Republicans hold 'alternative' street party in London

As royalists celebrated the marriage of William and Kate, a small group of republicans lobbied for the "abolition of the monarchy" at a street party with a twist.

Republic, a pressure group which campaigns for a democratically elected head of state, hosted a "Not the Royal Wedding" street party in central London to give those who view the monarchy less favourably an alternative to the royal mania sweeping the country.



In an anti-monarchy gesture, the group incorporated traditional street party features such as stalls, games and music but gave them fresh appeal.



Stalls included Buy An Honour, where punters could pick a traditional honour, such as Knight or Dame, and for a small price could receive a certificate confirming their new title.



Party-goers could even opt for the more general recognition of All Round Nice Person in a display of defiance against the current honours system.



Sarah Punshon, 31, from south London, said the traditional system is "outdated".



Ms Punshon spent the day running a creative stall encouraging people to make their own republic bunting.



Participants were asked to write personal pledges of allegiance on their coloured flags instead of promising to be a "faithful subject" as those becoming British citizens are currently required to do.



"At the moment you have to swear an oath to be a faithful subject but here citizens can choose what they want to pledge," Ms Punshon said.



Flags hanging nearby showed pledges of allegiance to English beer, test cricket, Dr Who on Saturdays and cake.



More than 200 supporters, some wearing T-shirts emblazoned with Citizen not Subject, enjoyed food, drink and games to the sound of a fanfare band.



The party, advertised as a "celebration of democracy and people-power rather than inherited privilege" took place in Red Lion Square, Holborn, and attracted republicans from all age groups.



Calling for a "democratic alternative to the monarchy", party-goers were keen to air their views on the debate between monarchists and republicans.



John Deery, 45, from west London, described the royal family as "unjustifiable" in the modern day and age.



"What I want is a democratic alternative to the monarchy," he said.



"I'm not an anarchist but I want a fair society, a fair democracy and I don't think we have one.



"The Queen has a meeting every week with the Prime Minister so she has an ear of the man who runs the country every week and that's just not fair.



"I'd really like half an hour a week with the Prime Minister, they should not have that influence," he said.



Mr Deery added that his feelings weren't "personal" against the royals and said that "Will is probably a nice guy".



Republic, which formed in 1983, has seen its membership figures double to 15,000 since the royal engagement was announced in November.



The group campaign for "a democratically accountable head of state and an end to any constitutional role for the royal family".



They believe that the monarchy is an unaccountable and expensive institution which does not represent a "modern Britain".



Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness