British Protester Says They Were Arrested 'On Suspicion Of Carrying Eggs' At Coronation
The British resident who threw several eggs at King Charles III last year said police detained them again during Saturday’s coronation ceremony “on suspicion of carrying eggs.”
Patrick Thelwell, 23, could be seen in the video posted to social media with their hands behind their back as a small crowd of law enforcement encircled them and escorted them away from the scene of a protest against Britain’s monarchy.
“This is fascism! I am being arrested just for being here!” Thelwell shouts in the video, wearing a brightly colored fleece and a yellow “Not My King” sticker.
Thelwell was found guilty and sentenced to one year of community service in April over the attempted egging last November; none of the projectiles appeared to hit their intended targets as Charles and Queen Camilla toured the English city of York. Video of the incident showed members of the public who turned out to see the royals loudly booing Thelwell, who was subsequently barred from carrying eggs in public by a judge.
Thelwell told The Guardian they believed police had spotted them from an observation post near the coronation protesters.
“They saw me on their watchtower, and next minute I was in handcuffs and being searched on suspicion of having eggs, I suppose,” they told The Guardian. “I didn’t have anything in my pockets besides condoms and a lighter, so they had to let me go.”
They told the outlet: “I’ve absolutely not brought any eggs. My parole officer tells me counter-terrorism is following me.”
Today I was arrested at the #Coronation on suspicion of carrying eggs. I was identified by facial recognition cameras, and snatched from the protest in handcuffs so tight they cut my skin. For the second time I was dragged through a crowd of monarchists baying for my blood....1 pic.twitter.com/i014GTOOuW
— Patrick Thelwell (@PatrickEggsKing) May 6, 2023
Thelwell wrote on Twitter: “For the second time, I was dragged through a crowd of monarchists baying for my blood.”
The Metropolitan Police told HuffPost its policy is not to confirm the names of those arrested.
Other demonstrators waved yellow “Abolish The Monarchy” flags, carried “Not My King” signs and held yellow umbrellas on what turned out to be a gloomy day in central London. Nevertheless, tens of thousands of supporters flocked to the city — some from overseas — to witness the estimated £100 million day of pomp and circumstance.
Authorities were sharply criticized for arresting some of the British Republicans trying to make their voices heard. At one point, police reportedly raided a truck filled with “Not My King” signs, alleging that the string used to tie them in bundles could be used by protesters to illegally tie themselves to fixed objects on the street.
A new law enacted just this week gave police new power to crack down on protesters, even those engaged in peaceful demonstrations. The U.K.’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act of 2022 also broadened police power over protesters, who have drawn increasing conservative ire in recent years.
“I’m deeply concerned that people have been arrested while just preparing to peacefully express their support for a Republic, a view held by 25% of the public,” Labour MP Richard Burgon wrote on Twitter. “This must stop. It’s a basic democratic principle that people have the right to peacefully express their opinions.”
London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement earlier in the week that “tolerance for any disruption, whether through protest or otherwise, will be low” throughout the Coronation.
More than 50 people were arrested Saturday, police told CNN.
This article has been updated to reflect that Patrick Thelwell uses they/them pronouns.