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King Charles III Portrait in Scotland’s National Gallery Defaced by Climate Activists

A portrait of King Charles III displayed in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh fell victim to vandalism by climate activists on Wednesday, despite the monarch’s advocacy for environmental causes.

Protest by “This is Rigged” Activists

Two members of the climate action group “This is Rigged” staged the protest at 2 p.m., spray-painting the group’s flame logo in neon pink on the monarch’s body and writing “the people are mightier than a lord” on the painting’s background.

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Historic Phrase and Demands

The phrase used by the activists originates from the historic Highland Land League, which, in the late 19th century, employed direct action techniques like rent strikes and land occupations to secure rights for peasants facing displacement from their ancestral lands by landowners. “This is Rigged” has presented demands to the Scottish government, calling for the cessation of all future oil and gas licenses and the establishment of a “fair and fully funded transition for oil workers.”

Threats and Calls for Government Action

The group also threatened to “shut down the Scottish oil industry” and continue their actions until the government meets their demands. One of the protesters asserted that the Scottish government should oppose all new oil and gas licenses to secure a livable future, citing it as the most basic step they can take. The other activist highlighted the extreme heatwave in southern Europe as a pressing reason to transition the country’s economy away from fossil fuels.

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Gallery Impact and Arrests

Credit: DepositPhotos

The Modern Portrait Room in the gallery was closed for the remainder of the day following the vandalism, but the rest of the gallery remained open to visitors. The two activists, aged 21 and 28, were apprehended by the police about an hour later.

King Charles III’s Environmental Advocacy

King Charles III, prior to ascending the throne, has been an advocate for environmental causes and has spoken out on climate change. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2020, he emphasized the urgency of addressing global warming, climate change, and biodiversity loss, describing them as the greatest threats humanity has ever faced.

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