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Hologram of the Queen displayed at a parade in the United Kingdom

The sight of crowds cheering a hologram version of the Queen inside a 260-year-old golden horse-drawn coach was definitely one of the weirder moments of Britain’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this weekend.

Comments on social media showed that many viewers found the spectacle surreal or dystopian – and the ostentatious pageantry laid on to transport a mere representation of the monarch jarringly out of touch, at a time millions of British households are struggling to make ends meet.

But it was COVID truthers who really got their wheels spinning over the footage, interpreting the hologram queen as confirmation of their most extreme conspiracy theory-infused beliefs.

Many seemed to think the hologram gimmick was an attempt to trick the public into thinking it was actually the Queen in the coach – rather than a deliberate production decision showcasing archival footage of a younger Elizabeth, riding in the same coach, during her coronation in 1953.

Some claimed it proved their theory that the Queen was actually dead, and had been for some time – along with other world leaders, like the Pope.

“Will the truth ever come out she’s been dead for over two years?” wrote one user on a conspiracist Telegram channel run by Jennifer Arcuri, the alleged former lover of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has become an influencer in the COVID truther scene.

“Death date 5 Dec 2019, allegedly. Hologram version is a message to the masses, preparing them,” wrote another on the channel.

That comment was one of many claiming the hologram was a creepy exercise in manipulating the vaccinated masses by sinister elites – or an effort to “prime” the public for a dystopian near-future in which the powerful enslave humanity with science fiction-like technologies.

“They’re priming the masses to accept the notion that they can upload their consciousness to the cloud to facilitate a mass genocide,” wrote one Twitter user.

“We are being conditioned by the enemy to engage with holograms,” wrote another. “This entire ritual is to indoctrinate us into accepting holograms as a reasonable alternative to human presence – to facilitate emotional investment in holograms and other artificial immersive constructs.”

Many also referenced a longstanding conspiracy theory known as Blue Beam , which falsely claims that NASA and the United Nations are working on using powerful technologies to project simulation images to spread a new religion, and bring humanity under its complete control in a New World Order.

Belief in conspiracy theories has surged during the pandemic, with huge numbers of people going down rabbit holes of COVID misinformation to immerse themselves in online conspiracist networks. They typically believe that the pandemic is being orchestrated by supposed elites, embodied in institutions like the World Economic Forum or World Health Organisation, to bring about a new world order or carry out a genocide through the COVID vaccine.

The Queen was absent from some of the jubilee celebrations of her 70-year reign due to experiencing “some discomfort,” according to Buckingham Palace, although she made an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the end of Sunday’s Jubilee Pageant. That brief appearance was unlikely to dissuade COVID truthers of their conspiracist worldview, though.

“Hologram or real lizard, it’s nonsense,” wrote one.

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