A Scottish minister leads a protest at the coronation of King Charles | Scotland

A ceremony in Edinburgh marking the coronation of King Charles III has been the target of politically significant Republican protests led by a Scottish government minister.

The King received Scotland’s medieval crown jewels in a short ceremony at St. Giles Cathedral, where his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, lay with the same crown on her coffin last September.

The short event was witnessed by far fewer well-wishers than the vast crowds that thronged the Royal Mile to watch the Queen’s funeral procession. Many Scots are on holiday; most of the spectators were curious tourists.

As the King and Camilla left their official residence at Holyroodhouse for the short drive to St Giles, around 100 Republicans protested loudly opposite the Palace, within earshot of the King’s apartments, at the price and “the ‘extravagance’ of the event.

Partick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Greens and minister for zero-carbon buildings, active travel and tenants’ rights, told protesters the public money spent on this ‘rigmarole’ and on the coronation in London was unjustified for a living crisis cost.

“What we have seen over the past few months is a truly extraordinary attempt to lavish your money, our money, on some of the wealthiest people, not just in this country, but on some of the wealthiest people in the world, so that they can do some sort of overpriced Game of Thrones cosplay exercise,” Harvie said. “It’s quite extraordinary.”

Having a monarch enriched by untaxed inherited wealth went against Scotland’s desire for a modern democracy, and an independent Scotland should have a directly elected head of state, he added.

Police Scotland said two women, aged 20 and 21, were arrested for breach of the peace after they allegedly tried to breach a security barrier on the Royal Mile.

Several mounted troops of Household Cavalry and massed pipers of the Royal Marines and Royal Regiment of Scotland had preceded the King and Queen consort down the Royal Mile towards St Giles’, where fiddler Nicola Benedetti and a Gaelic singer, Joy Dunlop , occurred during the couple and selected guests.

Inside St Giles, the King was given the honors of Scotland, a crown and scepter dating from the 1540s and a ceremonial sword specially forged for the occasion to replicate the original, fragile sword in the collection.

Nora McGregor, who watched the event near St Giles with her 10-year-old daughter, said: “The whole world is watching us with curiosity wondering why we still have this tradition.”

“I think most of us really appreciate it,” she added, before gesturing to a group of Republican protesters gathered in front of the cathedral. “Some people just don’t want to admit it. It’s a shame people aren’t more tolerant.

Sally Miller had brought her two granddaughters with the promise of watching the horses in the procession, but the bagpipes had also piqued their interest. “I think [the ceremony] goes over the heads of young people, but I would like them to see it and remember it,” she said.

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