REPUBLICAN protesters demonstrated outside the Royal Maundy service today (April 6) in York – but they were outnumbered by thousands who welcomed the King and Queen Consort to the city.

A group of around 30 people chanted “not my King” and held up placards as Charles and Camilla arrived at York Minster.

But they were in the minority - as thousands who turned out to welcome the King and Queen Consort to the city. The protesters were also outnumbered by the scores of police who were stationed on the streets for the visit.

As the chants of “not my King” fell silent, shouts of “yes he is” could be heard.

One of those protesting was Luke Whiting, 26, who had come up from London to demonstrate against the monarch.

He said he felt that the monarchy was “increasingly irrelevant and outdated”, adding: "We're here to say let's move on, it's part of our history, it's part of our past, but let's move on to a brighter future."

Tony Gardner, from Harrogate, was in the area as the protest took place.

He said: “People are entitled to protest as long as they are peaceful.

“It’s important we can allow protests as long as they are doing it peacefully.”

Mark Gregory was also in the area during the protest.

He said: “We were centre stage to see the King.

“It was really good - the protests didn’t change that.

“The people of York were really excited to see (the royals) at the Minster."

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Graham Smith, CEO of the group Republic, said the protest will be bigger at the coronation, promising to make themselves “unmissable” during the day.

He said: “We’re thinking it’s going to be over a thousand people at the coronation itself.

“We’re not quite sure what we’re going to do but we may have other groups along the route.

“But, certainly, there will be one large protest in the middle, on the procession route.

York Press: There was a large police presence during the protestsThere was a large police presence during the protests (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

“And it will be a lot of this really, lots of ‘not my King’ placards – we’ll be making some noise. There’ll be a bit of a party atmosphere, trying to engage the people around us and keep it fairly light-hearted.

“And we’ll make sure that when the procession goes past we are unmissable.”

Mr Smith added: “We’ll be protesting at the coronation and beyond just to really challenge the idea of a succession of head of state and to say we want an election instead of a coronation – a choice instead of chance.”

He said he and his fellow protesters got a “mixed reaction” in York, admitting that the majority of those gathered outside the minster did not agree with them.

“Some of them get annoyed but it’s a free country and we can all stand here and demonstrate our support or our opposition,” he said.