In the 10 days since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, pro-monarchy sentiment has been clearly visible in the UK and around the world, but Republican campaign groups say they have seen an increase in interest and of membership.
As hundreds of thousands lined up for the Queen to be in state at Westminster Hall in London, some say that despite their affection for Elizabeth II, the accession of her less popular son Charles means the end of the 1,000 year old institution could be a step. closer.
Lobby group Republic – the only organization campaigning solely for a republican constitution for Britain – has posted posters across the country saying, “Make Elizabeth the last #abolishthemonarchy”.
The group says its members are not planning any demonstrations for Monday’s funeral, but will step up their activities as the coronation of King Charles III approaches.
Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, told the Guardian: “We have been busy campaigning over the past 10 days, gaining around a thousand new members this week. We’ve also raised over £30,000 and thousands of social media followers after seeing the ‘notmyking’ hashtag trending.
Smith said the group will focus its efforts on planning protests around — and on — the coronation day, the date of which has yet to be confirmed.
He added: “There has been a real shift in terms of the public discourse around the monarchy. We hear many more dissenting, less respectful voices. All of this has been facilitated by unjust arrests of protesters, Membership Council events, and scandals such as “cash for honours”.
Regarding the Bank Holiday on the day of the Queen’s funeral, Smith said: ‘My advice to people is to get out and enjoy a day in the country or in to catch up on Netflix.’
Speaking to Laura Kuenssberg on Sunday, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: “We should let nothing overshadow the most important event the world will ever see and that is Her Majesty’s funeral. “
Smith responded by saying it was “one of the dumbest things the world has ever heard…if other events somehow overshadow it, so be it. Most of the country is going to do something else and we need to stop pretending that the whole country is in mourning.
Royal officials say the institution costs every Briton less than £1 a year. Republic says its cost to the nation each year is around £350million, or £5 per Briton.
The wealth of the royal family is also difficult to assess due to the opaque nature of its finances and what it directly owns. A 2015 Reuters analysis suggested he had nominal assets worth nearly £23m at the time.
King Charles enjoys an increase in support, but support for the monarchy is at an all time low, with polls going against the institution, especially among Scots, young people and ethnic minorities.
On Sunday, Labor MP and former shadow cabinet member Clive Lewis spoke out despite party leader Sir Keir Starmer’s plea for silence ahead of the Queen’s funeral.
He said: “While Republicans should uphold the language of ‘duty’ and ‘sacrifice’ which monarchists have so forcefully asserted that the Royal Family is doing in our name, we must not pretend the reality is otherwise. thing but a lie.”