Man accused of heckling Prince Andrew at Queen’s funeral procession won’t face court

A man charged with breach of the peace after allegedly heckling the Duke of York during the Queen’s funeral procession will be spared court, prosecutors said.

Live broadcast footage showed a man shouting at Prince Andrew over allegations related to his former friend, American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, as he walked behind his mother’s coffin up Edinburgh’s Royal Mile on 12 September.

A 22-year-old man was arrested and charged but the Crown Office said the case will not go to court as it was dealt with “by way of an offer of an alternative to prosecution”.

Such alternatives can be warnings, community work orders, fines and compensation orders. The Crown Office said it could not say what was used in this case.

The arrest of dozens of protesters at events during the period of national mourning following the Queen’s death drew criticism from civil liberties groups who warned freedom of speech was being breached.

Some protesters took to holding up blank pieces of paper to try and avoid drawing police attention.

A woman who held an anti-monarchy sign ahead of the accession proclamation of King Charles III in Edinburgh will also face no action, prosecutors said.

The 22-year-old was arrested outside St Giles’ Cathedral on 11 September and was initially charged under a 2010 law that covers behaviour “likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm”.

The Crown Office said: “The procurator fiscal received a report relating to a 22-year-old female and an incident said to have occurred on September 11, 2022.

“After careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, including the available admissible evidence, the procurator fiscal decided that there should be no proceedings taken at this time.

“The Crown reserves the right to proceed in the future if it is appropriate and in the public interest to do so.”

One anti-monarchist protester, 45-year-old Symon Hill, said he was arrested in Oxford under the Public Order Act after calling out “who elected him?” when Charles III was officially proclaimed king. He called the police response an “outrageous assault on democracy”.