Referendum on abolishing monarchy must be held when Queen dies, republicans demand

Republicans to call for monarchy referendum when Queen dies

Republic’s chief executive, Graham Smith, says monarch’s death will mark a turning point in public attitudes

Republic, a grassroots movement that has over 5,000 members and 35,000 supporters, claims the British monarchy is not the “harmless tourist attraction some people think” – rather, it has a history of abusing public money and meddling in politics.

In a statement posted on the group’s website on the eve of the Queen’s birthday, they added the event “reminds us that support for the monarchy is bound up with support for the Queen.” A pink banner on the homepage also wishes “Mrs Windsor” a “happy birthday”, alongside the subtle hashtag: “Stop the reign”.

Speaking to The Independent Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, said the organisation’s view is to have a referendum as soon as possible. He believes the period of time in between the Queen’s funeral and Prince Charles’s coronation will provide an opportune moment.

“It will be the first time most people have seen a change in the head of state,” he says. “I think that’s going to be a slightly odd, jarring experience for a lot of people. All of a sudden you’ve got this this other monarch who has been hoisted upon us and no debate about who it is going to be.

“For once, actually seeing hereditary power in practice – you’ll actually see the inheritance of the throne taking place”.

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