Students at Oxford's Magdalen College expressed concerns about the deception of British monarchy and their colonial history.
The students' decision to remove the portrait led to massive backlash from critics who've called for the university to condemn the students, adding that England’s history shouldn’t be erased, according to the Post.
Magdalen President Dinah Rose shared in a series of tweets on Tuesday that it was the students' decision to make, adding that students in the past bought the portrait of the monarch in 2013 and displayed it in their common room.
They recently voted to take it down.— Dinah Rose (@DinahRoseQC) June 8, 2021
Both of these decisions are their own to take, not the College's.
Magdalen strongly supports free speech and political debate, and the MCR'S right to autonomy.
“Maybe they'll vote to put it up again, maybe they won't. Meanwhile, the photo will be safely stored,” Rose said in her post.
Rose added that students' time in college is all about exploring their beliefs and debating issues. She also called out the critics who were sending obscene messages to her staff, saying they should show respect.
So if you are one of the people currently sending obscene and threatening messages to the College staff, you might consider pausing, and asking yourself whether that is really the best way to show your respect for the Queen.— Dinah Rose (@DinahRoseQC) June 9, 2021
“So if you are one of the people currently sending obscene and threatening messages to the College staff, you might consider pausing, and asking yourself whether that is really the best way to show your respect for the Queen,” Rose said.
This comes amid debate of England's history and colonial legacy after widespread Black Lives Matter protests last summer, which targeted the country’s past.
Oriel College, a small school in Oxford, faced controversy in 2019 after calls for a statue of ex-student Cecil Rhodes, an 19th century imperialist known for his racist views, to be removed, the Post noted.