Symon Hill, a churchgoer who was arrested and de-arrested for shouting ‘Who elected him?’ during King Charles’ proclamation in Oxford, says it was his Christian faith which convicted him to do it.
“I appreciate some Christians will have different views to me, but I don't know how I can declare anyone other than Jesus to be my only rightful Lord and King.
“If Charles is my only rightful Lord and King, then how can Jesus be?,” Hill told Premier.
The 45-year-old was returning home after worshiping at New Road Baptist Church when he encountered large crowds celebrating the proclamation of Charles as the new King.
According to Hill, he only shouted after the part of the proclamation related to mourning the passing of Queen Elizabeth was over.
“I did not interrupt an active morning. I did not intrude on anybody's belief. I did not mock anybody who died. Indeed, I didn't criticise anybody personally, at all.
“I would never protest at the funeral, for example. Of course not. It's a funeral, people have the right to grieve,” he continued.
Hill said that security guards pushed him backwards and took him to the police, after which he was “led down the street, handcuffed, arrested and put in the back of a van”.
Hill was later de-arrested and told he would be contacted for an interview at a later date and might still be charged.
Thames Valley Police confirmed to Premier he was arrested and later de-arrested on Sunday and is “engaging with us voluntarily as we investigate a public order offence”.
The history teacher told Premier his anti-monarchist views are deeply rooted in his Christian faith. For him, everyone is entitled “to respect and dignity” as we are all equally created “in the image of God”.
“So when people say, ‘Oh, you should have shown respect to the King’, I'm more than happy to show respect to Charles Windsor as a human being, as my equal human being with good points and bad points and faults and virtues, [someone] that is the same as the rest of us,” he explained.
When asked about Christians supporting the monarchy, Hill said: “I'm not for a minute suggesting they are any less of a Christian than me.”
“They may be, in many ways, much better than me,” he continued. “But I would want to understand how they can find that compatible with the Lordship of Jesus.”
Many found Hill’s words disrespectful, commenting that there is “a time and a place” for such protests. But for Hill, it is important to distinguish between mourning the Queen’s death and the proclamation of Charles as the new Head of State.
“Those two things are not the same,” he added. “It may be that in a monarchical system, they are treated the same. But rationally, and practically, they are not.”
“The timing that I protested against the proclamation of a new king was when the new king was being proclaimed.
“There can't be any more suitable time to object to something than when it's happening.”
Concerns about the right to freedom of speech in the UK are rising with several arrests made since the start of the ceremonial events last Friday.
In a statement, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said: "The public absolutely have a right to protest and we have been making this clear to all officers involved in the extraordinary policing operation currently in place."