Police arrested the leader of anti-monarchy group, Republic, and 51 others at King Charles’s coronation on Saturday, saying their duty to prevent disruption outweighed the right to protest.
Hundreds of yellow-clad demonstrators gathered among the 10-deep crowds lining the procession route in central London to stand out from those clad in red, white and blue, and to hold up signs saying “Not My King”.
- Republic said its leader, Graham Smith, had been detained before the procession began and photos circulated on social media showing police officers seizing demonstrators’ placards.
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In a statement, Commander Karen Findlay of the London Metropolitan police said the police understands public concern following the arrests made, but there had been a significant police operation over the preceding 24 hours, following information received that protesters were determined to disrupt the Coronation procession.
Republic had vowed to mount the biggest protest against a British monarch in modern history and protesters booed as King Charles and Queen Camilla made their way to Westminster Abbey, and as the service was relayed publicly on large speakers.