December 2, 2022

Charles’ Official Proclamation As King Had A Jarring Response In Scotland

The death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022, was met with an outpouring of grief worldwide. Leaders from all corners of the world sent condolences to Buckingham Palace and eulogized the late monarch within hours of her death being announced. On the throne for more than seven decades, the queen held court with nearly every U.S. President since her coronation, as well as celebrities ranging from Elizabeth Tayor and Frank Sinatra to Jennifer Lopez and Angelina Jolie, via Insider. 

But no matter how star-struck the innumerable admirers of Queen Elizabeth were upon meeting the British icon, her royal majesty has her share of detractors from around the globe. Like many former empires, the history of Britain is rooted in bloody conquests and brutal colonialism, the severe injustices which are still ravaging its former territories today. 

Though Britain’s long arm stretched across vast continents and dominated the seas, the empire was also quite cruel to those who were close at hand. Though now peaceably a part of the United Kingdom and headed by the British Prime Minister, the relationship between Scotland and the crown hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows, per the Smithsonian. The history of the island is full of armed battles and political clashes between the two, with some deeply seeded anti-monarchy sentiments woven into the tartan fabric of some Scotsmen.

At the proclamation of King Charles III’s ascension to the throne in Edinburgh, the animosity held by some was loudly heard. 

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Scottish support for the monarchy is now a minority

The Herald reports that several hundred Scots attended the proclamation ceremony at Mercat Cross. After the proclamation announcing Charles III as the new monarch was read, Lord Lyon King of Arms closed with the traditional “God save the King,” with many of the crowd responding with that same line in rejoinder. But not all at Mercat Cross belted back that line. There were some loud boos from the crowd that gathered, showing some audible dissent to the monarchy. 

The national anthem was played, with protestors calling for the establishment of a republic at the song’s conclusion.

At least one protester was arrested for what has been described as a “breach of peace.” The 22-year-old woman arrived with a handwritten sign that read “F*** Imperialism,” and her arrest got some applause as she was led away by police.

Protestors attending the proclamation is no shock, as support for the monarchy in Scotland dropped to 45% in 2021, per The Guardian. The drop in support has prompted some Scots to organize (per the Scottish Daily Express, with one group, called Our Republic, pushing for Scottish Parliament to give allegiance to the people that elect them rather than to the crown. Additionally, Our Republic has taken a position in solidarity with many Jamaicans, who are demanding that Britain give a formal apology for its influential and participatory role in the slave trade. Our Republic was on hand at the proclamation, with at least one member attending with their official flag.