A Twitter campaign urging Britons to help clean the streets ahead of the Queen’s 90th birthday has backfired, with organisers being accused of treating people as “peasants”.
#CleanForTheQueen was launched by Country Life magazine in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy, and was set up by Adrian Evans, who ran the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in 2012.
The movement describes itself as a “campaign to clear up Britain in time for Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday”, which will be officially celebrated in June.
“To celebrate [the Queen’s birthday], we want people throughout the UK to join together and present a gift to her, a gift that will benefit us all,” the campaign’s website said.
“In the run up to the Queen’s birthday on 21 April 2016, we aim to inspire a million people to take action and enjoy a few hours together litter-picking to make the places where we live more beautiful.”
But the initiative was not so well received, and the hashtag #CleanForTheQueen soon started trending for all the wrong reasons.
“Get outside my minions and #CleanForTheQueen I want those streets sparkling so I can ride my Golden Carriage,” user Celestine tweeted.
“Peasants! Serfs! Don’t look after your environment for your own sake do it for the biggest benefit claimant of them all. #CleanForTheQueen,” said Lesley Bremmer.
Others accused the campaign of trying to get people to do “unpaid serf work”, and the British republic movement also got in on the action, tweeting: “Instead of #CleanForTheQueen, we should clean up our democracy, ridding it of its hereditary and unelected positions once and for all.”
Others however defended the campaign — user Sam Tennant tweeted: “Why are people so angry about #CleanForTheQueen? Just pick up your rubbish cause you want a clean country and get tf over it.”