One Dumb Conspiracy is a weekly column that debunks the mostly wild conspiracy theories swirling around the web and runs on Mondays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.
Let us crawl the web for you. Subscribe to web_crawlr here.
A rumor spreading across social media claims that former President Donald Trump was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in secret prior to her death. Yet the claim was entirely fabricated.
Just days after the Queen’s death, a popular Twitter user alleged that Trump said he had been knighted by the monarch in private and cited a U.S. media outlet as proof. The tweet quickly racked up more than 7,000 shares, over 45,000 likes, and was met with a wide-range of reactions.
Many users appeared to see the tweet as satire and shared their own versions of the apparent joke. Others believed that Trump had actually made the claim and expressed anger at the former president.
“So Trump said he was knighted secretly by the Queen,” one Twitter user wrote. “Did he become Sir Donald of Beefaroni? Sir Donald of Lies, Despair and Corruption? Or Sir Donald of Failure and Loss?”
Shortly after, a screenshot began circulating on Twitter purporting to show Trump actually making the claim in a post on Truth Social.
“I never told anybody but she knighted me in private,” the alleged post from Trump read.
Numerous users appeared convinced that the screenshot was legitimate.
“Donald Trump took to his fake news social media app Truth Social in the wake of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and created a new lie, bragging that the Queen secretly knighted him,” another Twitter user said. “As usual, bragging about himself instead of mourning for her family. An absolute disgrace.”
But the screenshot was entirely fabricated. Analysis of Trump’s profile on Truth Social as well as archives showed that the post never existed. Unsurprisingly, MSNBC never reported on any such story either.
Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington also confirmed in a statement to Lead Stories that the former president never made the claim.
The false rumor was just one of dozens made in the wake of the Queen’s death. In fact, the death revived a QAnon conspiracy theory that Trump would be crowned the king of England. That claim is also not true.
Why it matters
Major world events are always a prime target for those looking to spread false claims.
The rumor regarding the alleged knighthood of Trump was perfectly crafted to enrage his opponents while making his supporters believe that he was a widely revered world figure.