UK royal wedding irks anti-monarchists

April 25, 2011 - 0:0

European anti-monarchists will descend on London for the April 29 British Royal Wedding to use the event to gather momentum for their anti-monarchy campaign.

Campaigners from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain as well as the British anti-monarchy group Republic are hoping to use Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding day at Westminster Abbey as the perfect chance to push their vision of a monarchy-free Europe.
Republic, which is Britain's main republican campaign group, believes that most British view royalty as an anachronism in the 21st century.
It says its membership has jumped by around 50 percent to more than 14,000 supporters since William and Kate announced their engagement in November.
Republic campaign manager Graham Smith believes the British are also less excited about the wedding despite the vast media coverage it is receiving all across the UK.
“Most people in this country aren't that bothered about the royal family or the monarchy, they don't really care that much one way or the other,” Smith told AFP.
“When these big stories come up it then makes people think about it. It gives us opportunities to gain publicity and raise our profile”, he said.
In Sweden, the Swedish Republican Association, which is sending three representatives to London, said the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling in June last year caused support for the Nordic country's royals to plummet significantly.
“A royal event makes people reflect on the institution of monarchy, and in Sweden many arrived at the conclusion that this is an outdated and rather bizarre phenomenon,” said the group's Helena Tolvhed.
Membership of the Swedish anti-monarchy group rose from about 3,500 to 7,500 in 2010 after the royal wedding, she added.
After the Swedish wedding, anti-monarchist groups from seven countries formed the Alliance of European Republican Movements to share ideas and nurture organizations just starting out.
The alliance will hold a meeting the day after Kate and William's nuptials.
“Norway is just getting started and they will see a more established group like the one in the UK or the one in Sweden. It does really motivate people and inspire people,” said Smith.
British people also consider the royal wedding as a distraction from the coalition government's austerity cuts that begin to bite in April.
“It is awful all the hype at a very unfortunate time when the cuts really kick in and more people start losing their jobs,” Polly Toynbee, a commentator from Britain's leftwing Guardian newspaper, told AFP.
The British campaigners also denounced the British Broadcasting Corporations (BBC) for its pro-royal coverage approach in the run-up to the wedding, according to reports.
(Source: Press TV)