Republican activists have sparked outrage after staging a protest against the monarchy inside Buckingham Palace.
The campaigners made their way into the royal household shortly after midday by pretending to be tourists before posing for a picture in the Grand Hall with T-shirts spelling out “Not My King”.
Footage of the stunt was posted online and showed the nine-strong group taking off their jackets to reveal the slogan underneath.
A female member of staff can then be heard shouting: “Hey guys? What is this? What are we doing?”
The stunt caused outrage on social media with users calling it “pathetic” and a “waste of time”.
‘Fantastic statement of intent’
The activists, from campaign group Republic, are understood to have been paid ticket holders who were at the palace during public visiting hours.
Underneath a photo posted on social media, the group said: “This is a fantastic moment for republicans nationwide, with a group of normal citizens standing up for democracy in the adopted home of the monarchy.”
Following the stunt, which lasted for a matter of seconds, six of the activists involved were briefly detained by security, before being escorted out of the front gate.
Speaking on behalf of Republic, chief executive Graham Smith said: “This is a first, an anti-monarchy protest inside Buckingham Palace.
“A fantastic statement of intent, citizens standing up in the home of the monarchy to declare their opposition to hereditary power.
“Charles is not an untouchable monarch, he is not immune to criticism and doesn’t enjoy the deference that protected the monarchy while his mother was on the throne.
“Charles is not a unifying figure, he is a hypocrite on the environment, he has questions to answer about cash for honours and dodgy donations from Qataris and he is out of touch with the concerns of ordinary people struggling with the cost of living crisis.
“I’m proud of our local activists who came together today to take this stand. Our local campaigns are expanding rapidly, with more than thirty now active around the UK.
“Republic will continue to protest against the monarchy up and down the country, with the next protest set for the state opening of parliament on November 7.”
No arrests made
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said they do not comment on security matters.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said that no arrests had been made and the incident was dealt with by palace security staff.
Republic want to see the monarchy abolished and the King replaced with an elected, democratic head of state.