There has been outrage after students at Oxford voted to replace artwork of the Queen.
The vote was cast after students decided to get rid of the portrait because she ‘represents the recent colonial history, it has been claimed.
The decision was made by graduate members of the Middle Common Room committee at Magdalen College.
They are now being heavily criticized after reports that they voted overwhelmingly for its removal.
One student said: ‘Patriotism and colonialism are not really separable’.
However, another insisted the move was not to ‘cancel’ the Queen but rather: ‘This is about our communal space and making people feel welcome,’ according to Guido Fawkes.
In the picture’s place, the students plan to put ‘art by or of other influential and inspirational people’.
Following the backlash, the college’s president, barrister Dinah Rose was keen to distance the institution itself from the students.
She insists their decision is not representative of the college, but supported their right to ‘free speech and political debate’.
On Twitter she said: ‘Here are some facts about Magdalen College and HM the Queen.
‘The Middle Common Room is an organisation of graduate students. They don’t represent the College.
‘A few years ago, in about 2013, they bought a print of a photo of the Queen to decorate their common room.
‘They recently voted to take it down. 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.’
She added ‘Being a student is about more than studying. It’s about exploring and debating ideas. It’s sometimes about provoking the older generation.
‘Looks like that isn’t so hard to do these days.’
Meanwhile, people are furious over the decision saying it is disrespectful.
Education secretary Gavin Williamson called the vote ‘absurd’.
He said: ‘She is the Head of State and a symbol of what is best about the UK.
‘During her long reign she has worked tirelessly to promote British values of tolerance, inclusivity and respect around the world.’
Last month, a library director at King’s College London apologized for causing ‘harm’.
It happened after he sent a photo of the prince opening its library, and people complained ‘because of his history of racist and sexist comments’.
Do you think the students are right to take the painting down or is it disrespectful?
Image via Alamy