King Charles III and Camilla hurled with eggs, protester arrested after being filmed in L’España with the monarch.
It was a scene that might have inspired one of those “What are you doing for your lunch break?” Instagram quizzes.
But instead of a photo of a kid in a playground with his hand in his mouth, L’España was caught on video Monday night as protesters – many holding eggs – marched on the royal residences of two historic palaces in Madrid, demanding the Spanish monarchy should be replaced with a republic.
The protest was a rare public act in support of the Spanish republic, which many Spaniards hope to achieve after King Juan Carlos fled to the southern Spanish enclave of Gran Canaria in his own self-imposed exile in 2010.
“We are here because we are convinced that the monarchy is not a good thing for Spain – the monarchy is not even the problem, but the solution,” said Maria Dolores, one of a group of 60 people who marched into Madrid in the evening following a press conference to discuss the protest.
“I think it is a good thing because it is the people who decide,” Dolores added.
The monarch would not be present in the protest.
The protesters met in the courtyard of the Churriguera palace in the suburb of Chueca, at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains, where Spain’s monarchy remains under a state of emergency imposed after the death of King Juan Carlos in 2009.
For decades, they have been denied the right to express their opinions but have been able to exercise their rights through the media, the internet and the courts.
That right is under threat as the king and queen – who have no political position – have not been present in public during the protest, and their two other children, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia, have largely restricted the family’s public appearances.
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia made a rare visit to a local high school