Police 'ring of steel' for King Charles' first state opening of Parliament as anti-monarchists protest

A police ring of steel has been thrown around Westminster for King Charles’s first state opening of Parliament on Tuesday.

Campaign group Republic is staging its first major anti-monarchy demonstration since members were arrested on the day of His Majesty’s Coronation.

Scotland Yard said a “significant policing operation is underway” with Parliament Square, Whitehall, The Mall and Millbank closed with strictly no access from 10.20am for the central London procession.

A spokesman added: “We’ll lift the closures at the earliest opportunity but they may be in place for the majority of the day.”

It comes as around 100 Just Stop Oil protesters were detained yesterday when traffic was brought to a halt near Downing Street.

London mayor Sadiq Khan accused them of targeting the Cenotaph but activists said they had been moved to the base of the monument after shutting down Whitehall.

Separately, pro-Palestinian groups defied calls by the Met to postpone a demonstration on Armistice Day this Saturday.

Republic chief executive Graham Smith said Tuesday’s protest was about the place of the Crown in parliament and the “ramshackle state of our constitution”.

Mr Smith, who is now taking legal action against the Met, was among those held for more than 14 hours in May under the sweeping powers of the new Public Order Act.

“Our parliament is opened by a king wearing a crown while sitting in the Lords,” he said.

“It is just weird we continue with this pantomime that celebrates the worst, least democratic aspects of our political system.”

Republic has experienced an unprecedented growth since the coronation, Mr Smith added.

“Our continued programme of protests serves to remind people of the need for a democratic alternative to the monarchy,” he said.

“The monarchy is wrong in principle, corrupt and secretive in practice, and bad for British politics.

“It’s time it went and polling shows an increasing number of people agree.”

Republic is set to gather near parliament from about 8.30am.