Trump-supporting followers in the utterly debunked QAnon conspiracy theory have flocked to a far-right politician who claims to be Canada’s secret Queen.
Romana Didulo, the founder of the Trumpian “Canada First” party, has begun referring to herself as “Queen of Canada” and “Commander-in-Chief of Canada’s Armed Forces,” while issuing fatwas warning that anyone who is vaccinated against the novel coronavirus will be executed.
“At the firing squad, the military firing squad, you will receive not one, but two bullets on your forehead for each child that you have harmed as a result of injecting this experimental vaccine,” she recently told her followers via the Telegram video app. “So, when you go home tonight, think about how many bullets.”
Many QAnon members in Canada support Didulo, and many of them are harassing schools and companies that are still enforcing limitations like mask mandates to protect people from the unique coronavirus.
These followers also believe Didulo is planning behind-the-scenes killings of their political opponents, just as they believe Trump is planning behind-the-scenes unmasking of a global network of Satanic pedophiles.
Didulo, a 50-year-old British Columbia woman, has recently gained a following of tens of thousands of individuals who believe she was put in charge of the Great White North by the same forces that QAnon followers say are fighting the deep state in America. For the uninitiated, QAnon is a vast, massively untrue conspiracy centered on Donald Trump’s covert battle with a worldwide network of aristocratic pedophiles. Didulo was suddenly forced into her leadership role by a slew of well-known QAnon characters who helped anoint her as a leader and, in turn, sent a swarm of followers her way.
Despite the fact that her fan base is only a few weeks old, Didulo has encouraged her Canadian fans to take action. They’re in the process of filing hundreds of “cease and desist” notices, demanding that corporations, governments, and law enforcement agencies discontinue all pandemic-related operations. They’ve formed localized groups to mass-email their demands, deliver them by registered mail, or just go to stores or police stations to hand them out in person.
Last week, a particularly enraged group of conspiracy theorists in Cochrane, Alberta, distributed the warnings to over 30 companies. They decided to go to a K-8 school on June 10 and pass out the notices and anti-vax brochures while children were there. They were eventually ejected, and the Cochrane RCMP verified to VICE World News that two persons were issued trespassing charges as a result of their behavior. In a Telegram chat, the group expressed dissatisfaction with the police response and considered “bombarding” the school’s principal with letters.
Didulo has said that if the people who received the cease-and-desist orders from her followers break them, they will be executed.
To understand the volatility of her followers, you must first understand who they are following. Didulo is the “leader” of the Canada1st Party of Canada, an online political party that does not appear to have been officially registered anywhere but that Didulo has turned into a corporation. In late 2020, during the second wave of the pandemic, she began posting about the party and releasing films about her policies. The party, however, never took off, and she remained in obscurity for a long time.
Reportedly, Romana Didulo is an anagram for “I Am Our Donald,” which has only enhanced her credibility as a “leader” to the group.
All of that changed in May when she shifted tactics and rhetoric to fit numerous popular QAnon storylines. Her profile has been fast expanding since she was recognized by a few well-known QAnon individuals.
Her major channel, Telegram, currently has nearly 20,000 subscribers and a growing and engaged audience. A mix of QAnon believers, anti-lockdown extremists, and “sovereign citizens” make up the audience (people who think government laws do not apply to them, especially ones related to taxes). And she doesn’t have a passive audience.
“Hello, Canada, I’m Ramona Didulo, I’m the founder and leader of Canada1st. As of February this year, 2021, I am the head of state and commander in chief of Canada, the Republic,” she said in her announcement video. “The people who appointed me are the white hats and the U.S. military, together with the global allied troops and their governments—the same group of people who have helped President Trump.”
She communicates with her followers through Telegram posts or shaky videos in which she sits on a couch in front of a beige wall. Didulo declares herself not just the “head of state,” “commander in chief,” and “head of government” in a follow-up video to her inaugural declaration, but also the “Queen of Canada, replacing Queen Elizabeth II of England, who has since been executed for crimes against humanity.”
Didulo has faced some backlash as a result of her meteoric rise. Other conspiracy theorists have claimed in videos and blogs that she is a government “psyop” designed to derail the actual QAnon movement or that she is mentally ill. Didulo has replied to her detractors by threatening to murder anyone who lies about her or claims she has promoted firms or products.