Republicans campaigning largely remained silent on the day of the Queen’s funeral, but assured those who did not participate in the monarch’s national mourning that “they were not alone.”
The Republic campaign group said it had not organized any events around the day of the Queen’s funeral as it would have been inappropriate, but promised a series of campaign events and protests on upcoming royal occasions, including the inauguration of the Prince of Wales and the coronation of King Charles.
“People who get very caught up in this moment are in the minority,” said Graham Smith of the campaign group. “This isn’t the whole country that’s mourning, and I think it’s worth reassuring Republicans of that. The number of Republicans has risen from one in five to one in four in recent years, while support for the monarchy has fallen from 75% to 60%.”
This week’s YouGov survey showed an increase in support for King Charles after his mother’s death, with 63% of people saying he would do “a good job”. However, the most recent survey by the National Center for Social Research (NCSR) — which began mapping attitudes toward the monarchy in 1994 — found that the core group who believed the monarchy was “very or moderately important” was only 55%.
On the day of the funeral, there was relatively little dissent among Republicans on social media. However, Charlotte Proudman, a lawyer specializing in violence against women and girls, said that while everyone had the right to grieve, she felt the overall coverage was not balanced.
“The news is not impartial, it propagates a pro-monarchy agenda and narrative without giving voice or visibility to Republicans and dissenting voices,” she said. “We should be using state money to fund an underfunded justice system, to support the homeless and those who cannot eat or heat their homes, not millions at a state funeral of a monarch who has not been democratically elected,” she said.
But even some nominal Republicans, like writer Laurie Penny, who wrote about joining the queue to see the Queen in state over the weekend, decided they wanted to watch the proceedings.
“Mourning rituals are important, and this country has had a lot to mourn for a long time,” she said. “The royal family makes sense to me as a religion, and it’s not my religion, but I do believe in religious tolerance — as long as participation is optional.”