Rebels with a Deer Park? Magdalen vs the Monarchy

On 8 June 2021, conservative news website Guido Fawkes broke the story that a student committee at Oxford’s Magdalen College had voted to remove a portrait of the queen from its graduate common room.[1] One might think the interior decorating decisions of seventeen postgrads scarcely a matter of national importance, and that a bit of mild anti-royal symbolism would not be anathema to a publication named after Britain’s most infamous attempted regicide. Nonetheless, the students’ decision was condemned as totalitarian treachery (“Stalin would be proud”), and in the following days other pundits and politicians joined the pile-on; the Times, the Daily Mail