Yesterday, 13th March, was Commonwealth Day, and King Charles and other Royals attended a multi-cultural, multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey.
Outside, among the tourists and a small number of supporters, various groups and individuals protested. Real Media interviewed a woman who had turned up with a banner that said Slavery, Empire, “Bloodline”. She spoke about the historic racism instituted and propagated by the bloodline of the monarchy, and said that in the 21st Century it’s time our institutions and laws reflected that we are all born equal.
More than a dozen supporters of the Republic campaign group made their presence known, with the message “Not My King” spelled out on large yellow placards. We spoke to the group’s founder, Graham Smith, who told us the movement is growing, the opinion polls are changing, and the time for an elected Head of State is coming fast.
He pointed at the corruption of the current institution – a monarch accused of importing three million Euros in cash from a Qatari dictator – paying no tax on a £650 million inheritance – defending his dodgy brother Andrew, and a family costing the UK more than £345 million a year.
He also noted that Charles refuses to answer questions, hides behind a press team and palace gates, and has more secrecy surrounding his affairs than MI5.
Commonwealth protesters were present too. A large group from Uganda calling for the monarch to stand up for LGBT rights (which Graham Smith says he has never done), and another group from Cameroon highlighting thousands held and tortured by the dictatorship there.
State television obviously covered the pomp and ceremony and ignored the protesters, but there was very few supporters at the event, and Graham Smith’s project to abolish the monarchy, beginning with a huge protest at the Coronation on May 6th, may have gain considerable support with the absence of the popular ‘national treasure’ that was Queen Elizabeth.