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Anti-monarchists hold convention to demand end to monarchy in UK

20 May 2018 18:30

 

A group of anti-monarchists have gathered in London to demand an end to the monarchy in the UK as the royal wedding took place between Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle.

Around 130 people on Saturday attended the International Republican Convention, hosted by Republic, a group that has long campaigned for an elected head of state in the UK.

Representatives of republican groups in Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom delivered speeches at the event.

The monarchy “carries on an elitism that is so unfair,” said Irene Pinner.

“They [the royal family] don’t represent me,” added Pinner, who had travelled from Dorking, just outside London, to attend the convention.

David Hurst, a former British soldier who once swore an oath of allegiance to the Queen, spoke of the royal system, saying, “It’s just so outdated … people in this country look on the Queen as a higher being.”

According to Republic, the convention’s aim was to showcase the arguments for abolishing the monarchy.

“We need to look past the fluff of the wedding and focus on the serious issues,” Republic chief executive, Graham Smith, told Al Jazeera.

“The monarchy is unprincipled and undemocratic … now is the time for reform.”

After the Royal wedding on Saturday, the newlyweds – now to be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – rode through the town of Windsor in a horse-drawn carriage with thousands of people lining the streets to see the couple and with many more watching the ceremony on television around the globe.

The wedding was estimated to cost British taxpayers a staggering $45 million (32 million pounds) by wedding planning service Bridebook and American news website Business Insider.

The event came as the country is facing multiple crises, including a sharp rise in the number of rough sleepers.

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