MEDALS to commemorate the coronation of King Charles which are being handed out to police officers are to cost the Scottish Government more than a quarter of a million pounds.

The total bill for around 13,500 of the silver medals featuring an image of the King and Queen Camilla, will reach £269,745, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Campaigners who want to see the monarchy abolished have described it as an “undemocratic and self-interested raid on public funds for a royal marketing exercise”.

The medal was announced by the UK Government as a “thank you gift from the nation” to commemorate the coronation.

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It was planned to be handed out to emergency service workers who had at least five years’ experience, along with members of the Armed Forces and all those who “actively contributed and supported” the coronation on May 6.

It was reported that the Scottish Government had initially refused to provide funding for the medals.

But ministers reversed their decision following a joint letter from the heads of Scotland’s police, fire and ambulance services which said they were concerned the Scottish Government had rejected a request to fund it.

Tristan Gray, convener of Our Republic, which campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy, said: “It is absolutely right that our emergency services are rewarded for their work over these difficult years.

“That reward should come from listening to what they want, as the Fire Brigades Union secretary has said, that can come with funding their services.”

Gray suggested the Scottish Government had felt “pressure” to spend a quarter of a million pounds on a “PR exercise” on behalf of the King.

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He added: “Charles is a billionaire. If he wanted to personally fund an award with his name and house printed on it, he could do it.

“Instead he has left these vital service workers asking the question: ‘What more is going to be cut so he can have his name associated with our work and sacrifices?'

“This is an entirely undemocratic and self-interested raid on public funds for a royal marketing exercise. Our emergency services deserve better.”

The Freedom of Information response states the estimated cost to purchase the medals for police officers in Scotland is £269,745 including VAT, which will provide 13,555 medals according to figures from Police Scotland.

It says the medals were ordered in October and will be “delivered directly to Police Scotland for distribution”.

In May, Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said as she announced the medal: “The Coronation Medal will act as a reminder of the important part each person has played in this moment of history.

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“From our Armed Forces who protect our country to the emergency services who care for us at home, alongside those volunteers who are giving up their time to make this event so special, I am delighted that we can mark their contribution to this special day, and for each and every day that they go above and beyond serving their country.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are committed to ensuring that those who are eligible in Scotland receive the King’s Coronation medal in recognition of their efforts.

“We had positive discussions with the emergency services and this will be paid for, as normal, by the Scottish Government.”

The Coronation of King Charles, which took place over three days, provoked criticism as the lavish celebrations took place while the UK is experiencing a cost of living crisis.

It was estimated at the time to cost up to £100 million, but the full total has yet to be revealed.