Since coming to the throne two months ago, King Charles has filled his diary with official duties and greeted the public in towns and cities across the UK. But today, he received a different kind of welcome as a protester in York thew eggs at him and his wife Camilla.
The King and Queen Consort had stopped to speak with crowds at Micklegate Bar, a medieval gateway to the city where they received an official welcome, when eggs began to fly through the air past them. The BBC reported that the protester was heard to shout “this country was built on the blood of slaves” as he was detained by police. As the crowd realized what was happening, boos could be heard along with chants of “God save the King.” Neither Charles nor Camilla were struck by an egg, but the broken eggs could be seen on the floor at their feet they walked on.
It is not the first time that the British monarch has been targeted with eggs—and in Queen Elizabeth’s case she was actually hit by one. After it splattered on her dress during a royal visit to New Zealand in 1986, the Queen later quipped in a speech, “I myself prefer my New Zealand eggs for breakfast.”
The King is on a two-day visit to Yorkshire, with Camilla joining him today after a day of solo engagements on Tuesday. In the city of Leeds on Tuesday, Charles viewed a display which is part of a national project to explore the history and impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Reports revealed that the King believed Britain’s role in the slave trade should be talked about openly, according to his goddaughter.
Despite the eggs providing an unwelcome distraction, Charles and Camilla carried on with their day of engagements as planned today. The King unveiled a statue in memory of Queen Elizabeth at York Minster, telling those gathered that he was “deeply touched.” “When this statue was first planned five years ago, during a reign of unprecedented duration and achievement, it was intended as a celebration of the late Queen's Platinum Jubilee,” he said. “Now, as we have witnessed, with great sadness, the passing of that reign, it is unveiled in her memory, as a tribute to a life of extraordinary service and devotion.”
The statue was carved into the cathedral wall by stonemason Richard Bossons, and Charles said that Queen Elizabeth “will watch over what will become Queen Elizabeth Square, for centuries to come.”
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