Protesters wait for the arrival of King Charles on September 16, 2022 in Cardiff, Wales (Photo: Chris Jackson via Getty Images)
Another set of anti-monarchy protesters emerged on Friday, this time in Cardiff.
King Charles III was visiting the Welsh capital for the first time in his capacity as the new monarch, having been the longest-serving Prince of Wales in UK history.
His son and heir, Prince William, was confirmed as the new Prince of Wales last Friday. However, there’s a body of thought in Wales that this moniker should be abolished – and potentially the monarchy altogether.
Campaigners gathered outside Cardiff Castle waiting for the new King on Friday, and staged a silent demonstration while holding up signs which read: “Citizen not subject,” “Abolish the Monarchy” and “End Prince of Wales title”.
The Prince of Wales title is a particular source of contention in the nation because, since England conquered Wales, it has been granted to an English prince.
Prior to the 12th century, it only went to Welsh figures.
A petition calling for the title to end now has more than 25,000 signatures.
The campaigners asked the Welsh Government and Cardiff council to help protect their democratic right to protest, as police across the country have been cracking down and arresting (sometimes charging) demonstrators campaigning against the monarchy this week.
Activist and former Senedd Member for Plaid Cymru, Bethan Sayed claimed that “many of us felt compelled to respond” after hearing William would be the new Prince of Wales.
“People tell us that now is not the time to discuss this issue, however, when the monarchy passes from the incumbent to a new King, now is exactly the time to discuss this matter.
“It is about fairness, equality and the Wales we want to shape for future generations.”
Pro-independence political party, Plaid Cymru, believe an independent Wales should vote on whether or not to keep a member of the royal family as head of state.
She added: “So we have no intention of causing issues but we want our rights to hold and express a different view to be respected.
“Because that is entirely legitimate if we actually call ourselves a democracy.”
The arrests of anti-monarchy protests has caused great alarm, with critics questioning what this means for freedom of speech in the UK.
Friday’s protests was made up of republicans, trade unions and Welsh independence organisations, all campaigning under the banner of Real Democracy Now.
There’s an anti-monarchy protest here led by former Plaid Cymru MS, Bethan Sayed, among the thousands outside Cardiff Castle - in preparation for King Charles’ visit. pic.twitter.com/fdvW886n5r
— Peter Gillibrand (@GillibrandPeter) September 16, 2022
Here at the anti-monarchy protest outside Cardiff Castle. Yes the police are filming us pic.twitter.com/kTAJTIoiNV
— Andrew Guilford (@AndrewGuilford) September 16, 2022
Small anti monarchy protest here in Cardiff, led by former MS Bethan Sayed pic.twitter.com/UYJlzV5Els
— Jennifer Williams (@JenWilliamsMEN) September 16, 2022
'Not my King!' 'We are not your subjects!' 'Real Democracy Now!'
These are the messages ringing out from the streets of Cardiff today as hundreds gather to protest the visit of King Charles.
Image by @benhaynesjonespic.twitter.com/byBHzyTHPb
— voice.wales (@voice_wales) September 16, 2022
Not our King!
All republicans to the Castle!
Gather at the gates
"When the government fears the people, it is liberty. When the people fear the government, it is tyranny." – Tom Paine
For a republic that guarantees all citizens adequate food, housing & income
REAL DEMOCRACY NOW pic.twitter.com/bFZGn6r1pS
— Adam Johannes (@DrRoundglasses) September 15, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.