King Charles Attacked – With Eggs

A man has been arrested after eggs were thrown at the King and Queen Consort during a visit to York.

A protester was restrained by police as crowds gathered at Micklegate Bar, the traditional royal entrance into the city, to greet the couple.

He was heard to shout “this country was built on the blood of slaves” as he was restrained.

North Yorkshire Police said a man, 23, was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and remained in custody

People in the crowd started chanting “God save the King” and “shame on you” at the demonstrator.

The incident occurred on the second day of an official royal visit to Yorkshire, during which the King and Queen Consort later travelled to Doncaster.

The royal couple were being welcomed by city leaders in York when several eggs were thrown at them as the protester booed the pair.

Charles continued shaking hands with dignitaries including the Lord Mayor as the eggs flew in his direction, pausing briefly to look at the cracked shells on the ground.

The eggs missed the King and Queen Consort and they were ushered away.

Several officers were seen restraining a man on the ground behind temporary fencing set up for the King’s visit.

Witness Kim Oldfield, owner of the Blossom Street Gallery, said she was standing in the doorway of her shop “enjoying” the couple’s arrival when she heard “some booing and eggs flying”.

“I glanced across, [saw] the police just descended on the barrier and tried to drag this chap over the top.

“About five eggs he’d managed to send.

“Camilla sort of flinched a little bit when the booing started but they [police] quelled it really quickly. Just a shame they spoilt what was a lovely moment.”

The near miss with eggs being thrown by a protester shows how vulnerable the King can be on such occasions.

King Charles has been a very accessible figure to crowds of well-wishers. He’s been shaking hands, swapping jokes and literally become a hands-on monarch during his walkabouts.

The King seems to have enjoyed the warmth of the response, such as when he met people in the days following the death of his mother. Yesterday he greeted crowds lining the streets in Leeds, facing a sea of mobile phones recording the moment.

Senior politicians in the UK are unlikely now to be so open to the randomness of such a gathering. And it would be even less likely for the tight security surrounding a US president. Who knows what people may be carrying?

But there’s a trade-off between security and being visible to people, and these can be informal and hard-to-control events, with little separation between the King and the crowds.

In this case it included protestors with a ‘Not My King’ banner. And from only a few yards away, eggs were thrown.

The King seemed unperturbed, the police responded quickly, but by then the eggs had already landed.

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Charles appeared unfazed as he continued greeting the crowds in a traditional ceremony which saw the sovereign officially welcomed to the city of York by the Lord Mayor.

The ceremony was last carried out by his late mother Queen Elizabeth II in 2012.

The King and Queen Consort had visited York to unveil a statue of Her Majesty at York Minster, the first to be installed since her death.

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said the incident had not put the royal couple off meeting the public.

He told the BBC: “Those in public life are in positions of vulnerability at times and I certainly want to live in a country, and indeed in a world, where we’re not so surrounded by people minding us that we can’t meet people and chat with people.

“That is certainly what the King and the Queen Consort want. They were out chatting with people [later in the day]. So I don’t think they’ve let it affect them.”

Later, the King was cheered by crowds as he arrived in Doncaster in South Yorkshire to formally confer its city status.

Charles and Camilla then attended a reception with a menu including egg and watercress sandwiches.

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