Loud boos rang out from dozens of members of campaign group Republic as they chanted “not my king”, “what a waste of money”, and “down with the crown” when the King arrived in Whitehall in a carriage procession from Buckingham Palace.
LGBTQ rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who was among the protesters, called the monarchy an “anachronism”.
He told the PA news agency: “It’s an absurd contradiction that an unelected monarch head of state is opening a democratic, elected parliament – that is not compatible with democracy.
“We want a democratically elected head of state, voted for by the people and accountable to the people, it is what most modern democracies have.
“Monarchy is an anachronism, it’s a residue from feudalism and before. It’s time we had a democratically-elected head of state.”
The 71-year-old added the monarchy symbolises “elitism, privilege, snobbery, deference and huge social inequality”.
“The royals have 23 palaces and luxury residences, 700 servants and a combined personal wealth of £2 billion on which they pay not a penny of inheritance tax – that’s outrageous,” he said.
Chief executive of Republic, Graham Smith, called the King’s Speech a “pantomime” that advertises “how stupid our constitution is”.
He told PA: “He’s not fit for office (the King). I think if there was a free and fair election with other candidates, he would lose badly.”
Luke Whiting, 27, from east London, said the opening of Parliament is a “charade”.
The Republic protester told PA: “The opening of Parliament is the day that should be all about democracy, when really it becomes about this kind of charade of a monarchy, a militaristic monarchy.
“Today shows us the power and corruption of the monarchy.”