When Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8, 2022, tributes weren’t the only thing publicly shared on social media. There were jokes – and plenty of them.
When some social media users were confused by the jokes, the history lessons commenced. A DW News video from June reemerged. The story was about an elderly Kenyan woman, Muthoni Mathenge. Mathenge demanded Queen Elizabeth II compensate her for the torture she endured in the 1950s when Kenya was fighting for its independence from Britain. This violent exchange took place shortly after Queen Elizabeth II took the throne.
Mathenge said British troops hit her with an axe on her legs and repeatedly asked her to tell them where her husband, who was a soldier, was. The woman refused to surrender the information. Thousands of Kenyan civilians were placed in camps before eventually being killed. Although the British compensated thousands of Kenyans in 2013, Mathenge was not among them because she didn’t have a lawyer.
“Let her give me a just compensation,” Mathenge said, through a translator. “Because she is the ruler. Let her send me the compensation, and let it not be given to anyone else.”
Reminder that Queen Elizabeth is not a remnant of colonial times. She was an active participant in colonialism. She actively tried to stop independence movements & she tried to keep newly independent colonies from leaving the commonwealth. The evil she did was enough https://t.co/SDGi0boCzx
— Nsafoa's Feminist Duck 🏳️🌈 (@YaaAsantewaaBa) September 8, 2022
Queen Elizabeth II also owns the largest clear-cut diamond in the world, which has a value of $400 million and was stolen from South Africa.
Queen Elizabeth II owns the largest clear cut diamond in the world Known as 'The Great Star of Africa' the 530 carats gem was mined in South Africa back in 1905. It was stolen from South Africa. It has an estimated worth of $400 million. pic.twitter.com/HesTmGTv4d
— Africa Archives ™ (@Africa_Archives) September 8, 2022
It’s also been reported Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana had a rough relationship.
Princess Diana said she was terrified of the Queen in the early days of being her daughter-in-law. When Diana was being cheated on by her husband Prince Charles, she fell into depression and suffered from bulimia and no one in the Royal Family came to her aid. Some historians said Queen Elizabeth wanted to help Diana, but with such a generational gap, she didn’t know how to communicate with her in a time of distress. After Diana died in a 1997 car accident, the Queen went silent for five days before the Prime Minister persuaded her to speak to the public. It’s also been said the Queen didn’t like how someone who married into the family upstaged the Royal Family, and never wanted it to happen again.
Now, here are the Diana-Elizabeth memes.
Princess Diana waiting to bounce Queen Elizabeth at the gate of heaven. pic.twitter.com/IzfpYNLEKa
— …. (@Peterpumping) September 8, 2022
princess diana getting ready to greet queen elizabeth ii in the after life pic.twitter.com/w1mcFsDgZG
— melisa spencer (@ivebeenexiled) September 8, 2022
princess diana as soon as queen elizabeth arrives pic.twitter.com/pSYPdrzsae
— HimmyTurner🎒🚶🏾♂️ (@backend23child) September 9, 2022
Princess Diana seeing Queen Elizabeth at the gates of heaven : pic.twitter.com/IOlVdmp7uk
— Whatever97 (@WhateverEST1997) September 8, 2022
And more Queen Elizabeth II memes, headlined by jokes about late Chicago rapper King Von, who was famous for rapping about shooting a lot of people from his hometown.
The Queen in Hell being forced to share a suite with King Von pic.twitter.com/jMP3x2nGrS
— Wii-Yum (@MrGee54) September 8, 2022
this King Von concert lit asl tho
— Queen Elizabeth II▫️ (@whoisxer) September 8, 2022
King Von, Hitler, the Queen, Reagan, and Pol Pot in hell: pic.twitter.com/aSpQcYhYTy
— Kenobi Never Broke Again🐍 (@jjuusssttttpain) September 8, 2022
The backlash from the jokes and articles about the not-so-complimenting facts brought up about Queen Elizabeth II in the wake of her death were all brought into perspective with one tweet from Jemele Hill.
Journalists are tasked with putting legacies into full context, so it is entirely appropriate to examine the queen and her role in the devastating impact of continued colonialism.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 8, 2022