Anti-monarchist plan to disrupt King Charles's coronation

Anti-monarchist plan to disrupt King Charles's coronation

April 18, 2023

EXCLUSIVE – The anti-monarchist plan to disrupt King Charles’s coronation: Republican group plotting protest along procession route down The Mall as they call on thousands to wave yellow ‘Not My King’ banners on monarch’s historic day

  • An anti-monarchist campaign is encouraging people to protest the coronation 
  • Republic instructs supporters to wear yellow and to line The Mall with placards

The anti-monarchist plot to disrupt King Charles’s coronation next month can be revealed by MailOnline today.

Republic, a group which has openly called for the abolition of the monarchy and its replacement with an elected head of state, is planning a demonstration along The Mall on May 6, the day of the historic ceremony.

In a page on their website, the protesters are calling on thousands to don yellow t-shirts and wave placards reading ‘Not My King’ at a gathering in Trafalgar Square from 6am, before moving to the procession route between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey later that morning.

The group is led by Graham Smith, an activist who accused the BBC of breaching impartiality in its coverage of the royal family. 

Protests against the coronation are being planned across the UK, especially in capitals.  In Cardiff, the Not My King protest, organised by Campaign for a Welsh Republic, plan to meet at the Aneurin Bevan statue at 12.30pm, to march to Bute Park.  The demonstration will be followed by what the campaign describe as a ‘BIG REPUBLICAN LUNCH’.  

In Scotland, a march for independence is planned to run concurrently with the coronation in Glasgow.  A simultaneous protest will be held in Edinburgh at the National Monument of Scotland, with more than 250 people already saying they are interested in going. 

Republic has issued this map to reveal where it will be demonstrating in London on May 6

Republic has produced this publicity image to encourage people to join its protest on May 6

The republican group claims to have the support of more than 80,000 people

Republic’s website instructs potential republican demonstrators to pledge that they will protest. 

Meet three of the team involved in Republic 

GRAHAM SMITH, chief executive


Graham Smith, 48, is possibly the most well-known republican in Britain, and he has campaigned against the monarchy for 20 years. His group, Republic, was set up in 1983 but has gained momentum and supporters in recent years after being formally set up as a limited company in 2006. He recently labelled King Charles as ‘just a bloke in a suit who’s spending lots of our money’ but admitted heckling the Queen ‘wouldn’t have gone down well’. The Daily Beast once described Mr Smith as ‘the most successful British republican since Oliver Cromwell’.

GULLY BUJAK, protest organiser


Gully Bujak is an experienced climate change protest organiser who has been convicted of criminal acts during Extinction Rebellion eco protests. She is also a privately-educated model and actress and former junior head girl at Stover School in Devon – where her father used to be headmaster.



Ben Clinton is campaign co-ordinator for ‘Labour for a Republic’, a republican pressure group within the Labour Party. He has previously written for the Morning Star and is a councillor on the parish council in Peasmarsh, East Sussex. He also spoke in favour of proportional representation at the Labour Party conference in 2021.

‘On Saturday 6th May the eyes of the world will be on the coronation. This is the moment we make our objection loud, visible and impossible to ignore. 

‘Pledge to add your voice to the call for a republic.’ 

Potential anti-monarchist demonstrators are instructed to create a ‘sea of yellow’ with £14.99 branded T-shirts and placards reading ‘Not My King’. A yellow unisex hoodie is available for £41.99.

The demonstrators plan to protest near the King Charles I statue in the middle of the Trafalgar Square roundabout.

Mr Smith is the author of a new book, Abolish The Monarchy, which will be published in early June. 

SNP leader and First Minister Hamza Yousaf said during the recent leadership contest that Scotland could switch to an elected head of state ‘within the first five years’ of independence. 

He added during a discussion about Prince Edward’s recent promotion to Duke of Edinburgh that: ‘I view myself as a citizen first and foremost, not a slave.’

Speaking last month, Mr Smith said that Charles should be criticised like any other politician – but in an attempt to explain why the group was organising more protests against the King than his late mother, he admitted: ‘The Queen enjoyed deference and it put people off criticising her directly. We were aware heckling her wouldn’t go down well.’

Mr Smith previously told MailOnline: ‘Charles is a very different person. He just inherited the throne and inheritance is an issue.

‘We think now is the right moment for us to push our message. We did protest the Queen, such as at the 2012 Jubilee. 

‘Other people certainly had a greater level of respect for the Queen. The Queen enjoyed deference and it put people off criticising her directly. We were aware heckling her wouldn’t go down well.

‘But everything has changed, it’s a very different monarchy. This has changed the nature of the campaign.’

The group believe hereditary public office goes against every democratic principle and ultimately want to abolish the monarchy.

Instead, they want a head of state that is chosen by the public and keeps politicians in check.

Mr Smith continued: ‘If you think politicians are fair game for heckling and protests, you should see Charles in the same way. The Queen felt like the real deal. Charles is just a bloke in a suit who’s spending lots of our money.

‘He should be treated like a politician. Heads of state should be fair game for criticism.’

Republic and the Metropolitan Police were contacted by MailOnline for comment yesterday. 

Graham Smith, a member of a Republic, speaks during a protest prior to the Commonwealth Service outside Westminster Abbey in London on March 13

Ben Clinton, campaign coordinator for a Republic, attends a protest outside Westminster Abbey on March 13

Protesters from Republic hold up signs saying Not My King outside Westminster Abbey on March 13

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