Police In The UK Have Arrested Activists For Protesting The British Monarchy

Police also arrested a man who yelled, "You're a sick old man!" at Prince Andrew during the Queen's funeral procession in Edinburgh.

Anti-royalist protesters in the UK were confronted by law enforcement officers as they demonstrated against the British monarchy, with several incidents leading to arrests.

In Scotland, police arrested a woman holding a sign that said "fuck imperialism, abolish the monarchy" outside St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh, where Queen Elizabeth II's coffin is lying at rest until Tuesday.

The arrest took place ahead of Charles III being proclaimed King of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales on Sunday. A police spokesperson confirmed the arrest of a 22-year-old woman "in connection with a breach of peace." The woman was charged and set to appear in court at a later date. Police told BuzzFeed News that the woman was arrested for her alleged behavior, not because of the anti-monarchy sign.

The queen's coffin arrived in Edinburgh on Sunday after journeying through the streets of Scotland from Balmoral Castle, where she died on Thursday. Charles was in Edinburgh for a service for the late queen at St. Giles' Cathedral on Monday.

Police also arrested a man after he called out "Who elected him?" when Charles was declared king during a county proclamation in Oxford, England, on Sunday.

According to the man, Symon Hill, several security personnel tried to remove him before police came over and led him away.

"They gave me confused answers when I asked on what grounds I had been arrested," Hill wrote in a post. He said police handcuffed him, and after some back-and-forth, told him that he would be "de-arrested" and contacted for an interview later on, and possibly charged.

Thames Valley Police confirmed that a 45-year-old man was arrested "in connection with a disturbance" during the county proclamation of the King in Oxford. He was arrested on suspicion of behavior that could cause harassment or distress, police told BuzzFeed News, and "has subsequently been de-arrested and is engaging with us voluntarily as we investigate a public order offence."

Anti-monarchists — also known as republicans — in the UK see Charles's ascension to the throne as an opportunity to garner more support for the movement. Elizabeth, the longest-reigning British monarch, was far more popular than her son, according to an Ipsos poll taken earlier this year, and the Guardian reported that some republicans believe the King's unfavorability may change minds about the monarchy.

Another incident took place outside the Palace of Westminster in London on Monday morning, where Charles was scheduled to deliver his first address to Parliament as king.

A protester stood outside the gates holding up a sign that said "not my king" on one side and "abolish the monarchy" on the other, and Met Police surrounded them and quickly led them away.

During the Queen's funeral procession along Royal Mile in Edinburgh on Monday, police also arrested someone who heckled Prince Andrew. As Charles and his younger brother walked behind the Queen's coffin, a man in the crowd yelled, "Andrew, you're a sick old man," and was arrested by police.

Prince Andrew was accused of sexually assaulting a minor trafficked by his longtime friend Jeffrey Epstein. Though Andrew denied the allegations, he later stepped back from public duties as a working member of the royal family, saying "the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption." The woman, Virginia Giuffre — now an adult — sued Andrew in US federal court, and the two parties settled out of court in February this year.

Scotland Police said in a statement that the 22-year-old man was arrested over "a breach of peace."


This story has been updated with more information from police in Scotland about the 22-year-old woman's arrest.

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