LONDON (AP) – In a country famous for its lack of respect, some worry that a new code of silence has taken hold.
Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, a handful of people in Britain have been arrested by the police for expressing – often bluntly – anti-monarchy views.
A woman in Edinburgh who held a sign reading “F– imperialism, abolish the monarchy” was charged with breach of the peace.
A man faced the same charge after attacking Prince Andrew as the Queen’s hearse traveled through the Scottish capital.
In Oxford, peace activist Symon Hill was handcuffed after he shouted at him during a ceremonial announcement of the new king.
Hill said he spontaneously shouted “Who picked that?” because he opposes a head of state being imposed on the country.
“I doubt most people in the crowd even heard me,” he wrote on his blog.
“Two or three people next to me told me to shut up.”
Hill said he was put into a police van by officers who told him he was being detained for alleged behavior likely to cause “harassment, alarm or distress”.
He was later released but may still face questioning.
“The police misused their power to arrest someone who expressed mild opposition to the appointment of a head of state in an undemocratic manner,” he said.
In London, a woman was moved from the gates of Parliament while holding a “Not my king” sign. Police said they left the site, where a police officer was stabbed to death by an Islamist attacker in 2017, to allow vehicles through and were not asked to leave the wider area.
Lawyer Paul Powlesland said he was questioned by police outside Parliament on Monday while holding a piece of white paper on which he also planned to write “Not my king”.
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