On September 10 2022, two days after Queen Elizabeth II’s death, an enormously popular social media rumor suggested that former United States President Donald Trump said that she had secretly knighted him; one very popular tweet attributed the claim to MSNBC:
Trump claims Queen Elizabeth knighted him privately. MSNBC.
— Michael Grossman (@MichaelArt123) September 10, 2022
When I saw Trump's announcement that he had been 'secretly knighted', I assumed it was a parody account…no one is that stupid. I stand corrected, Sir Donald is definitely that stupid. #TrumpIsALaughingStockCurrent Events: Donald Trump Mourns the Loss of Queen Elizabeth II #shorts #newsCurrent Events: Donald Trump Mourns...
— Larry Underwood: "Taking A Stand Against Trumpism" (@lau56) September 11, 2022
Other references were merely in passing:
So Trump said he was knighted secretly by the Queen. Did he become Sir Donald of Beefaroni? Sir Donald of Lies,Despair and Corruption? Or Sir Donald of Failure and Loss?
— Jeff Thompson (@jeff_thompson) September 10, 2022
Of the two tweets embedded above, one cited a news network (MSNBC) as a source for the claim, but offered no link. The second suggested that the claim originated with Trump, and still others shared what they said was a screenshot of Trump’s purported claim:
Under the former President’s name and handle (@realDonaldTrump), the statement read:
I never told anybody, but she knighted me in private.
Twitter account Alistair Coleman shared the above image, explaining that Trump’s Truth Social profile showed no evidence that the claim had ever been posted there:
I’ve gone and looked on Truth Social to see if Donald Trump posted this claim that he was secretly knighted by the Queen. Either it’s been deleted, or he never posted it at all.
His timeline is heavy with pictures of him and Her Majesty, but there’s no trace of this post.
As we have noted in other fact checks, fabricated commentary attributed to Trump (and those affiliated with him) was rife on social media in the months leading up to the 2022 U.S. midterm elections. A “posting spree” on Trump’s profile was primarily viewed through screenshots on other platforms, and an apparently fabricated fundraising email circulated in that time period, as well.
On September 11 2022, Associated Press reported that no evidence of the post appeared on Truth Social, nor was it in any archived copies of the app’s posts. The story added that the attribution to MSNBC appeared to be meritless, too:
There is no evidence that MSNBC reported such a claim either. No story making that assertion can be found on MSNBC’s website, and a search of MSNBC TV transcripts on LexisNexis and the Internet Archive also yielded no mentions of the claim.
On September 12 2022, LeadStories published a fact check and noted:
Lead Stories reached out to Liz Harrington, a spokeswoman for Trump. On September 12, 2022, she denied that this post was real, saying via email:
He did not post this, thank you.
On September 10 2022, a circulating rumor held that former United States President Donald Trump claimed that Queen Elizabeth II had knighted him “in private,” with some iterations including a screenshot of a Truth Social post attributed to Trump. In actuality, the claim was false — Trump did not say that he had been knighted, secretly or otherwise.