Upon Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, we look back at her record on LGBTQ+ rights throughout her 70-year reign as head of state.

Ascending to the throne after the passing of her father in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II made very few statements or comments on her personal views, and showed no bias towards any political party, left or right wing.

LGBTQ+ rights were no different; while the Queen has given royal assent to laws that have advanced LGBTQ+ equality in the UK, she had never expressed any personal support for those changes. Nevertheless, reading between the lines one could arguably puzzle together her views and figure out where Queen Elizabeth II stands on LGBTQ+ rights.


Speaking at the opening of parliament in 2017, Queen Elizabeth II stated that her government would tackle “discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.”

Her statement in 2017 marked the first time the long-reigning monarch had mentioned LGBTQ+ rights during a speech since 2003, when she told parliament her government would bring forward legislation to legalise same-sex partnerships.

Aditionally in 2013, Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal assent to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, paving the way forward for same-sex marriage in England and Wales.

The Queen’s honours lists have also been highlighted as an indication of where she stood for LGBTQ+ rights, having awarded a number of LGBTQ+ activists with OBEs over the years.

In 2016 however, controversy did erupt after a source claiming to be close to the Queen devolved to the Daily Mail that the Queen gave her approval to same-sex marriage reluctantly.

“It was the ‘marriage’ thing that she thought was wrong because marriage ought to be sacrosanct between a man and a woman,” the person, who remains anonymous, said.

Another source later told The Daily Beast the claims made were “spurious and unsubstantiated”, questioning why a friend of the monarch would discuss the Queen’s personal views with a tabloid newspaper.

When it came to same-sex marriage, it was noted that Queen Elizabeth II nor the inner circle of the royal family attended Lord Ivar Mountbatten’s wedding in 2018.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, came out as gay before announcing his upcoming wedding to partner James Coyle.

Speaking with Tatler, Mountbatten said the royals “don’t really talk” about his marriage.

Officially, however, in 2013, Queen Elizabeth II endorsed a charter for the Commonwealth which stated: “We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination. Whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds.”

Ultimately many would say that just like with other issues, Queen Elizabeth II kept her lips sealed on her thoughts and feeling around LGBTQ+ rights – while other members of the royal family have been more outspoken and upfront in their support for rainbow communities, particularly Prince William and Prince Harry.