Paul Powlesland and his inspiration.
A barrister has claimed he was threatened with arrest if he protested the monarchy.
Paul Powlesland said he travelled to Parliament Square on Monday and "held up a blank piece of paper". The Garden Court Chambers tenant said a Metropolitan Police officer approached him, asked for his details and "confirmed that if I wrote 'Not My King' on it, he would arrest me under the Public Order Act because someone might be offended".
In a video capturing part of the exchange, Powlesland can be heard asking the police officer why his details were being demanded.
"I was holding up a blank sign, why are you asking for my details?", queries Powlesland. "You said you were gonna write stuff on it that may offend people, around the King", replies the officer. "I said I was going to write 'Not my King', on a sign", objects Powlesland. "It may offend someone", responds the officer. "Who's it going to offend?" asks Powlesland. "I don't know. Someone might be offended", retorts the officer.
"'Not my King?' 'Someone might be offended'?" says the barrister, incredulously. The clip ends as the officer offers to "give you some advice".
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said in a statement, "We're aware of a video online showing an officer speaking with a member of the public outside the Palace of Westminster".
"The public absolutely have a right to protest and we have been making this clear to all officers involved in the extraordinary policing operation currently in place and we will continue to do so", he said.
The Met declined to comment on Powlesland's allegation that he was threatened with arrest if he wrote his message.
"The overwhelming majority of interactions between officers and the public at this time have been positive as people have come to the Capital to mourn the loss of Her Majesty the Queen", said Cundy.
In an appearance on Good Morning Britain, Powlesland, who specialises in environmental law, said the experience had converted him to republicanism, although given his desire to wave a sign around rejecting the rule of King Charles III, he was arguably some way along the path already.
The 36-year-old said on the show, "I think we need to draw a clear line between disrespect for mourning of the Queen and the protesting of Charles’s accession".
"I really love the Queen, I found the idea of the Queen a kind of reassuring presence".
As for Charlie, "He’s coming in saying 'I am now your King, you’re my subject', and I think people should have a right to say, 'I disagree and I don’t want you to be'".
"I wasn’t outside Buckingham Palace, I wouldn’t have gone outside Buckingham Palace, because that’s where people are mourning", he said. "I was outside parliament, the centre of our politics, where someone has proclaimed himself King and said that I’m his subject".
"I think I get a chance to at least make my opinion about what I think about that in very polite terms".
Powlesland said he was protesting "for free speech reasons", and described how, "as precious - if not more precious - than the monarchy is the real, beautiful web of freedoms and civil liberties that we’ve built up here over centuries".
"We’d be very wrong to begin to sacrifice those in this kind of moment", said the barrister.
In Scotland, a 22-year-old woman actually was arrested, after she held up a cardboard sign bearing the suggestion, "FUCK IMPERIALISM ABOLISH THE MONARCHY". She has reportedly been charged in connection with a breach of the peace.
It is Garden Court's second collision with free speech issues this year, having been found guilty in July of discriminating against one of its other tenants, Allison Bailey, by publicly stating that it was investigating her for posting gender critical tweets.