THE rally might have been at the top of Calton Hill but the sentiments expressed there could be heard far and wide across Scotland’s capital.

Chants of “you can stick your coronation up your a**e” could be heard loud and clear from Easter Road as Hibs took on St Mirren.

It was a fact Green MSP Maggie Chapman was keen to point out as she rounded off her speech to a passionate crowd who happily joined in with their own rendition of telling the royals where the coronation could be shoved.

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From the young to the old, from MPs to those not politically inclined at all, everyone atop the Hill was unified behind one key message: that there is no space for an unelected head of state in a modern democracy.

‘Creating a new constitution’

“How can we make a better, brighter, more equal future?” That was the question on Lorna Slater’s mind.

What bothers her most is the “weird idea” that the UK is unable to change, that somehow the monarchy and all that goes along with it is simply to be accepted rather than challenged.

“There’s such a weird idea that the UK cannot evolve, that it has to be ossified and old fashioned. It’s one of the reasons I believe in an independent Scotland.

“Part of creating that new country is writing our own constitution and having some really good conversations about what’s possible and I think that’s our best route to a republican future.”

What’s so central to this issue, is the belief that it transcends political party lines.

The National: Chants of 'you can shove your coronation up your arse' were heard loud and clearChants of 'you can shove your coronation up your arse' were heard loud and clear (Image: Adam Robertson)

As the Scottish Greens co-leader told the crowd: “I want a head of state who can express something real and passionate about who we are as a society.”

She called on whoever that person may be to be a “figurehead” for peace, to “speak up for the powerless” and to tackle the “abuses of power that come from the top”.

The human cost

Also among the speakers was Councillor Roza Salih, who appealed to the human cost of the coronation.

In her passionate speech, she told the crowd: “We deserve to have a say and our voices are being heard. Today we are making a difference to come to this protest.

“We are in a class war. We see people at the top making a fortune while working-class people are unable to make a living. Is that the world we want to see?”

Her question was met with large shouts of “no” as she claimed the country needed a new system to “deliver justice and equality for all”.

As SNP MP Tommy Sheppard told The National prior to his speech, he believes the money spent on celebrations serves as a PR attempt to “boost awareness of support for an unelected monarch as head of the government”.

As he pointed out though, it seems this has backfired. “I think people are questioning whether in the middle of a cost of living crisis we should be spending that sort of money on people who are already extremely rich.

“I think this is peak royal. As the months progress, people will get more and more confidence to be able to challenge and question the constitution as it is at the moment.”

Indeed, the coronation arrives at the same moment as recent figures showed foodbank use was at an all-time high across England and Scotland.

‘Not the only thing he’s out of touch on’

In a chat with The National after her speech, Chapman responded to comments made by Scottish Secretary Alister Jack.

For just a day before crowds gathered not just at Calton Hill but at an All Under One Banner rally through Glasgow, Jack claimed that the monarchy was something Scotland “holds very dear” in the Daily Express.

“Well I think that’s probably not the only thing that Alister Jack is out of touch with Scotland about. But I think it’s quite clear. We’ve seen the polling and most Scots think of it as being predominantly an English thing”, she said.

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Chapman added: “It’s clear. It’s overwhelmingly the case in Scotland that people don’t support the continuation of the monarchy.

“I think especially during this cost of living crisis it’s absolutely obscene that so much money is being spent on the pomp and pageantry when people don’t have the choice whether they heat their homes or eat food.”