“God Save [Free Speech]”: Britain Celebrates Coronation with Time-Honored Tradition of the Arrest of Anti-Monarchists

Thousands cheered King Charles III with ‘God Save The King” as his gilded carriage passed through London. The coronation had all of the pomp and circumstance that people expected from the fifth longest monarchy in history (Japan is the longest). The ceremony included one time-honored tradition that some of us could have done without: the arrest of peaceful protesters.  It was all part of “Operation Golden Orb” and follows a long, unbroken British tradition of quashing free speech.

London’s Metropolitan Police made 52 arrests during the coronation, including many anti-monarchy protesters who were wearing yellow T-shirts and shouting “Not My King.”  They were members of Republic, an anti-monarchy group that fails to see the need for a royal family.

Few would object to arresting protesters who blocked roads or destroyed property. However, some reports involved peaceful protesters who were yelling or holding signs.

The group said that they were not told the reason for their arrests and that police “would figure it out” later. If the group wanted to make a statement against the monarchy, it has succeeded. The group posted on Twitter, commenting: “So much for the right to peaceful protest.”

Commander Karen Findlay defended the arrests and said, while the police respect free speech, a peaceful protest can become unlawful.

“This depends on the context. The coronation is a once in a generation event and that is a key consideration in our assessment. A protest involving large numbers has gone ahead today with police knowledge and no intervention.”

It is a statement that is quintessentially British. It lacks any discernible objective standard. It depends entirely on the view of the “context” by authorities on whether to allow free speech to occur.

Previously, the police announced that “our tolerance for any disruption, whether through protest or otherwise, will be low. We will deal robustly with anyone intent on undermining this celebration.”

“Undermining this celebration.” It is a line best delivered with a haughty accent and a harrumph.

Last year, that same undefined discretion led to the arrest of a man who heckled Prince Andrew.

The fact is that Great Britain never had a free speech tradition analogous to our own. Free speech was not guaranteed in the celebrated Magna Carta. The country has long relied (as in other areas) on the benign and beneficent  judgment of its government.

That lack of clarity and structural protections has allowed the government to exercise ill-defined powers for centuries against dissenting voices. It has also contributed to the rapid erosion of free speech in recent years.

We recently discussed the call of a minister for the jailing of social media heads whose companies refused to carry out censorship.

Yet, the decline of free speech in the United Kingdom has long been evident. A women last year was arrested for praying to herself near an abortion center. A man was convicted for sending a tweet while drunk referring to dead soldiers. Another was arrested for an anti-police t-shirt. Another was arrested for calling the Irish boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend a “leprechaun.” Yet another was arrested for singing “Kung Fu Fighting.” A teenager was arrested for protesting outside of a Scientology center with a sign calling the religion a “cult.”

English courts have even criminalized “toxic ideologies” as part of this crackdown on free speech.

It appears one of those toxic ideologies is the belief in a democratic government without a monarchy. It is a telling moment for a country that often justifies the royal family as a harmless tradition since the King has little power in the actual governing of the nation. Indeed, many seem to speak of the royal family like virtual Disney “cast members” who are good for tourism. However, those characters become a tad less lovable when dozens are being arrested in the background.

It is all summed up by the words on the family’s coat of arms: Dieu et mon droit: lGod and my right.” As shown in these arrests,  that “my” part is still exclusive and literal when it comes to free speech.

107 thoughts on ““God Save [Free Speech]”: Britain Celebrates Coronation with Time-Honored Tradition of the Arrest of Anti-Monarchists”

  1. Perhaps the motto was too long to put on the crest in its entirety? It should read: Dieu et mon droit … en tant que roi. Vous n’avez aucun droit, juste ma permission inconstante.

    (per Google translate: God and my right …as king. You any rights, just my fickle permission.

  2. The English king is sort of a permanent president, they provide guidance and a backstop to lunacy.
    Charles has a lunatic in the room history.

