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Jason Asenso
By Jason Asenso July 23, 2021

Queen Elizabeth did not kidnap 10 children from a Canadian school

If Your Time is short

  • Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip never visited the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

  • The alleged arrest warrant originated from an unrecognized court and conspiracy website.

A Facebook post falsely claims that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have been found guilty for kidnapping native children.

The July 20 post is a rehash of a long-debunked claim: "After nearly a year of litigation, Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, were found guilty in the disappearance of 10 native children from the Catholic-run Kamloops residential school in British Columbia. An arrest warrant was issued by six judges of the International Common Law Court of Justice in Brussels." 

This is not true.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

This claim stems from news in May that the remains of over 215 children were discovered near the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.

The Kamloops school was one of many in the Canadian residential school system, and it operated from 1890 to 1978, becoming the largest residential school in Canada with enrollment peaking at 500 in the 1950s. 

But there is no evidence that Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip had anything to do with the discovery — or the school.

The earliest claim of abduction that we found was a letter republished by an anonymous community member on the Daily Kos in 2010. In it, a supposed former student named William Arnold Combes alleged that the Queen and Prince Philip both visited the Kamloops Indian Residential School in 1964. According to Combes, the royal couple had a picnic with some of the children there and he "saw the Queen leave that picnic with ten children from the school, and those children never returned."

But the story has not been substantiated. 

There is no evidence that Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip ever visited the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Queen Elizabeth is the Canadian head of state, so the royal family’s visits to Canada are well documented. British Columbia’s website indicates that the royal couple has only visited the city of Kamloops together once in 1959, and Prince Philip visited the city alone in 1983. 

Featured Fact-check

The entity called the "International Common Law Court of Justice" is not a legally recognized court. It was created by Kevin Annett, a former Presbyterian minister who in 2018 was denounced by his former church as a conspiracy theorist in a press statement

In the statement, the United Church of Canada wrote, "Annett is able to attract attention because he hides behind a single truth: that the Canadian Indian residential school system was abusive, unjust and destructive of indigenous culture."

Furthermore, there is no evidence of the arrest warrant allegedly issued by the six judges in Annett’s "court." If the Queen of England were found guilty in court of any crime, it would be international news. 

Annett has propagated other conspiracies on his blog site for years, including one that suggested Canada criminalized measures that would prevent the spread of COVID-19 — a claim PolitiFact rated False. 

Annett’s site also alleges that a whistleblower alerted the media of the remains of the children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, even though the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation revealed the findings in a press release.

Residential schools in Canada were established by the Canadian government in the 1880s to forcefully assimilate Indigenous children into Canadian culture. They are now understood to have been places where children were subjected to abuse premised on what was termed "cultural genocide" in a 2015 report by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  

​​"Not every school had violence, but every school had the purpose of exterminating the culture of [Indigenous] children, and in some cases the life of those children," said Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, a professor in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. "The entire system itself is an assimilatory system based on violence." 

Our ruling

A Facebook post claimed that Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip were found guilty in the disappearance of ten native children from the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

There is no evidence that Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip had ever visited the residential school. There is no trace of the alleged arrest warrant. And the court that allegedly issued this warrant is not a legally recognized court, but the creation of a conspiracy theorist.

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

Our Sources

First Nations Studies Program at the University of British Columbia, Indigenous Foundations: The Residential School System, accessed July 21, 2021

New York Times,Canada’s Forced Schooling of Aboriginal Children Was ‘Cultural Genocide,’ Report Finds, June 2, 2015

Snopes, About That Rumor The Queen Abducted Indigenous Children in Kamloops, Canada, June 8, 2021

Pacific Mountain Regional Council of The United Church of Canada, Kevin Annett and the United Church, Oct. 2018

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015

Province of British Columbia, Royal Tour Timeline, accessed July 21,2021

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, Press release on Kamloops, May 27, 2021

Email interview with Niigaan Sinclair, professor in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba, July 22, 2021

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Queen Elizabeth did not kidnap 10 children from a Canadian school

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