Buckingham Palace is well used to outlandish stories about the queen.
As arguably the most famous and instantly recognizable individual on the planet, Her Majesty has, over the years, been accused of anything and everything by the international press—depending on who you read and who you trust, you can believe she murdered Diana, she is dying of cancer, she has a plot to break up William and Kate, and she is a Nazi.
It may be mildly entertaining for the rest of us, but it's all hugely boring for royal press officers, who long since ceased to be amused by fan fiction that masquerades as news stories.
The standard procedure for dealing with such reports is a regal shrug.
Amazingly, the queen has only once felt it necessary to issue a formal complaint about a story in the press (unlike her thin-skinned offspring who are regularly provoked into issuing pompous and often tin-eared outbursts of “It’s not fair!”).
HM’s watchword is “Never complain, never explain.”
The one time she did complain was when the Sun reported that she had expressed an opinion about being pro-Brexit at a public lunch. It’s important to note that the queen was really objecting on behalf of the Crown, which cannot allow itself to be seen to be drawn into the mucky daily business of politics (Prince Charles, take note).
That same attitude is prevailing today at Buckingham Palace after the arch conspiracy theorist Alex Jones broadcast a segment claiming that Queen Elizabeth was being pressured to convert to Islam.
“Muslims in England are now demanding that the queen either convert to Islam or leave the country,” Jones declaimed in typically bombastic style.
To back up this wild allegation, Jones aired a CNN clip—“It’s actually crazy that they are even reporting on it” Jones said—showing a young radical holding up an amateurishly altered poster of Buckingham Palace decked out as a mosque.
The young man tells the camera that these are plans showing “how we will transform Buckingham Palace into a local mosque for the Muslims.”
“What happens to the queen?” the interviewer asks.
“Well, the queen, she has a choice: She can either become Muslim or she can leave the country.”
The clip may seem at first blush to justify Jones’s rant. Needless to say, however, a rudimentary investigation reveals the clip has been taken wildly out of context by Jones.
The use of the word “now,” for example, would suggest that this was some kind of pro-radical Islam demonstration taking place in the wake of the London terror attacks—in fact the CNN report was aired in 2009, as part of an item about the radical British fundamentalist Anjem Choudary, who was jailed for five and half years in 2016.
The palace maintained a dignified silence when contacted for a response Wednesday.
“We wouldn’t comment,” a royal spokesperson politely told The Daily Beast.
Which is probably the only sensible response to the Joneses of this world.