  3. People in England who see the monarchy as anachronistic have the right to express themselves in a civil and respectful manner. This is more about the unwillingness of the majority to allow small minorities to commandeer and sour public events through offensive, guerrilla tactics. Westboro Baptist Church demonstrated the absurdity of surrendering the dignity of the public square to small bands of militants. Time and place restrictions on disruptive protests signify the power of the community to uphold its standards of civility against the strident theatrics of tiny groups seeking attention. I think the majority are sick of extreme fringes’ ability to take control of the narrative.

    A society where the incivil, intolerant, and militant dominate the infospace through extravagant freedom-of-speech allowance is one destined for dysfunction and decline. There are plenty of ways to get across divergent thinking without raining on others’ parades. That modesty and sobriety permits the greatest exchange of open-minded discourse — just the opposite of how free thinking its expression clam up when the loudest, most hubristic take over the public square. Sloganeering takes the oxygen out of the room.

    The challenge of the present era is to re-maximize free thought and expression by drawing red lines defining incivility — as were recently enforced in the Tennessee Legislature when bullhorns and sloganeering were deployed in brazen defiance of norms for that venue.

  4. OT

    The communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs, AINOs) want mass murderers to legislate, to rewrite the 2nd Amendment and amend the Constitution.

    Now that makes perfect sense regarding those direct and mortal enemies of the American thesis of freedom and self-reliance, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Americans and America.

  5. Jonathan: I know it’s hard to believe but there are actually people on your blog that disagree with me–especially on the issue of 2nd Amendment rights. “Iowan2” trots out the worn out NRA mantra that “I don’t blame guns. I blame the people pulling the trigger”. “Anonymous”, the crazy one, actually blames me for all the mass shootings. He says: “Could it be the people like you, polarizing America with extreme criticism, that makes people ‘arm up’ for the future”. Do you have any idea what he means by “extreme criticism”? I suppose he thinks I should just shut up so he would not have to “arm up” to deal with me. Anon is always into veiled threats. All I can say is that for all your preaching about the need for “free speech” it has had no effect on Anon. He thinks “extreme criticism” is not covered by the 1st Amendment.

    For the 2nd Amendment crowd on this blog more guns, especially the AR-15 style variety, are the answer to mass gun violence. Sounds counterintuitive but that’s the argument. So for the sake of argument suppose N. Korea’s Kim Jong Un decided to drop 2 nukes on S. Korea. And he blared: “Nukes don’t kill people, people kill people”. Would we take him seriously? Would not he be condemned by the UN General Assembly and taken to the Hague? The fact that a nuclear weapon requires a human to function isn’t an argument against restricting nuclear weapons. That’s why we have numerous nuclear arms control treaties.

    People kill people regularly in this country–more frequently now using AR-15 style weapons. These weapons make killing easier and more deadly. But don’t misinterpret my point. I am not in favor of banning all guns. Keep your long rifle, your shotgun or your side arm–if you really think they will protect you. I am in favor of strict limits on the availability of semi-automatic weapons that have only one purpose–to kill a lot of people in a few seconds. Combined with expansive background checks, like you see in Great Britain. that might keep our innocent children and adults safer. Why is this not a rational proposal?.

    1. For the 2nd Amendment crowd on this blog more guns, especially the AR-15 style variety, are the answer to mass gun violence

      More lies from Dennis.
      Nobody has made that suggestion.

      Here’s a real suggestion.

      Go into the homes and business of Blacks, search and confiscate any firearm.
      You will see gun deaths drop like a brick tossed in the pond. If its gun deaths you are wanting to affect.

      1. Iowan2: I really never thought you would engage in racist tropes. “Go into the homes and business of Blacks, search and confiscate any firearm”. That’s your answer to recent mass shootings committed by white racists? What about the Buffalo mass shooting in which Black shoppers were murdered by a white nationalist racist? Maybe if more Black people were armed maybe the massacre could have been prevented at that supermarket. But your answer is to take guns away from Black people to make them defenseless. Now that makes a lot of sense–only for racists!

