Campaigners plan protest against Crown Estates to mark King’s birthday
Campaigners from the newly formed group Cymru Republic will mark the birthday of King Charles with a protest against the Crown Estates.
The group, which organised demonstrations against the King’s visit to Cardiff last September and during the Coronation last month, will hold an event next Saturday (17 June) to symbolically take back the land of the Crown Estates.
The Crown Estate is an independent company which belongs to the monarch for the duration of their reign, though the revenue from its £16 billion property portfolio flows directly to the Treasury.
The Sovereign Grant, which pays for the King’s official duties as head of state, is currently set at 25% of the Crown Estate’s annual profits, including a 10% uplift to pay for the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace.
The estate’s holdings were devolved to Scotland in 2016, and its revenue now goes to the Scottish Government.
Ben Gwalchmai from the group said: “Both our First Minister and the Climate Change Minister want the devolution of the Crown Estate to the Welsh Government.
“In January 2023, the First Minister confirmed that it is Welsh Government policy. This protest and every protest on royal land is therefore in support of not just everyone in Wales who wants a fairer future but in support of the policy of the Welsh Government.
“In fact, there is consensus across mainstream politics in Wales, except the Tories, calling for the Crown Estate to be devolved, and a recent YouGov poll suggests that 75% of Welsh people want it to be devolved.”
Adam Johannes added: “The Crown Estate is a vast portfolio of land and property owned by the Monarch and run by unelected and unaccountable commissioners. It is worth billions and includes everything from farms and forests to shopping centres and office blocks, to riverbeds and seas.
“It is a vast empire that stretches across the length and breadth of the UK, and yet we, as Welsh citizens, have no say in how it is managed or how the profits are distributed.
“We must have the right to manage our own resources and decide how they are used for the benefit of our people. It is time for us to take control of this vast empire, and use it to build a better future for ourselves and our children.
“This is not about Nationalism or separatism; it is about democracy and fairness. It is about empowering communities and giving them a genuine say in the decisions that affect their lives”
The action in Cardiff will take place at 3pm in Bute Park, with participants being encouraged to meet at the Stone Circle.
The group is also encouraging people in different parts of Wales to take part, sharing an online resource of where people can find Crown Estate land.
Former MS Bethan Sayed said: ‘It is an outrage that the Crown Estate, which also includes some of the most valuable real estate in the country, is controlled from London and used to generate revenue for the UK Treasury and Monarchy, with little regard for the needs of the communities where it is located.
“The Crown Estate owns significant chunks of the Welsh coastline, yet the decisions about how to manage and develop these areas are made by people in another country who have no connection to the people or the land.
That is why we are calling for the Crown Estate to be taken into democratic public ownership. We could choose to use the land for creating new green jobs or investing in renewable energy.
“Taking this action on the birthday of the King is symbolic- we are saying no more- give us back our land. We hope people from across Wales will take part where Crown Estate land exists nearby- because it most certainly will stretch the length of Wales unfortunately.”
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