Protesters holding blank signs and banners gathered outside St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh where the Queen's coffin has been lying at rest. 

A small group of people stood opposite the historic building on the Royal Mile holding the blank papers in defence of freedom of speech. 

They claimed they would not write anything on the paper amid fears they would be arrested. 

It comes after a London barrister held a blank piece of paper on Parliament Square. Paul Powlesland claimed an officer informed him that he would be arrested if he were to write "not My King" on the paper. 

Protesters in Edinburgh said the tactic was inspired by activists in Hong Kong and Russia.

Rosie Thompson, 22, a student at Edinburgh University, originally from Cambs., said: "We are extremely worried and very concerned, this is an extreme example of a growing trend of laws passed by Priti Patel.

"The right of freedom of speech is a fundamental pillar of democracy.

"We've not had any interaction with police today.

"It's been used in Russia and Hong Kong.

"People are being arrested for expressing opinions like the right to question the head of state."

Douglas Rogers, 27, a freelance writer who lives in Edinburgh added: "It's threatening the basics of democracy which we don't like.

"I think the monarchy is a bit outdated but a lot of people do like it.

"We have got to have democracy along side that.

"The idea that someone can say 'I don't like the king' and be arrested is wrong.

"This is just a defence of the right to protest."

The monarch's cortege will travel to Edinburgh Airport at 3pm to allow the coffin to be taken to London. 

Civil liberties groups have criticised police forces for their 'heavy-handed' approach to anti-monarchy protesters.

Ruth Smeeth, chief executive of Index on Censorship, said the arrests were "deeply concerning", adding: 'The fundamental right to freedom of expression, including the right to protest, is something to be protected regardless of circumstance.

"People across the country and beyond continue to mourn the loss of the Queen, a loss felt keenly by so many. However, we must guard against this event being used, by accident or design, to erode in any way the freedom of expression that citizens of this country enjoy."

A 22-year-old man has been charged with a breach of the peace after the Duke of York was heckled while walking behind the Queen's coffin on Monday. 

Another two people were charged in connection with a breach of the peace after protesting during a proclamation ceremony in Edinburgh.