Anti-monarchy group planning adverts calling Queen and Charles 'secretive' and 'wasteful'

·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read
Republic wants to see these billboards go up around the country. (Republic)
Republic wants to see these billboards go up around the country. (Republic)

An anti-monarchy group has raised more than £10,000 in one day to fund billboards around the UK to call for an elected head of state and label Prince Charles as "wasteful".

Republic campaigns for an end to the current monarchy, which has been in place for some 1,000 years, calling for an "honest, grown-up" debate about the system.

Launching a crowdfunding campaign for billboards across the UK, the group stated: "With polls showing young people wanting an elected head of state, the succession of King Charles will be a major turning point in the monarchy's history and in the growth of Britain's republican movement.

"We want the country to know there is a positive, exciting, democratic alternative to sitting back and letting Charles become our head of state. And we want the country talking about why the monarchy is bad for Britain, why it's time to call time on the royals."

Republic wants £30,000 for the billboards, and is a third of the way there within a day of launching the campaign.

It comes as the Royal Family struggles with popularity levels, which Republic wants to capitalise on as the Queen approaches the end of her reign.

Republic campaigns for an end to the monarchy. (Republic)
Republic campaigns for an end to the monarchy. (Republic)

Read more: Indefatigable Queen handed sweet gift on third straight day of public engagements

Polling from YouGov earlier this year showed a rise in the number of younger people, aged 18-24, who want to see the hereditary system replaced with an election for the role of head of state.

Support across the UK in general for an elected head of state had also gone up, but was still a minority view, with 24% backing it.

The Queen has always had high levels of personal support, but her son Charles has dwindled in popularity rankings for decades.

Prince William is often as popular as the Queen.

Republic added: "King Charles may inherit the throne, but he won't inherit the respect and deference enjoyed by his mother.

"The automatic succession of King Charles will dramatically alter the debate and public attitudes. Polling shows most people just aren't that interested in the royals and are divided on who should replace the Queen when she dies. We need to persuade them that there is a democratic alternative."

Watch: Britain's biggest royal fans

Billboard creations shown on the crowdfunder include a large picture of Prince Andrew with the word "Wanted" next to him.

Underneath could read: "A democratic alternative to the monarchy."

Andrew, 61, stepped back from public duties in 2019 after a disastrous interview with BBC Newsnight about his friendship with sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

The FBI has said it wants to speak to the Duke of York, but officers have said he has not co-operated with them. He accused them of seeking headlines not answers last year.

Andrew has been accused of having sex with Virginia Roberts Giuffre when she was trafficked by Epstein. He denies the allegation and no charges have been brought against him. 

Other billboard designs feature Prince Charles, who will become king when his mother dies, with slogans including: "Secretive, wasteful, undemocratic. It's time to end the monarchy."

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 08: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Louis of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, although the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Cambridges, the Cornwalls and the Queen on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour in June 2019. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Royal Family has had a difficult time over the last year and a half in particular as Prince Harry and Meghan made their shock announcement to step back from their senior royal duties. 

In the last few months the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have opened the family and the systems around it up to more scrutiny, accusing someone within palace walls of racism when it came to the skin colour of their future children, and suggesting Meghan was left unaided when she was struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Prince Harry went on to suggest the way the Queen brought up Charles had a knock-on effect on his own childhood, which he said he sought therapy over.

Then came an incident involving Prince Michael of Kent, who does not carry out duties on behalf of the Queen, that saw him accused of being willing to use his royal status for personal profit and to seek favours from Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an undercover report by The Sunday Times.

However the Queen has been able to keep much of the resolve of these issues private for now.

After months of lockdown, the Queen has been keen to return to engagements in person, preferring to meet people face to face than over video calls.

As restrictions eased she has enjoyed Trooping the Colour, hosted US president Joe Biden, visited the G7 summit and made it to Scotland for her annual Royal Week. 

Watch: Queen's Platinum Jubilee: London to host theatrical pageant as part of the celebrations

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