(London) Britons are invited to take part in volunteering actions across the country on Monday, a public holiday which concludes the long weekend of celebrations for the coronation of Charles III.
After two days of celebrations, first very solemn on Saturday with the coronation at Westminster Abbey and then more festive on Sunday with thousands of neighborhood lunches and a big concert, Monday is a day of volunteering.
Hundreds of thousands of volunteer assignments are to be filled with the more than 1500 associations participating in this “Big Help Out”.
While King Charles and Queen Camilla won’t be attending, the monarch’s eldest son William, his wife Kate and their three children George, Charlotte and Louis have pitched in helping scouts in Slough, West London.
The always very expressive young Louis, 5, was seen on his father’s lap maneuvering a small digger while his sister Charlotte, 8, painted a door and George, 9, used a drill .
Monday was declared a holiday to conclude Charles III’s long coronation weekend, consecrated on Saturday in his role as monarch after a lavish religious ceremony and procession.
Eight months after his accession to the throne on the death of his mother Elizabeth II, Charles III, 74, was crowned at Westminster Abbey in front of 2,300 guests in a millennial Anglican rite. His wife Camilla, 75, was also blessed and crowned.
It was the first coronation in 70 years, when Elizabeth II was crowned queen in 1953.
More than 14 million viewers – far fewer than at the Queen’s funeral – watched live on the BBC as the heavy crown of St Edward was laid on Charles’s head.
On Sunday, the British organized tens of thousands of neighborhood lunches.
A big concert, featuring stars like Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, took place in the evening in front of Windsor Castle, in the presence of Charles and Camilla.
Little motivated by this coronation, however, more than 70% of the British had no intention of taking part in any celebration this weekend, according to a recent YouGov poll.
Charles is less popular than his mother Elizabeth and anti-monarchists – more and more audible even if they remain a minority in the United Kingdom – demonstrated on Saturday in London as the carriages passed, as well as in Scotland and Wales.
Six officials of the anti-monarchy group Republic, including its leader Graham Smith, were arrested by police on Saturday morning, sparking heavy criticism. They were released late Saturday evening.
On the BBC, Graham Smith strongly criticized on Monday the law which came into force this week and which gives more means to the police to arrest people suspected of “serious disturbances” to public order.
“They arrested us because the law was hastily introduced last week to give them the power to arrest us on any frivolous pretext,” he said.
“This law means that we no longer have the right to demonstrate in this country, we only have the freedom to demonstrate with the authorization of police and politicians. »
“The police are operationally independent from the government, they will make these decisions based on what they think is best,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Monday.
“I’m grateful to the police and everyone else who helped make this weekend so smooth, successful and safe,” he added.
In total, London police made 64 arrests on the day of the King’s coronation, including environmental activists.