03/06/2012 09:18 BST | Updated 03/06/2012 11:41 BST

Queen's Jubilee: Republican Sentiment In Britain More Prominent Than Ever Ahead Of Diamond Jubilee

The Diamond Jubilee is not only the biggest weekend in the royal calendar but also that for the nation's staunch anti-monarchists.

The campaign group Republic is to demonstrate along the Thames during the Queen's landmark journey, suggesting that anti-monarchy sentiment, though not as prominent as those in favour of the celebrations, is certainly there.

Often disregarded as merely Jubilee grinches, followers of republicanism in the UK are strong-minded and committed to reforming the way the country is structured.

The cost of the royal family to the taxpayer is often cited as a key argument against the monarchy, especially with Britain's economy dipping in and out of recession.

BLOG: This Jubilee, Spare A Thought For Republicans

As such, the cost of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations is of great concern to some citizens. Though Sunday’s flotilla, which is estimated to have cost £12m to organise, is being paid for largely through private donations,the entire jubilee is reported to be costing London's taxpayers approximately £3.5m.

IHS Global Insight, an economic forecasting group, predict that the main cost of the Jubilee weekend will be the cost of the two bank holidays on Monday and Tuesday, citing last year's Royal Wedding as precedent.

"The Office for National Statistics indicated that the extra day’s public holiday in the second quarter of 2011 resulting from the Royal Wedding was one of a number of “special” factors that could have knocked up to 0.5 percentage point off quarter-on-quarter growth."

The total cost on the economy that the Jubilee should have is currently hard to predict.

anti royalists

According to IHS: "Over the year as a whole, the overall negative impact to the economy from the Diamond Jubilee should be pretty modest. However, it is likely that there will be a significant hit to GDP in the second quarter, which will be partly recouped in the third quarter. And economic activity in the third quarter should also be lifted to a limited extent by the staging of the Olympic Games."

Republic spokesperson Graham Smith thinks likewise, saying that the problem with the Jubilee is that “it’s not money well spent".

He adds: "I would imagine businesses will suffer quite considerably over the weekend, given the disruption and bridge closures and road closures.

“Let’s not forget they have not counted the Met’s costs and the costs to TfL and councils along the river. The total cost is going to go even higher.”

Blogging for the Huffington Post UK, consultant and republican Mat Morrisroe claims that between 20 and 40% of the British public is in favour of the UK becoming a republic. He says: "Putting aside the clear absurdity of our system, my main problem with monarchy is that it is a symbol, nay the very apex of the unfairness that blights our society.

"When discussing this recently a friend chided that it's not a symbol of anything, it's just a party for a nice old woman.

"The whole point of monarchy is its symbols, the crown, the thrown, referring to what is just a human being as 'her majesty', genuflecting, throwing a massive expensive party that will slow our economy even further."

So, as the country celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Queen's rise to the throne, perhaps it is also time to spare a thought for the country's republicans?

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