King Charles III was greeted by a chorus of boos from a group of anti-monarchists at Cardiff Castle today.
Thousands gathered outside the castle gates at 1pm today as Britain’s new king and Camilla, the Queen Consort, visited Wales for the first time.
But while many cheered and sang “God save the king”, many others felt differently.
‘Stop the Royals’, ‘End Prince of Wales Title’ and ‘Pay Your Inheritance Tax!’ were among the posters held aloft by Republican campaigners.
Some carried giant Owain Glyndŵr flags, the last Welshman to be known as Prince of Wales.
Former Senedd member for Plaid Cymru Bethan Sayed was among those in the crowds. She estimated that around 300 people attended the pre-planned protest.
‘Why do we have a divine right for kings to rule over us? I want people to start thinking about what that means and how we can have a society free of a royal family,” she told Metro.co.uk.
“I think we would potentially not have been able to protest today had it not been for the fact that the King had announced that his son William would be the new Prince of Wales so soon after the Queen’s death.
“I think it made people angry,” Ms Sayed added, given that fewer than half of Welsh people wanted Prince William to inherit the title, according to a YouGov poll.
More than 25,000 people signed a petition calling for the Princes of Wales to be abolished this week.
Mrs Sayed added: “This is by no means the last you will see of us. We plan to organize more in the future.
‘Democracy is such that we should be able to raise our voices, and therefore we were able to do so today.’
Labor for an Independent Wales, which is made up of members of the Labor Party, said protesters had vowed to remain silent but broke into “spontaneous” shouting when Charles’ motorcade arrived.
“Such is the strength of feeling that we deserve the right to protest and we deserve better from our politics,” it says.
The group said many campaigners felt emboldened to protest after a number of anti-monarchy protesters were arrested in Britain since the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
“Having seen people arrested for protesting against the monarchy recently, we took the opportunity to protest today,” the group said.
‘It was worth it.’
Adam Johannes (43), who helped organize the protest, said he struggles with the idea that the public cannot choose their head of state.
“Is it so that we accept as natural, good and proper unelected owners of multinational corporations?” he said.
While Nick Ward, from the Labor for Republic pressure group, said: ‘In a democracy, discussion about the monarchy is not something that should be shut down, it is a healthy public debate that should be encouraged.’
Charles’ trip to Wales began this morning, arriving by helicopter from his Gloucestershire home of Highgrove.
His visit was announced to the nation with the booming sound of a gun salute fired from Cardiff Castle.
The King and Queen Consort then traveled by state limousine to a service at Llandaff Cathedral at 11am.
For a time, social scientist Dr Laura Thomas Walters was part of a one-woman protest against him as she stood outside Llandaff Cathedral.
She told Metro.co.uk: “I believe that in a democratic country there should be no place for an unelected head of state, even if it is ceremonial. The monarchy is an outdated symbol of class inequality.
“People, including the police, were actually very nice. Lots of people thanked me for being there, or asked to take a photo with the sign.’
Charles and Camilla were then driven to Cardiff Castle for an audience with First Minister Mark Drakeford, an avowed republican, and Llywydd of the Senedd Elin Jones.
Drakeford had previously defended the Republicans’ right to protest.
“People have that right and I think it will be exercised with restraint and it will be a footnote to the prevailing sentiment of the day,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program this morning.
During his visit to the Senedd, the King spoke both English and Welsh.
‘Fel fy mam annwyl o’m blaen, rwy’n wybde ein bod ni oll yn caru’r wlad sikre hon.’ he added, which can be translated as “like my beloved mother before me, I know we all share a love for this special country”.
Charles’ visit to the Welsh capital coincided with Glyndŵr Day.
Following the Queen’s death, a number of Glyndŵr Day events were cancelled, leading to disappointment among some communities.
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