A PROTESTER who joined a freedom of speech demonstration outside St Giles' Cathedral has insisted this is "the most important time to voice dissent" following the King's proclamation. 

Anh-Quan Nguyen, 30, joined a line of people holding a white banner and blank sheets of paper next to where the Queen's coffin was lying in state on Tuesday afternoon.

The demonstration was held in solidarity with those arrested over the past couple of days for questioning the monarchy and King Charles's ascension to the throne. 

Barrister Paul Powlesland held up a blank placard outside the Palace of Westminster on Monday and said he was told by police he would be arrested if he wrote "not my King" on it. 

Nguyen, who works as a philosophy lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, said people expressing their views on the monarchy does not warrant a police response and the fundamental right to protest must be protected.

He told the National: "Someone was arrested in Oxford for asking: 'Who elected him?'

"These are really harmless things and they don’t warrant any police response, never mind arrests.

"This is not just a private funeral, this is a state funeral that is pushed into everyone’s face. It's an exercise in British nationalist myth-building really because they sense the fragility that is happening across the UK and they want everyone to be silent and grieve with everyone.

"So this the most important time to voice dissent and that cannot be punished. It’s a fundamental right for every citizen of the UK to say what they think, to say this is the future and the time to question things."

A man who allegedly shouted abuse at Prince Andrew as he marched behind the Queen's coffin on Monday has been charged by police.

READ MORE:  'Charles has become king with support for monarchy at new low', says John Curtice

The 22-year-old was filmed on Monday being pulled out of a crowd by two men after he was said to be heckling the Earl of Inverness over his friendship with the late paedophile Jeffery Epstein and the financier’s one-time girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell.

Police also confirmed a 22-year-old woman had been charged with breaching the peace after allegedly holding a sign that said “F*** imperialism. Abolish the monarchy". She has been released from custody and is due in court at a later date.

The National: Protesters defended freedom of speech amid police making controversial arrests across the UKProtesters defended freedom of speech amid police making controversial arrests across the UK (Image: Newsquest)

A police source said she had been arrested in relation to her behaviour and not for displaying the banner. 

In another incident, a 38-year-old man was arrested and charged with a breach of the peace after he was allegedly spotted carrying eggs as the Queen's funeral cortage passed him near Duthie Park in Aberdeen on Sunday.

Nguyen said the protest had had a mixed reaction, but most people had said they didn't agree with the arrests and people should be able to talk about the legacy of the Queen openly.

He added: "People have reacted mostly positively. Some people were upset because they love the Queen and they’re sad and I accept that.

READ MORE: Bannockburn visitor centre to close on Monday for Queen's funeral

"But other people said they loved the Queen but they thought people shouldn’t have been arrested. Two lads from Kinross came down to see what was going on in Edinburgh and they actually joined the protest.

"We should talk about the legacy of the Queen openly. She interfered in Scottish Parliament proceedings to protect her estate from environmental legislation. She did these kind of things and they need to be [spoken about].

"This is not a politically neutral moment and lots of people recognise that.

"I think if you want to mourn the Queen, do that, fair enough. She represents a lot to different people. But don’t prevent people from discussing her legacy and don’t prevent people discussing the future of the monarchy and state."

The National: The demonstration attracted plenty of attentionThe demonstration attracted plenty of attention (Image: Public)

Last year it was revealed in a Guardian investigation that lawyers for the Queen lobbied the Scottish Government to exempt her private land from legislation aimed at cutting carbon emissions. 

It meant the monarch did not need to follow the rules set out in the Heat Networks Bill, which requires people to facilitate the construction of pipelines for heating using renewable energy, rather than fossil fuels.

It also emerged the Queen had had advanced access to at least 67 Holyrood parliamentary bills

The practice, known as crown consent, is a custom inherited from Westminster and deals with legislation considered to affect the monarch's public powers, private property or personal interests.