IT may only be a matter of weeks since £100 million was spent on the coronation in London, but this time the celebrations were happening right here in Scotland.

With royal processions, garden ­parties, marching bands, gun ­salutes, the presentation of the Honours of Scotland and a red arrow ­flyover, this was clearly a lavish – and ­flamboyantly high-carbon – affair.

My fellow Scottish Green co-leader Lorna Slater and I were invited to join the main ceremony at St Giles. The decision to decline was an easy one. We could hardly think of ­anything that either of us wanted to do less.

Attending would have sent a ­message that we supported the whole facade. It would have said that we agreed with the extortionate ­spending and the idea of lavishing luxuries on some of the wealthiest people in the country because of the family they were born into.

Our party has long supported the abolition of the monarchy and replacing it with an elected head of state. For us, inherited power goes against any basic understanding of ­democracy. It is a celebration of inequality, and is no way to run a country.

Instead I navigated the multiple ­police barriers and barricades that had been set up around the foot of the Royal Mile and joined a rally held by the anti-monarchy campaign group Our Republic.

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It was an optimistic celebration of democracy and a direct contrast to the self-indulgent and extravagant trappings of the royal ceremony.

The sun shone on us while people sang, danced, spoke, debated and ­discussed the better future that we can build for Scotland.

There will of course be differences, but we all agreed on the fact that an unelected and unaccountable head of state is an arcane, archaic and badly dated notion.

The way that monarchy is sold to us is often based on the belief that it has a long and supposedly proud history. But the reality is that the institution itself has been complicit in some of our country’s most shameful periods.

We are told that it is apolitical, but what could be more political than the idea of inherited power? What ­message does it send to young people when we tell them that they can never aspire to the highest office because they were born into the wrong family?

Likewise, what could be more ­political than a head of state who does not have to follow the same rules and laws as the rest of us?

The National: Protesters outside St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, for the National Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication for King Charles IIIProtesters outside St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, for the National Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication for King Charles III (Image: Mike Boyd)

The King has the power to ­dissolve parliament and appoint prime ­ministers. What does it say when that unaccountable power is held by a family that doesn’t even pay the same taxes as the rest of us?

We are living through the worst cost of living crisis for a generation. All over the UK people are being forced to choose between heating their home and feeding their family. What could be more political than ­choosing to dish out austerity for millions of ­people while putting on a show like the one we saw yesterday?

When all else fails we are told that it is good for tourism. This of course ignores all of the many countries in Europe and beyond who do not have a monarchy but manage to have ­perfectly strong and thriving tourism and hospitality industries.

Yet, even if this were true it would seem like a nonsensical reason for a particular constitutional set-up.

Even if monarchy was to be trimmed down or was to bring in more money than the extravagant sums it costs, that would not justify its role.

At the end of the day it is a ­question of power and of what we want from our country and our system of ­government.

Surely Scotland should be a sovereign and democratic country where we make our own decisions rather than being treated like an ancient heirloom to be passed down through a wealthy family based on birthright?

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Having an elected head of state would create an opportunity to reflect on what our country stands for.

Monarchy has always been treated like a constitutional inevitability, but it seems that things are finally changing.

The polls show that more people than ever before are asking why we need a monarchy, particularly in Scotland. There surely aren’t many who would want one if we were ­setting up a new country from scratch.

I respect the views of the people who came out to see the King. I hope they enjoyed the day. But I also hope they’ll reflect on what we miss by ­being unable to choose a head of state whose voice truly represents us. It’s time for a deep and respectful discussion about the future we want for our country and for future generations.

With a new King on the throne these questions are more pertinent than ever. Particularly with the issue of independence still a live and urgent question for our country, we have the opportunity to change things and do far better. We should seize it with both hands.