Protest planned in Cardiff for King Charles III’s visit to Wales

·4-min read

A protest against the monarchy is to take place on Friday during King Charles III’s first visit to Wales since ascending the throne.

The silent demonstration will begin from 1pm at Cardiff Castle, organisers have said.

The castle is one of three locations Charles will visit during his day-long tour of the capital, and where he will meet charitable organisations and faith leaders after having a private audience with First Minister Mark Drakeford.

Those attending the rally are expected to stand and hold signs with slogans such as “Why a Monarchy?” and “Real democracy now”.

Campaigners say they want the Welsh public to consider whether a future without the monarchy is possible.

They have called on the Welsh Government and Cardiff Council to ask South Wales Police to respect their democratic right to protest, following the arrests and threats of action against people holding signs saying ‘Not my King’ in other cities.

Activist and former Senedd Member for Plaid Cymru Bethan Sayed said: “As soon as King Charles III decided to announce that Prince William should become Prince of Wales, so soon after the death of the Queen, many of us felt compelled to respond.

“We must discuss the future of Wales, and what we want that to look like.

“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.”

Speaking to PA, Ms Sayed added: “It is still a difficult time and we totally appreciate that. We all have family who’ve passed away.

“So we have no intention of causing issues but we want our rights to hold and express a different view to be respected.

Queen Elizabeth II death
King Charles will visit Cardiff Castle tomorrow as part of his first visit to Wales as monarch (PA)

“Because that is entirely legitimate if we actually call ourselves a democracy.”

A number of groups are joining to lead the protest under the banner Real Democracy Now, including trade unions, Welsh independence organisations and republicans.

However, Ms Sayed said anyone was invited to join including those wanting to protest against imperialism.

Adam Johannes, a left-wing campaigner and recent organiser of recent cost of living protests in Cardiff, said: “Personally my own mother passed away not so long ago so I have every empathy with a family in its personal grief.

“But when we have these parades, these huge public events, they are in a sense political acts.

“And yet one side of the debate is told ‘now is not the time’, meanwhile all kinds of things are being rushed through like the announcement that Prince William will be the new Prince of Wales.

Royal visits for Wales Week
King Charles, then the Prince of Wales, meets school children during a visit to the Trinity Saint David Campus (PA)

“So when there are these events, which it feels to us are almost like PR events to sure up support for the monarchy, we think it’s legitimate to also make our voices heard.”

A representative of Labour for an Independent Wales Representative, said: “Soon 67% of Welsh people will live in fuel poverty while the royals inherit millions, tax free.

“Our democracy is weakened by their presence and so, ultimately, we push for an independent, socialist, Republic of Wales.”

Trade Unionist Cerith Griffiths said: “A lot has changed since Queen Elizabeth was crowned over 70 years ago.

“Significantly, Wales now has its own Parliament and can pass legislation that makes a difference to those who live in Wales.

“In 2016 several aspects of the Trade Union Act were dis-applied in Wales but now the Westminster government is overruling those decisions taken by an elected Welsh government.

“If we truly value democracy, then we need to have a debate about the role of the monarchy and whether them enabling the government of another country overruling the democratic decisions taken here in Wales really is fit for the 21st century.”

A petition calling for an end to the Prince of Wales title has gathered more than 25,000 signatures in less than a week.

Leader of pro-independence party Plaid Cymru, Adam Price, has said a debate on the subject should be held “in due course”.

The party believe that in an independent Wales, people should have the right to vote on whether or not to keep a member of the royal family as head of state.

A petition against continuing with the Prince of Wales title has now hit 25,000 signatures, just under a week since it was started.

Pro-independence party Plaid Cymru There will be time, in due course, for a public debate surrounding the title of the Prince of Wales.