Anti-monarchy group hopes jubilee is ‘last hurrah’ for big royal events
The royal family took part in a parade down The Mall and the Queen appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony during the first day of festivities.
Thousands of people descended on central London decked in Union flag merchandise for the spectacle, which included a Red Arrows flypast, while people celebrated at street parties across the country.
Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, which wants the monarchy to be abolished, said such celebrations can take place “with or without the monarchy”.
He said: “The jubilee is the last hurrah of the monarchy in the next few years.
“We always hope that this is the last.
“We are moving from hope to expectation as it will be a very long time until Charles has a jubilee and hopefully the monarchy will be abolished by the time George is on the throne.”
People do not think about Prince Charles in the same way they think about the Queen
Asked about the possibility of the Prince of Wales’s coronation taking place as a major royal event in the next few years, Mr Smith said it will not be the same as the jubilee.
He said: “It will be a political event,” adding that the coronation will “trigger huge debate” over the monarchy and is likely to be accompanied by protests.
“People do not think about Prince Charles in the same way they think about the Queen,” he said.
“That conversation is going to be a very different affair.”
On what Republic’s supporters may be doing this weekend, Mr Smith said: “Most people (in general) are not engaging with the jubilee.”
He said they are “just enjoying the weekend” or going away – as long as their flights are not cancelled.
Asked if Republic’s supporters are grateful for the long weekend, he said: “There is no problem with having an extra day off,” but added: “We can do that with or without the monarchy.
“Italy is dong a very similar celebration without a monarchy to celebrate the day it became a republic,” he said, referring to the Italian national day which takes place on June 2 every year.
Republic started putting up billboards around the country in May, calling on people to “make Elizabeth the last”, as part of its response to the jubilee.
The group is also hosting the International Anti-Monarchy Conference online on Saturday.
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