TRADERS at an arts and crafts market on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile have reacted with annoyance and confusion after King Charles’s “mini-coronation” saw access to their space shut down for five hours with “no warning”.

Craftspeople within the Tron Kirk, a 17th century church which has been an arts market since reopening in 2022, said they had seen footfall reduced to “zero” after barriers erected for the royal procession essentially locked everyone out.

There was a single opening in the barrier, but it was guarded by security. In order to pass, members of the public had to specifically approach the one spot and tell the guards that they wanted to visit the Tron Kirk market.

This situation lasted for around five hours, The National was told, had a heavy impact on trading, and was not pre-planned.

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“Usually it’s 3000 footfall here a day,” trader Paul Carpentier said. “Today, if it’s 500 that’s the maximum. We’ve seen nobody for five hours.

“Out the front of the church, they shut the access, just shut the access, except the people who said they would like to get here. But at one point even they couldn’t get in.”

He went on: “They didn’t, but they should have warned us. There was no warning, no nothing.”

After adding that “of course” he was annoyed and that as a Frenchman he didn’t “give a damn” about the royal parade, Carpentier said: “Give us a shout before doing this next time so we won’t employ staff, so we’re not in here doing nothing.”

A second trader inside the Tron Kirk said that the barrier arrangement had “basically killed all the traffic” until around 4pm. “It was almost zero,” he said.

The Tron Kirk houses 21 artists and designers who sell their wares to tourists and locals on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

Run by the Scottish Design Exchange (SDX), the former church space is generally a great draw for people and trading can be strong on days with heavy footfall, The National was told.

The Tron Kirk retains its original 17th century ceiling (shown below), one trader said proudly.

The National:

Charles’s “mini-coronation” in Scotland was due to see its first procession at 1:15pm, with the monarch moving from Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ cathedral around an hour later.

Crowds were grouped around the cathedral even by 10:30am as protesters gathered to make their voices against the monarch heard, but the southern half of the Royal Mile remained largely empty.

After the event, four protesters were led away in handcuffs after being seen waving banners and shouting anti-monarchy slogans.

A further two protesters, with the campaign group This Is Rigged, were also arrested, police confirmed.