Campaign group Republic has called for a national debate on the future of the monarchy, saying the automatic accession and today's proclamation are an affront to democracy.

Speaking for Republic, Graham Smith said:

"While we recognise that many people are reflecting on the loss of the Queen, Britain does need a debate on the future of the monarchy in light of King Charles’s accession to the throne."

"A proclamation of a new king is an affront to democracy, a moment that stands firmly against the values most of us believe in, values such as equality, accountability and the rule of law."

"Britain has changed almost beyond recognition since 1952 and the last royal succession. In this modern and democratic society our head of state cannot simply step into the role without debate or without challenge to his legitimacy."

"Many people will want to shut down any debate and will demand silence from the monarchy’s critics at this time, yet, with more than one in four people wanting the monarchy abolished, the debate must take hold sooner rather than later."

"The country has a new head of state without discussion, debate or the consent of the people, a head of state determined to play a very different role to that of his late mother."

"We have every sympathy for King Charles as he mourns the loss of his mother. Yet it is the nature of a hereditary monarchy that a very personal loss is coupled with a very public and significant constitutional event – the anointing of a new head of state."

"Raising questions about the nature of that position and the role of the monarchy at this time is unavoidable."

"It is notable that the level of public support enjoyed by the monarchy - which has fallen sharply over recent years - has to a large extent been buoyed by the Queen’s reign."

"The first succession in the modern democratic age, the first succession since the advent of the internet and the tectonic social and political shifts of the past 70 years must raise serious questions about how we govern ourselves in the future."

"We believe Britain needs to move to a democratic alternative to the hereditary monarchy. We believe that debate must start now."