A screenshot appearing to show a social media post from former President Donald Trump saying he was secretly knighted by Queen Elizabeth II has gone viral on Twitter.
“I never told anybody but she knighted me in private,” the screenshot reads. One viral tweet containing the image has more than 45,000 likes.
There was no date on the alleged social media post’s screenshot, but the image went viral on Twitter on Sept. 9. Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8.
More from VERIFY: Fact-checking images of Queen Elizabeth II following her death
Did Donald Trump post on Truth Social that he was knighted in private by the queen?
No, Donald Trump did not post on Truth Social that he was knighted in private by the queen. That screenshot is fake.
WHAT WE FOUND
Liz Harrington, a spokesperson for Donald Trump, told the Associated Press the image of the Truth Social post is fake. Trump’s office didn’t reply to VERIFY’s request for comment by the time of publishing.
To further confirm the post’s inauthenticity, VERIFY analyzed Wayback Machine and Archive.Today archives from Trump’s Truth Social account since the queen died and found no evidence that the post about him secretly being knighted ever existed. Both sites are internet archiving tools that store snapshots of websites over time.
Since 2008, the British government has maintained an online list of people who have been honored with knighthood and damehood, and also those who have received other lesser honors by the queen. The London Gazette also has a list of honorees going back to 1940. Trump's name does not appear on any of those lists.
Every honor awarded by the queen was done during a public ceremony, known as an Investiture. There is no evidence anyone has ever been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II behind closed doors or without public acknowledgement.
About the honors process
To receive the full award of knighthood or damehood, a person needs to either be British or a resident of one of the Commonwealth realms that has the queen as its monarch.
An honors committee decides who is honored and which honor they will receive. The committee’s recommendations then go to the Prime Minister and then the monarch, who awards the honor. Prior to the queen’s death, the recipients were announced twice a year, on the queen’s birthday and on New Year’s Eve.
If someone living in one of the 15 commonwealth countries is honored, they can put “Sir” or “Dame” in front of their name.
That doesn’t mean the queen doesn't recognize anyone who wasn’t under her rule. A person recommended by the UK’s Foreign Office could be considered for a queen’s honor, but if they’re not British or a national where the queen was head of state, they would only be given an honorary award.
Here are some Americans who have received honorary awards from the queen:
- Steven Spielberg given the title of honorary knighthood in 2001
- Bill Gates received his honorary knighthood in 2005 and his wife, Melinda Gates, received her honorary damehood in 2014.
- Angelina Jolie was titled honorary dame in 2014
- Former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were titled Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath in 1993, the highest honorary rank a non-British citizen can receive.