A group of anti-monarchy protesters staged a demonstration against the king on the exact spot he will be crowned.
Charles III’s coronation will take place on Saturday, 6 May in a ceremony due to take place at Westminster Abbey. He became the new monarch following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September last year but will officially be coronated in just over a month’s time.
Republic, a group campaigning to bring an end to the monarchy in Britain, staged a protest at the abbey in London on Thursday (23 March). The activisits stood on the spot Charles will be crowned and unfurled a banner featuring the slogan: “Would you vote for him?”
The protest at Westminster Abbey is the latest in a series of demonstrations and stunts organised by Republic. Here is all you need to know:
What have Republic said about the protest?
Graham Smith, speaking for the campaign group, said: “There is no symbol that better represents the fundamental travesty of our democracy than the coronation throne in Westminster Abbey On 6 May, Charles will hold a pointless parade designed to shore up his position as unelected head of state.
“Without any consultation with the people, without a single vote being cast. That is a tragedy in itself, but what makes it worse is the fact that it is Charles - a petty and corrupt individual, who would stand no chance of winning a free and fair election.
“That’s why today we raised a banner on that exact spot, asking what should be the least controversial question in a true democracy: ‘Would you really vote for this person to be our head of state?’
“Growing numbers of people around the UK look forward to the day when we look back and wonder what took us so long to abolish this ridiculous, undemocratic and corrupt institution.”
What is Republic?
Republic is a group who is campaigning to “see the monarchy abolished and the King replaced with an elected, democratic head of state”. The anti-monarchist protesters want to see Britain have a head of state selected by “the people”.
On its website, Republic explains: “It’s simple: Hereditary public office goes against every democratic principle. And because we can’t hold the King and his family to account at the ballot box, there’s nothing to stop them abusing their privilege, misusing their influence or simply wasting our money.
“Meanwhile, the monarchy gives vast arbitrary power to the government, shutting voters out from major decisions affecting the national interest. The King can only ever act in the interests of the government of the day and does not represent ordinary voters.
“The monarchy is a broken institution. A head of state that’s chosen by us could really represent our hopes and aspirations – and help us keep politicians in check.”
Will Republic protest the coronation?
On its website, Republic is urging people to pledge to protest the coronation on 6 May. A protest is due to take place in London, which is where King Charles will be crowned.