Mark Drakeford and Humza Yousaf to attend King's coronation 'to represent everybody' despite Republican views

The Scotland and Wales first ministers say they are going to the King's coronation despite their republican views because "it's their job" as heads of government.

Humza Yousaf admitted it will feel "strange" to attend while Mark Drakeford said his "views are well known" but he did not consider skipping the event.

Asked if he had ever thought about not going, Mr Drakeford said: "No. I am there not as myself, I am there as the First Minister of Wales as is the First Minister of Scotland and our equivalents in Northern Ireland as well.

"I have my own views which are well known and long held but I don't go there in my personal capacity, I go there as the head of the Welsh government."

Earlier, Senedd presiding officer Elin Jones said she will not be attending the coronation of King Charles on Saturday because of her Republican views.

The Plaid Cymru MS told members on Thursday: "As a republican, I consider it is for others to celebrate a coronation."

However Mr Drakeford said it was important the event reflects the UK "as it is today" and heaped praise on the King, who was previously the Prince of Wales, for his contribution to Welsh life.

"The first thing that strikes you when you meet him is he has a huge depth of history to draw on from half a century of visiting Wales. There can't be a corner of Wales he has not visited or has a view on," he said.

Mr Drakeford also praised the coronation for "fully reflecting the diversity of the UK".

"For the very first time, the Welsh language will be heard as part of the ceremony, there will be new music composed in Wales, there will be Welsh performers there," he said.

The comments come after Mr Drakeford's Scottish counterpart Humza Yousaf said he hopes spending on the King's coronation can be kept to a minimum.

While the SNP leader believes an independent Scotland should be a republic rather than a kingdom, Mr Yousaf said it is his duty as first minister to represent those who think otherwise and he will be pledging the oath to the King during the ceremony.

Reflecting on his own views on the monarchy, Mr Yousaf said: "It's no great surprise what my views are.

"But also I've said very clearly, the job of First Minister is to represent everybody in Scotland - the office of First Minister requires that."

Some predictions suggest Operation Golden Orb - the crowning of Charles and the Queen Consort - could cost the UK between £50 million to £100 million.

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Asked about the spending on the event, Mr Yousaf said: "The fact that we do have a monarchy means that there's got to be a coronation, there's going to be money spent on it.

"I hope that money really gets kept to a minimum."

Another significant republican figure who has confirmed her attendance is Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill.

Northern Ireland's First Minister-designate told Sky News "we live in a changing space" and said she was honouring her pledge to "represent all of the community".

She said: "There are those in our community who have a British identity and allegiance to the monarchy and I think it's important that I, as a first minister for all, can be respectful of their viewpoint."