Anti-monarchists stage protest as King Charles marks first Commonwealth Day

Monday marked King Charles III's first Commonwealth Day as monarch and the full family was out in force to celebrate it. 

They were welcomed to Westminster Abbey by the Ngāti Rānana London Māori Club, while separately, protestors brandished signs and chanted "not my King".

"I think the monarchy should be abolished, quite frankly," one protester said.

But the King is on a mission to modernise it and break traditions, which he did by giving a speech.

"Commonwealth Day was an occasion of particular pride for my beloved mother, the late Queen, a treasured opportunity to celebrate our Commonwealth family, to whose service she dedicated her long and remarkable life," he said.

A roll call of royals still in the good books turned out for the occasion, including the King's youngest child Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, who debuted their new titles the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. They were followed by the future King and Queen, but there was no sign of Princes Harry and Andrew.

The royal family was joined by a 2000-strong congregation of high commissioners, politicians, Commonwealth Games athletes, and school children from across the United Kingdom. 

Among the guests trying not to let the sense of occasion overwhelm them was New Zealand's flag bearer Cervante Wild.

"I was hoping that I don't trip up, accidentally hit someone over the head with a flag. That would be a successful service for me."

The next time the crown-wearing crowd gathers there, the pressure will really be on because it'll be King Charles' coronation. That's in seven weeks' time.