        1. Dennis do you want to reduce criminal gun deaths? Statistics clearly show blacks are pulling the triggers on the majority of those deaths.
          All I’m doing is following the facts. You are perfectly willing to abuse the rights of honest Americans, you cant be against targeting the source of criminal gun deaths. If those Black homes and businesses don’t have any illegal guns, no harm no foul.

        2. But your answer is to take guns away from Black people to make them defenseless. Now that makes a lot of sense–only for racists!

          That is the outcome of the laws that you support.


          Charging people with a felony firearms offense was supposed to dissuade people from carrying guns, but “all it did was disproportionately impact Black people,” Siemon said.

          “While this law was enacted in 1976 to deter gun violence, it has never lived up to its promise of keeping the public safer,” according to the release.

      2. Here is something interesting.


        Police can’t conduct warrantless gun searches in public housing projects, a federal judge said Thursday in a decision that rebuffed pleas from housing officials and tenants who hoped the sweeps would quell gang violence.
        U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen’s ruling ended the latest round in an emotional dispute between city officials and civil libertarians who argue that the courts can’t grant a wholesale waiver of the Constitution’s protection against unreasonable searches.
        “The erosion of the rights of people on the other side of town will ultimately undermine the rights of each of us,” Andersen said in refusing to lift a ban he imposed last month.
        Violence last summer prompted the Chicago Housing Authority to ask police to conduct the random, door-to-door searches for weapons.

        Some tenants also backed the warrantless searches, saying they would prefer the sweeps to random gunfire that made it dangerous to stand near windows or venture outside.
        “Mothers put kids in their bathtubs in fear of their lives,” CHA chairman Vincent Lane said before the hearing.

        I wonder if there is any difference between Dennis McIntyre and Vincent Lane.

    2. People kill people regularly in this country–more frequently now using AR-15 style weapons.

      More people are murdered by fists and feet, than guns.
      Idiots like you cant even get the problem right, why would your solution be considered?

    3. I understand your fear of the street thug and the gangbanger.

      Too many people have compelling reasons to fear the street thug and the gangbanger.

      Nevbertheless, violating civil rights can not be justified just to make it easier to put away the street thug and the gangbanger.

      1. Nevbertheless, violating civil rights can not be justified just to make it easier to put away the street thug and the gangbanger.

        Strange that street thugs have rights, but people exercising an enumerated right are constantly having that right limited.

        Rights are not situational.

    4. “People kill people regularly in this country–more frequently now using AR-15 style weapons. “

      From Pew Research

      “Which types of firearms are most commonly used in gun murders in the U.S.?

      In 2020, the most recent year for which the FBI has published data, handguns were involved in 59% of the 13,620 U.S. gun murders and non-negligent manslaughters for which data is available. Rifles – the category that includes guns sometimes referred to as “assault weapons” – were involved in 3% of firearm murders. Shotguns were involved in 1%. The remainder of gun homicides and non-negligent manslaughters (36%) involved other kinds of firearms or those classified as “type not stated.”

      To have intelligent discussions, one has to engage using verified facts instead of the made-up ones that Dennis provides.

      Dennis says: “Jonathan: I know it’s hard to believe but there are actually people on your blog that disagree with me”

      Is it any wonder that people disagree with Dennis when his facts are mostly erroneous? I would hope all would learn Dennis’ facts are almost always wrong. Therefore agreement with him is impossible.

    5. “Iowan2” trots out the worn out NRA mantra that “I don’t blame guns. I blame the people pulling the trigger”.

      As opposed to the Left’s view of blame the gun? That is animism — a pre-scientific form of mysticism where “spirits” inhabit inanimate objects (e.g., guns) and can make those objects do things.

