Moment Charles and Camilla are accosted by conspiracy theorist Piers Corbyn as anti-monarchy protesters wave ‘Not My King’ banners outside Colchester castle
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The King and Queen Consort ignored protestors led by conspiracy theorist Piers Corbyn as they met hundreds of well-wishers on a visit to Colchester today.
The couple were met at the city’s library by a small group of demonstrators brandishing anti-World Economic Forum placards and a megaphone, which royal fans attempted to drown out with cheers.
They were at the library to take afternoon tea with Age UK volunteers and service users and to learn about the Essex Year of Reading.
As His Majesty went upstairs to chat to charity staff, Camilla, wearing a cream silk Fiona Clare dress and matching coat with a fur-trimmed hat, was greeted by television presenter and author Dermot O’Leary, along with fellow children’s writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce.
‘Very nice to see you,’ she said as she shook their hands.
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla at Colchester Castle to mark its recently awarded city status
Piers Corbyn was among anti-monarchy protesters who had gathered to greet the King in Colchester, Essex
She was also introduced to three local actors dresses as characters from Alice in Wonderland, who treated local schoolchildren from Braiswick Primary School to a reading, helped by schoolgirl Fatima Jallow.
Maddie Earl, the schoolgirl winner of the Esssex Year of reading writing competition, also read out her winning entry and was congratulated by the royal.
She told the children that ‘reading was the greatest gift you can give’.
Before joining her husband upstairs she was given her own library card. ‘Oh thank you very much indeed. I shall have to come back and see what I can find. Next time!’
In a room upstairs her husband, King Charles, was moving from table to table to chatting to clients helped by Age UK and The Silver Line, a 24-hour helpline especially for older people. The King became patron of Age UK in 2010 and his wife patron of The Silver Line in 2017.
He described the work of the volunteers as being ‘inspirational’. ‘What you do is so marvellous,’ he said. ‘Thank you so much for everything you do. It is fantastic.’
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla greeting some schoolchildren outside Colchester Castle
Anti-monarchy protesters were also part of the crowds that had gathered to greet the King in Colchester, Essex
At one table he asked a group of volunteers: ‘Are you all involved in this befriending initiative [where volunteers offer to call an elderly person each week to check in and chat]. It can get quite busy then? Can you fit this in with everything else you do? Do you have to pass a test to be qualified? And get refresher courses? ‘
He added: ‘Are they grateful? ‘
When he was an enthusiastic yes, he chucked and declared: ‘I’m so glad!’
He then eagerly eyed-up their scones, jam and cream and teased them about the right way to eat them – tactfully refusing to say whether he thought it should be jam or cream first.
‘These things are fatal!’ he said.
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla cut a cake during an afternoon tea with volunteers at Age UK at Colchester Library
Some anti-monarchy protesters held ‘Not My King’ signs as crowds gathered to welcome King Charles and Queen Camilla
He was then joined by his wife who asked another volunteer: ‘How did they get you involved then? What you do is absolutely so important. You become their friend. That’s what you do. ‘
The royal visitors then cut a cake to mark their visit holding the knife together and giggling.
Outside there was a vocal battle between the small but loud group of protestors and many of the well-wishers who had waited patiently for a glimpse of the monarch and his wife.
Linda Cameron, 45, from Colchester said: ‘There were only a few of them but they had a megaphone and were trying to make as much noise as possible. They came to try and make a point but people were doing everything they could to drown them out. It was lovely to catch a glimpse of the royals. ‘
Asked whether she thought the King was doing a good job, she said: ‘It’s early days but I think so and he has a very good role model in the late Queen.’
King Charles III speaking to members of the public in Colchester, Essex, today
A group of anti-monarchy protesters were among the members of the public who had turned out to greet the royal couple in Colchester, Essex
Wendy Connelly, 70, added: ‘I think he has done a wonderful job of going out and meeting so many people. It was fantastic that they made the effort to come here. We were very pleased to see them and just tried to ignore those guys over there.’
One of the placard-waving protestors was climate change denier and anti-vaccines activist Piers Coby’s, brother of ex-Labour leader Jeremy.
He said he wanted to protest against the ‘Terra Carta’ – a ‘charter’ of green initiatives devised by Charles when he was Prince of Wales.
‘He signed this document called the Terra Carta which comes from the World Economic Forum. It’s green gobbledygook. It negate the independence of every country, particularly Britain. He should be adhering to the Magna Carta
Queen Consort Camilla spoke to a child as she and King Charles visited Colchester, Essex
An anti-monarchy campaigner held up a yellow sign with the words ‘Not my King’ emblazoned on it
‘I am against all the green nonsense he spouts. I’m here against all the green nonsense he spouts.
‘I’m here about the political stance he has taken. I am not really a monarchist, no, but that’s not the issue here. It’s against his political stance, his connections with the World Economic Forum and the crazy green agenda coming out of it.
‘He’s going along with the World Economic Forum policies which have brought us the injection programmes and all those other things happening now.
‘I did meet the Queen when I was student president of Imperial College London a long time ago. She was very well informed and communicative. It was good to talk to her actually, I had to entertain her for tea. But I don’t think Prince Charles is communicative.’
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