KING Charles’ visit to a Scottish food bank has been branded a “pretence of compassion”, by anti-monarchy campaigners.

Charles visited the Inverurie-based Aberdeenshire North Foodbank on Thursday and donated a community fridge to the project, a spokesman for the King said.

But Our Republic, a campaign group which advocates for an independent Scottish republic, said Charles’s vast wealth – estimated at around $500 million by Forbes – meant he could make a “true difference” to the lives of people he considered “subjects”.

They called the visit a “photo op” ahead of his coronation – noting that the King had decided against a toned-down version of the ceremony, which some had considered more appropriate in light of the cost-of-living crisis.  

The National:

A spokesperson for the group said: “Charles is stepping down from his golden throne for the day to engage in a pretence of compassion for those he considers subjects.

“He has the means to make a true difference to their lives. His many palaces with their hundreds of rooms and catering could serve as homes for the homeless.

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“His millionaire wealth could feed those in need but instead he only visits with thoughts and prayers.

“Instead, desperate people will become no more than a backdrop for his photo op, a PR exercise ahead of his coronation.

“A coronation he refused to tone down in solidarity with those forced to food banks and instead will be conducted with all the obscene displays of pomp and wealth he believes himself, and no one else, to be entitled to.”

Time to Spare 

The King was presented with a plaque made to commemorate his visit to Mid-Deeside Community Shed, and the Aboyne Men’s Shed.

The visit was the King’s first public engagement since the Duke of Sussex’s memoir Spare hit the shops.

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Tipped by industry experts to be one of the year’s biggest-selling books, it contains a series of revelations about royal life.

According to the publisher, the English language edition of Spare sold more than 1,430,000 units in all formats and editions in the United States, Canada and the UK on January 10 when it first hit bookshop shelves.

Mike Brooks, the chair of the Aboyne Men’s Shed, said: “The day went really well. It was great to see the King come to this Shed.

“A lot of men are on their own, and find themselves with no-one, and it can be very lonely, and this place is all about getting men chatting together.”

Charles also visited Gordon Rural Action and Young at Heart Deeside on his trip to Scotland.

The fridge he donated would be used to store food donated by members of public for those from local communities facing hardship.