  6. I watched (iive) on Britbox for 3 to 4 hours and saw no protesters, which, I guess, was the plan?!!
    As an aside, we have an authentic souvenir coronation programme from the May, 1937 Coronations of Charles’ grandparents, George VI and the Queen Mother. My father bought it in an old London bookshop years ago. It’s large, red leather bound with gold lettering. Just gorgeous. I was told these were distributed to the public prior to the 1937 coronation. It was fun to follow along with Charles’ coronation service, using the old one The order of service was the same, though, some of the wording had been modified. It was a very unique and interesting experience…….

  7. While I’m ordinarily a great admirer, in this case I have to disagree with you. I do not believe freedom is in danger because a ceremony costing millions and supported by millions is protected, for a short time, from those who would disrupt it. The monarchy in the UK is not a ceremonial one such as Norway for instance. It is a Constitutional Monarchy that is deeply intertwined into the very fabric of the state. The Sovereign holds enormous, although latent, power. He can dissolve parliament, fire the government, and command the armed forces. Remember, in the US we pledge allegiance to the constitution, in the UK the allegiance is to the individual sovereign. As explained to me, many years ago, over a pint with an MP, it is not the power the monarchy holds, but the power denied anyone else. In America the close of every criminal trial is “the people rest”, In the UK the phrase is “the crown rests”. Eliminating the monarchy is analogues to the US eliminating the constitution. It cannot be done, short of a revolution.

    1. If only modern day pirates would “yield at once with humbled mien” and that “with all [their] faults they loved their [King]” so much they’d leave the rest of us all the he!% alone.


    2. Eugene: Interesting. I actually thought the Monarch’s power to “dissolve” Parliament was in the sense of the current, existing assembly, –and then the monarch had the power to summon a new Parliament. I did not think the Monarch could permanently dissolve the actual ENTITY of Parliament,???? only its existing makeup???.

      1. If that is your sole talking point, then logic says you need to advocate the end of education through government institutions.

    1. Iowa’s first piece of legislation was Iowa’s Scholarship program. I think its going to phase in over ~4 years, when all students will be eligible for a full scholarship to any school, public or private.

      This is another example of the the buildings full of Doctorates, were to stupid to read the warnings, in caps, and small words, that the parents were done with the product the public schools were force feeding the public..

  8. The chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee declared Sunday that he has uncovered banks records documenting a pay-to-play bribery scheme involving the Biden family, and he urged the Justice Department to delay any indictment of Hunter Biden until he releases the evidence on Wednesday.

    “My message to the Department of Justice is very loud and clear. Do not indict Hunter Biden before Wednesday,” Rep. James Comer told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo.

    “We believe there are a whole lot of tips that the IRS and the DOJ don’t know about because we don’t believe they’ve done a whole lot of digging in this, and we have,” he added.

  9. From ABC News – and they’re serious – no, it’s not the Babylon Bee:

    Some British tabloids even consulted professional lip-readers to interpret what Harry was saying. The Daily Mirror revealed that it appeared he said, “hello,” “morning” and “nice to see you” when he entered the church.

    It’s so good to be in the know!

  10. The people who criticize monarchy should consider that almost all of the stable democracies in Europe have monarchs of some kind: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium (kings and queens); Andorra, Liechtenstein, and Monaco (principalities); and Luxembourg (a Grand Duchy). If the Hohenzollerin monarchy had remained in power in Germany after the end fo WWI, it is likely that Hitler would never have come to power. The French Revolution devolved into madness when the Bourbons were removed from power. I suggest that monarchy puts a human face on power and reduces the hatreds that embroil everyday politicial struggles.


    “It lacks any discernible objective standard.”

    – Professor Turley

    Without “…any discernible objective standard,” Abraham Lincoln illicitly and unconstitutionally engaged in comprehensively and “…fundamentally transforming the United States of America” by denying fully constitutional secession, commencing an illicit war, seizing power, declaring martial law, denying freedom of speech and press, suspending habeas corpus, suppressing opposition and improperly and corruptly rewriting the Constitution.

    Karl Marx commended Lincoln:

    “They consider…that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln…to lead his country through…the RECONSTRUCTION of a social world.”

