Republic activists plan to protest coronation of King Charles III
As the UK gets ready for the coronation of King Charles III, a group known as the Republic plans to mark the historic occasion with a protest. Wearing yellow T-shirts that read “Abolish the monarchy,” this pressure group is advocating for the replacement of the traditional monarchy with an elected head of state.
While Republic supporters in Britain have often been labelled as a fringe group, their voices have become louder since Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. Charles, who inherited the crown automatically, has encountered protesters carrying signs saying, “Not my king!” In recent times, the public’s critical views of the political system extend beyond just the royal family to include the government and parliament.
Despite the louder republican movement, it still lacks substantial political backing. Yet, with 130,000 members, Republic is using social media to mobilize its base and expand its numbers. “Not my king” placards have started appearing more frequently, a sight that was almost unimaginable during Elizabeth’s reign.
Although a recent YouGov poll demonstrated that most Britons (58%) support the monarchy, Republic chief executive, Graham Smith, views it as nothing more than “tepid” support. He believes that people may be attending the coronation merely for its historic significance, rather than an inherent sense of royalism.
Republicans are targeting younger audiences for support, as the YouGov poll revealed that only 32% of those aged between 18 and 24 years old supported the monarchy. This is contrasted with 38% who preferred an elected head of state. However, Sean Lang, a history professor at Anglia Ruskin University, argues that the youth have never been particularly enthusiastic about the monarchy, and republicans shouldn’t assume that a lack of interest signifies the end of the monarchy.
Rather than viewing their goals as radical, modern republicans see their proposals as based on the principles of democracy. They want a fully elected parliament and an elected head of state while introducing a written constitution that clearly defines the separation of powers. Their focus is on winning over the public’s support and eventually pushing for a referendum on the issue.
On coronation day, Republic expects around 1,000 supporters at Trafalgar Square, chanting “Not my king” as Charles passes by. However, they have stated they have no plans to disrupt the procession itself.
Many republic supporters, like Ryan King, believe that funds could be better allocated to a more democratic system than on traditional royal ceremonies.
“Parading a gold carriage through the capital isn’t going to solve any of these problems.”
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