ALEX Salmond has refused an invitation to the King’s Honours of Scotland ceremony in Edinburgh, saying he thinks Charles will be “the last King of Scots”.

The former first minister was asked along to the event at St Giles’ Cathedral but has insisted it will end up “satisfying no-one”, branding it a “second rate ceremony”.

Alba Party leader Salmond said he suspects the majority of people in Scotland want an elected head of state and a fresh start.

He said: “This really is not the time to be wasting money on public displays of fealty to a King.

"It is the time for a renewed debate on why Scotland needs to take its own future into its own hands.

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“I believe Scotland will become an independent country, and when we do, I suspect the majority of people will want a fresh start on the basis of an elected head of state.

“I think Charles III will be the last King of Scots.”

Salmond said republicans will resent public funds being spent on the event, particularly the £22,000 splashed on the new Elizabeth Sword.

Meanwhile, he insisted any “real Scottish monarchist” would’ve preferred a "full-blown" ceremony in Scone, suggesting that Charles could have been the first Scottish king crowned using the Stone of Destiny since the 13th century.

He said: “A real Scottish monarchist should have advised Charles III to have a full blown coronation in Scone, as his namesake Charles II did in 1651.

“It is no small thing to be crowned King of Scots and it should be treated as such, not palmed off in some artificial and second rate ceremony.

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“Charles could have been the first Scottish King crowned using the Stone of Destiny since the 13th century and that historical authenticity would have counted for a great deal and more than compensated for a minimum of flummery and expenditure.

“Meanwhile, not only Scottish republicans will resent the public funds being spent on this establishment day out at St Giles and in particular the £22,000 on a new sword.

“The genuine Sword of Scotland has survived more than five centuries and should have been restored and then called into service. Why would you pay for a substitute when you have access to the real deal?

“Scottish families struggling with their household bills will find this an unfathomable and needless expense.”

Protests are to take place on Wednesday in opposition to the ceremony.

Our Republic said it will hold a rally outside the Scottish Parliament from 1pm.

Republic UK, meanwhile, will hold a protest targeting the route of the procession to St Giles.