The Queen’s first openly gay footman has reportedly stepped down after his popularity on gay news sites and social media caused him to get demoted.

Ollie Roberts, a 21-year-old from Wales, served in the Royal Air Force before joining Her Majesty’s group of royal footmen. When he blew up on the Internet, though, Roberts was demoted to an ordinary footman, meaning he was stripped of some responsibilities and could no longer be seen near the Queen in public.

An anonymous royal insider told The Sun U.K. that Roberts attracted too much buzz in the LGBTQ media circuit, and that his profile had “become too high” and he wasn’t in the position to “draw attention to himself.”

“He thought about it for a couple of days [and] then decided he should quit,” they told the news site. “He feels badly let down when he was proud to be gay in such a good job.”


Roberts’ demotion for attracting the attention of queer media comes more than a year after Queen Elizabeth II promised to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community. This is the same Queen who gave the Royal Family’s assent on England and Wales’ 2013 decision to legalize marriage equality, though, so allyship has been an important part of her reign.

Roberts had previously shared images of himself at his post in Buckingham Palace on Instagram. However, he deleted his account after news of his resignation began to spread.

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