    – Karl Marx to Abraham Lincoln, Letter, 1864

    Constitutional rights and freedoms have been nullified as the principles of communism have been incrementally implemented since 1860.

    America threw off the “dictatorship of the monarchy” only to have it replaced by the “dictatorship of the proletariat.”

    Look out from your government ordered electric vehicle at the government ordered solar panels on your roof and the government ordered windmills by land and by sea, as you pay inordinate amounts of taxes to support unconstitutional governmental laws and programs that follow the principles of communism and amount to the National Debt of $32,000,000,000,000 and Unfunded Government Liabilities of $100,000,000,000,000, not to mention that you have been socially engineered, that you have lost the freedom of choice, discernment and discrimination (9th Amendment), and that you have been ordered to accommodate by governmental decree and dictatorship, as the government fails to secure the nation’s essential borders allowing invasion.

    Central Planning, Control of the Means of Production (i.e. unconstitutional regulation), Redistribution of Wealth, Social Engineering and adhering to Karl Marx’s slogan: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” are what Abraham Lincoln commenced the incremental implementation of through the savage prosecution of his unconstitutional “Reign of Terror.”

    Every American understood that reprehensible slavery must have been eliminated by legal means and methods; George Washington freed his slaves by his will.

    “Status of Slaves in Washington’s Will”

    “Composed by his own hand in relative secrecy in early July 1799, George Washington’s ‘Last Will and Testament,’ in addition to the dispersal of his estate, recognized the freedom of his enslaved workers upon his wife Martha Washington’s death. Washington’s provision for this emancipation represented the final view of a slaveholder who had been grappling with a moral dilemma and a desire ‘to get quit of’ slavery at Mount Vernon as early as the American Revolution.1 As one of the first founding fathers to take a tangible action against slavery, Washington’s will served as an example of hope for the future of abolitionism.”

    – Mount Vernon https://www.mountvernon.org

  12. We wouldn’t want our loyal colonial types to get ideas about independence

    There was some worry in the government that several Commonwealth Nations’ loyalty to the crown was mainly held due to the tradition of Elizabeth II’s reign and once she had passed they would they would leave. I suspect in a small measure the government in the UK does not want the seeds of republican aspirations to have any publically visible form of presence, despite it being a lesser group compared to the general population.

    1. “Just the facts, ma’am.”

      – Sargent Joe Friday

      Or not.

      Has any entity done a DNA comparison on the dubious red-haired “prince”?

      It appears that Prince Andrew was spared the truth, and with it any potential for culpability for his Epstein adventures, by the “Orgy Island” proprietor/purveyor’s “untimely” death.

  13. The arrests were a form of censorship, which marks those who endorse it as less than democratic.
    In 1942, during a symposium on whether there should be censorship of the press during wartime, George Creel, who had directed the Committee on Public Information in the United States in 1917-1918, argued that any censorship of the press “works inevitably to protect blunderers, incompetents, and grafters.” For supported “full information, with free speech and a free press contributing to the unhampered public discussion . . . a democracy’s one safeguard against inefficiency, bureaucratic stupidity, clique control, and actual dishonesty in the expenditure of public funds.” Britain is not, of course, a democracy; it is a monarchy with a parliament but without a written constitution (they make it up as they go).
    Another participant, James Mock, a member of the National Archives staff, argued that during the Great War, Britain had allowed “censorship to broaden and broaden, until it became a means not only of injustice, but of absolute folly.” He quoted Josephus Daniels, who wrote that “God never made a man who was wise enough to be a censor.” I would tend to agree, especially given those who are pressing for censorship and those who have used it freely over the past decade.
    (“The Limits of Censorship. A Symposium,” Public Opinion Quarterly, Spring 1942, pp. 3-26, for anybody who wants to read the discussion, which included the President of the National Association of Broadcasters, professors from Harvard and Minnesota, and an editor from the NYT. Both Britain and the States have obviously wrestled with the problem of censorship in wartime before.)

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