Shortly after Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September 2022, the campaign group Republic called the automatic accession of King Charles ‘an affront to democracy’. Now, they have promised ‘large protests’ at King Charles’s coronation.
An ‘expensive pantomime’
According to Reuters, British anti-monarchists believe that the King’s coronation is a ‘slap in the face’ for most Britons who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
Indeed, Republic has been preparing its ‘coronation campaign’ since the Queen’s death. The first of its actions was to put up 20 billboards across England and Scotland with the hashtag #NotMyKing on them.
Republic’s chief executive Graham Smith said:
Charles is already king. There is absolutely no need to go through with this expensive pantomime.
The campaign group has reportedly contacted the Metropolitan police to discuss plans to hold ‘peaceful and meaningful’ protests in Parliament Square, near Westminster Abbey.
In a statement, Smith said:
The coronation is a celebration of hereditary power and privilege; it has no place in a modern society.
At a cost of tens of millions of pounds, this pointless piece of theatre is a slap in the face for millions of people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
The CEO believes that if the King were sincere about modernising the monarchy, he would do away with the ceremony altogether, as did Sweden and Norway over a century ago.
‘On a slow puncture’
Anti-monarchists have claimed King Charles could be the last King of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth due to the declining support the British public has for the Sovereign. A YouGov poll seems to back up the anti-monarchists’ theory, as less than 50% of British people say they are proud of the monarchy.
Smith believes this is due to the direct implication King Charles and Prince William have in the crises the monarchy is currently facing:
Charles is implicated in all of this, William is implicated in all of this. And there isn’t anybody else. It’s just that difficult odd monarch who doesn’t gather a lot of sympathies.
Where people projected that notion of stability onto the Queen and confidence in her being a monarch, I don’t think they have confidence in Charles in the same way.
In his press release confirming the group’s intentions to protest, Smith said:
Support for the monarchy is on a slow puncture, with net approval ratings dropping sharply over recent weeks.
The group’s campaign also centres on what they wish to replace the monarchy with. The CEO says the protests will carry a single message.