” Despite tributes pouring in to celebrate the sovereign who reigned for 70 years, the hashtags #AbolishTheMonarchy and #NotMyKing have been trending on Twitter. The query has been raised by academics in addition to political commentators online whether this is the appropriate time to have the discussion.
Among the opposing voices, University of Sussex Emeritus Professor of media and cultural history David Hendy replied to recent arrests at various King Charles III proclamation events, saying: “Given what’s been taking place to non-violent protesters, I now feel compelled to stand up and say #NotMyKing.”
Criminal defence lawyer Aamer Anwar stated: “Waiting for so called free speech warriors to defend the right to say #NotMyKing.”
Asked whether this was the right situation to speak about abolishing the monarchy, Dane Kennedy, Emeritus Faculty Member in the Department of History at George Washington University, told : “I immediately thought about how that query is used in the American context, and it’s continually used in the context of a mass shooting. And immediately after a mass shooting, those who are for gun rights will say, now isn’t always the time to talk about this issue.”
He added: “Now I realise that’s a very different matter. But I think it has a similar valence to it. And I guess my response is, is there any good time or not any good time? I just don’t see what logic there is in this.”
‘Abolish the monarchy’ is trending because Charles is now king: Dr Kennedy
Dr Kennedy, who’s the writer of six books consisting of The Imperial History Wars: Debating the British Empire, additionally stated that much of the anti-royalist feeling can be because of King Charles ascending the throne. He stated: “ [King] Charles contains lots of baggage. It goes back a long way. It is going back to [Princess] Diana, and is going back to any number of other issues. And people don’t forget that. I think a lot of this ‘abolish the monarchy’ sentiment is in fact generated by the fact that Charles is now king.”
The most important republican campaign group is now actively pushing calls to abolish the monarchy. Graham Smith, spokesperson for Republic, stated: “We all understand that people will need to mourn the death of the Queen, yet at the same time Charles has taken the process of head of nation with out debate or consent. That’s a political act which millions of people object to.”
Mr Smith added: “We are also deeply concerned to see people being arrested for non violent protest. The police, media and politicians all want to understand that the accession is a contentious event and people have the right to talk up and be heard.”
The Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy responded to a latest incident, wherein a protester holding a blank sign was allegedly told he would be arrested outside the Palace of Westminster in London. He stated: “The public absolutely have a right to protest and we have been making this clear to all officers worried in the extraordinary policing operation currently in place and we will continue to do so.
“However, the overwhelming majority of interactions between officers and the public at this time have been positive as people have come to the capital to mourn the loss of her late Majesty the Queen.”
Whilst there has been more vocal opposition, Dr Kennedy concluded it was unlikely that the UK would abolish the monarchy. He said: “I don’t see this sentiment leading to an appeal of the sort that would be required to bring the monarchy to an end. And I think there are too many people in Britain who have a residual attachment to the monarchy and feel a strong sense of sentiment.”