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The rise of Romana Didulo, self described ‘Queen of Canada’, and what she’s up to now

To Romana Didulo’s followers, the Queen of Canada doesn’t live in a British palace – she’s in the rural village of Richmound, Sask.

Surrounded by farmland about 450 kilometres west of Regina near the Alberta border, Richmound has a population of just over 100. Since September 2023, it has also been home to Didulo and a group of her followers, leading to protests and heated confrontations with locals.

CTV W5 visited Richmound to learn more about the self-described “Queen of Canada.”

Didulo is a leading figure in the QAnon conspiracy movement, and has promoted the murder of police, politicians and those who oppose her.

“I have also said that there is no more politics and no more politicians,” Didulo decreed in one of her videos. “I said, you can blow up all of the legislature buildings in Canada.”

Didulo has also told Canadians to stop paying their taxes and bills, while promoting secret cure-all technology and threatening those who administer COVID-19 vaccines.

“For each child that you have harmed you will receive not one, but two bullets on your forehead,” Didulo said in another video. “Think very, very carefully before you touch that needle.”

The former school in Richmound, Sask. where Romana Didulo and her followers are living (CTV W5)

After an invitation from a Richmound resident who owns a former school, Didulo and about eight others started living at the property. Rolande Davis’s house is directly across the street.

“My daughter won’t come with her kids,” Davis told W5. “I would have never dreamed I would have a cult living in my backyard.”

Didulo says she immigrated to Canada from the Philippines, where her parents died when she was young. After being involved in several businesses, she emerged as a public figure during the COVID-19 pandemic when she founded her Canada1st Party to “clean up the swamp” in Ottawa.

Didulo further rose to prominence during the 2022 Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa, where she railed against vaccines and pandemic mandates, called for the end of elections and burned a Canadian flag. Didulo and her group were soon travelling the country in a convoy of RVs to spread their message.

“I think she has more, amongst conspiracy theorists, if you will, more influence than anyone I can think of,” Christina Sarteschi, a criminology and social work professor at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, told W5.

Romana Didulo further rose to prominence during the 2022 Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa, where she railed against vaccines and pandemic mandates (CTV W5)

Sarteschi, who studies extremist groups, has been monitoring Didulo for two years. She says the group could be considered a cult.

“She has talked about being from the planet Arcturus, so there’s an alien element to this,” Sarteschi explained. “She thinks that she has been sent here sort of in a divine way from god, master creator… and that she has been sent here to save people.”

Didulo does not shy away from claims like these in online videos.

“The Arcturians are the most advanced, like the Yoda,” she has said. “I am not a dictator. I am guided by the highest divine beings and I am here to deliver peace and prosperity.”

Richmound residents began protesting Didulo’s presence in October, which caused more of her followers and some of their children to arrive at the fenced-off former school, where they declared an oath of sovereignty to their queen.

One Richmound resident told W5 that her father even stopped paying his bills because of Didulo.

“I have watched people post videos of themselves getting taken out by the bailiff because they have lost their homes,” Sarteschi from Chatham University said. “I’ve seen court records where people are in foreclosure because they believed in her ideas and really believed that they didn’t have to pay their taxes, their mortgage, and then they’re literally on the streets or they’re living in their cars.”

A town hall in Richmound, Sask. where residents voiced concerns over the presence of Didulo and her followers (CTV W5)

‘We’re running out of ideas’: mayor

Didulo’s group has also allegedly sent threatening letters to Richmound residents and officials like Mayor Brad Miller, who fears Didulo or her supporters could run for town council.

“We keep the drapes closed now and our doors are always locked, double-checked,” Miller told W5. “Somebody’s got to help us out, we’re running out of ideas.”

The RCMP met with local residents in October 2023. Police have said that while they are monitoring the group and investigating alleged death threats, they cannot lay charges or remove people from private property unless there is harassment or an imminent threat.

W5 interviewed the RCMP’s commanding officer in Saskatchewan, Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore.

“At this point in time, we have no indication that there’s any imminent threat. We would certainly notify the public if there was an imminent threat, but we have no indication of that,” Blackmore told W5.

“We’re monitoring the situation and making sure that if there is any indication of criminal activity, that we will be there and we will investigate that thoroughly.”

W5 was also able to speak to former follower Kim Churchill.

“I didn’t recognize it as a cult until I got back,” Churchill said. “When you’re in [an] abusive relationship, you know, they want you isolated, they don’t want you talking to friends and family, they control your every move, manipulate you.”

Didulo did not respond to several requests for an interview.

You can learn more about the tensions in Richmound by watching the full W5 documentary, ‘The Cult Queen’, Saturday at 7 p.m. on CTV

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