The so-called QAnon Queen of Canada, Romana Didulo (image via Telegram)
Followers of the so-called QAnon Queen of Canada have, at her behest, stopped paying their bills and mortgages and even tried to arrest an entire police department. But now she has issued perhaps her most violent decree yet: shooting migrants. Romana Didulo, whose followers believe she’s the true leader of the world and waging a war against the “deep state,” issued a notice to her followers on Feb. 6 regarding “migrant caravans from South America.” In it, she told her followers to take action in their own hands if they see migrants.
“IF they insist upon crossing the border into the Kingdom of Canada...Consider them all invaders and occupiers,” she wrote on Telegram. “They are paid by the Cabals / Deepstaters/ Blackhats Globalists to create chaos and destabilize our Kingdom like they have done in the EU. Shoot them [on] site.” Her followers, as they typically do, celebrated Didulo’s latest proclamation and supported it wholeheartedly. Most just thanked Didulo for “protecting” their country, but a select few leaned into the proposed violence. “I'll quite happily take up a job at the border shooting illegals,” one of her followers wrote on response. “Men, women, or children, I'd shoot them all.”Romana Didulo did not respond to a request for comment to clarify her statement. Roxham Road, a border crossing between Quebec and New York has long been a focal point for the far-right. But a recent rash of stories about the migrants arriving at the crossing after boarding a bus paid for by officials from New York Mayor Eric Adams’ administration has created fresh controversy. After her recent proclamation, Didulo’s followers quickly mentioned Roxham Road by name. Several of her followers even suggested killing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alongside the migrants. Didulo rose to her position as a fringe figure in the QAnon conspiracy movement by convincing her followers she’s an active participant in the Q conspiracy and has built a dedicated following. Experts have even said her following has the hallmarks of a cult.
For over a year now, she has been touring Canada in a convoy of RVs with a collection of her closest followers. Since departing Victoria, British Columbia, she has fundraised hundreds of thousands of dollars from her followers, some of whom can’t afford much. Followers who previously traveled with Didulo have alleged abuse at the hands oft their leader, such as using their bank accounts as her own, death threats, limiting when they can eat and sleep, and playing the Boney M song Rasputin on repeat for hours on end.A thirst for and celebration of violence exists at the heart of Didulo's following and the greater QAnon movement in general. Didulo’s followers routinely call for executions of political figures, journalists, or other enemies and celebrate the ones Didulo has convinced them she’s carried out (like President Joe Biden, for example). Didulo’s audience didn’t flinch at her suggesting the mass murder of migrants, primarily because they’ve been desensitized to it. Experts, however, told VICE News they aren't worried about the vast majority of Didulo’s followers taking up arms against migrants, but some, especially those suffering from mental health issues or already close to violence, may only need an extra push. “She's basically calling on her followers to commit what amounts to a violent act against a separate group of people," said Alex Mendela who monitors QAnon as an associate analyst at Alethea, a technology company that analyzes misinformation. "She's demonizing them to a certain extent and dehumanizing them for sure. Whenever those two things happen hand in hand, along with desensitized violence, what you're concerned about is somebody within the community taking it perhaps a little bit more seriously than the messenger intended for it.”
Didulo’s following has also exhibited extreme dedication to implementing her decrees in the past. Some have stopped paying their mortgages or utility bills at her behest and racked up debt. Others have gone door to door and handed out “cease and desist” orders—which threatened arrests and executions—on behalf of their queen. Most dramatically, a large group attempted to “citizen’s arrest” a police precinct in Peterborough, which led to the arrest of multiple followers. “Though concerning, what has always made Romana Didulo unique is not the size of her following, her beliefs, or even the very explicit calls for violence. It might feel somewhat remarkable that anyone believes some of the claims she makes but since 2021, Didulo has shown a remarkable ability to mobilize the people who follow her into real-life action,” Peter Smith, a reporter with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network who has covered Didulo, told VICE News. “This is the troubling pattern when it comes to ‘Queen Romana,’ her claims and edicts might seem like fantasies from the outside, but can spell real-world harm for those who try to enact them,” Smith said. “Meanwhile, she gets to just drive away into the sunset.”In a similar edict to her recent comments about migrants, Didulo encouraged a group of her followers, which she called “duck hunters,” to attack healthcare workers vaccinating children in Nov. 2021, and they created a secret group where they awaited for her command to strike. At least one man in the group was arrested in Quebec after he threatened his daughter's school upon learning it was vaccinating students.
Following the “duck hunter” incident, Didulo was picked up by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for a wellness check. The RCMP has sealed the court records but Didulo claims she was released after being cleared by a psychiatrist. She now uses her freedom to prove that she’s “not crazy.” Following the RCMP action, however, Didulo’s rhetoric markedly softened. The woman who once promised “two bullets for every Canadian child you injected” became much vaguer in her threats and leaned into conspiracies regarding parallel dimensions and extraterrestrials. That rhetoric, however, has returned. Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.