coronation of king charles iii
Amid the sea of Union Jacks, demonstrators filled the air with a chorus of boos Saturday at King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s coronation.
The elaborate royal procession was heckled by anti-monarch protestors who joined the crowd of onlookers watching the parade on Saturday.
“Down with the crown!” many among the masses shouted as the carriage rolled past, armed with blinding yellow signs and shirts.
“Not my King!” they yelled, stationed among the hoards of Brits lining the central London streets.
Several protestors were arrested before the ceremony this morning, but members of the group told CNN that the Metropolitan Police did not cite reasons why.
At 7 a.m. local time, officers detained and searched six demonstrators who are members of Republic – a group aimed at abolishing the monarchy – the organization’s director Harry Stratton told CNN.
Among the small group detained was Republic’s chief executive Graham Smith, according to footage shared on Twitter by the Alliance of European Republican Movements.
“They’re under arrest, end of, OK?” an officer said in the video that has since received 3.4 million views online.
Stratton told the outlet that officers who were asked why the group was being detained allegedly said police would “figure it out” after they were searched.
“They didn’t say why they were arresting them. They didn’t tell them or us where they were taking them. It really is like something out of a police state,” Stratton said.
“I think people are quite perturbed by the police reaction. But the crowd reaction to us has been overwhelmingly friendly,” he continued.
Law enforcement officers reportedly seized the group’s bright yellow posters baring the slogan “Not My King.”
“So much for the right to peaceful protest,” Republic, which had planned an organized demonstration on Trafalgar Square, posted on Twitter. In a subsequent post, the group accused law enforcement of barring protestors from joining the demonstration.
Saturday morning, the Metropolitan Police took to Twitter to announce a number of arrests that took place in various locations.
The force listed “suspicion of breaching the peace,” “suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance” and “suspicion of possessing articles to cause criminal damage” as reasons for the arrests.
Earlier this week, a controversial public order bill came into effect just in time for the coronation, allowing police “to take stronger action” against protestors, according to CNN.
On Tuesday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman condemned protests by the “selfish minority,” arguing that their actions ruin the public’s lives.
“The public shouldn’t have their daily lives ruined by so called ‘eco-warriors’ causing disruption and wasting millions of pounds of taxpayer money,” she said in a statement.
“The selfish minority must not be allowed to get away with this. We are giving our police and courts the tools they need to stop this chaos and I back them in making full use of these powers.”
The King’s coronation cost an estimated $63 million to $125 million – millions more than Queen Elizabeth II’s in 1953.
The day’s festivities include the “king’s procession” and a Windsor Castle concert by Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, while upped security is believed to be one of the reasons behind the hefty price tag. The royal extravaganza has been described as “scaled back,” due to its “shorter,” “smaller, less expensive and more representative” ceremony.
But some Brits argue that taxpayers shouldn’t be the steamrollers for the historical event, citing the current cost-of-living crisis across the UK.