. Protesters at the time also called for an examination of Britain's history of slavery and the removal of monuments linked to the UK's colonial past. In some places, they arbitrarily replaced statues of slave traders with their own sculptures.