03/08/2023 By Peyton Benbow
Upon arriving at the Colchester Church of Christ in Essex, On Tuesday morning, King Charles and his wife Queen Consort Camila were met with loud shouting from two sides. One side supported the Crown shouting “God Save the King,” and the other protested the coronation and the royal family.
The royal couple visited Colchester in Essex, England, to memorialize its new status as a city— visiting zoos, libraries, and churches. After the church visit, His Highness and his wife ignored the yellow placards stating, “Not My King!,” as they waved and entered Colchester Castle. They ignored boos again at Colchester library. One protestor with a megaphone called out, “Answer your critics Charles. Come and talk to your critics Charles! Why are you wasting our money?”.
These protestors were members of the anti-monarchist group Republic, headed by organizer Graham Smith, which has seen new growth in funding and membership since the Queen’s death in September 2022. The group is campaigning for a new election process for the head of state; transforming the Royal institution.
The group’s website states, “We want to see the monarchy abolished and the King replaced with an elected, democratic head of state.” Graham told ABC News that the group held $100k in 2020; now, they have $286k, with $70k coming in following the Queen’s death. This funding derives from merch sales, generally from individuals. Their slogans include “bring down the crown” and “#NotMyKing.”
This comes weeks after a crowd of between 12 and 20 Republic protestors arrived at the Church of Christ the Cornerstone in Milton Keynes in southeast England. The couple paid no mind to the shouting and continued to greet locals.
In November 2022, several eggs were thrown at the King in York England, and His Highness barely reacted to the incident. The following month in York, one egg hit His Highness, and he continued to shake hands with his supporters.
The coronation is set for May 6 in Westminster Abbey in London, and members of the Republic group have planned a series of protests along King Charles’ route. They will be the oldest King & Queen Consort crowned, and the coronation is an estimated $100 million, while the U.K. cost of living is increasingly high.