Scottish Government minister Patrick Harvie has dismissed Wednesday's Royal service of Thanksgiving and Dedication for the King as an "overpriced Game of Thrones cosplay exercise."

The Green co-leader made the comments at an anti-monarchy protest outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where he also called for Scotland to elect its head of state.

He was speaking just 30 minutes or so before the King left his Edinburgh residence to take part in the ceremony in St Giles' Cathedral. 

The Herald:

As well as the rally at the foot of the Royal Mile there were protesters gathered at the top end of the High Street, many holding signs reading ‘Not My King.’ 

There were seven arrests in total. 

Police Scotland said two women – aged 20 and 21 - were charged in connection with a breach of the peace “after allegedly attempting to climb over a crowd safety barrier on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh.”

It's understood the two were activists with environmental group This Is Rigged.

Another three men and one woman were "arrested for alleged threatening behaviour and failing to desist."

They all later had their arrests changed to a Recorded Police Warning.

One man was arrested for theft, while another was arrested in connection with an outstanding warrant.  

The force said their priority was “public safety, balanced against people’s rights.”

READ MORE: SUMMARY: King Charles Edinburgh thanksgiving service

In his speech, the Scottish Green co-leader told the crowd that Scots were missing out by not having the ability to choose their own head of state. 

Mr Harvie said he wanted those lining up the Royal Mile looking forward to seeing the Royal  procession to have “a happy day.” 

“I'm pleased the sun is occasionally shining on them. I wish them a happy day. But the thing that I would like them to reflect on, the thing that I would like people who come here to wave their union flags and cheer the King, the thing I would like them to reflect on is what we are missing out on by having a monarchy instead of the chance to choose our own head of state, the opportunity that's missed.”

The veteran MSP said the best speech he had heard in his 20 years in Holyrood was by Michael D Higgins, the President of Ireland, when he addressed the Scottish Parliament in June 2016, just two weeks after the Brexit vote. 

“Now, I don't think we need to have a head of state, a president who's a politician. I think you can, like Ireland, have someone who's a poet, someone who captures something of the story of our country, someone who embodies what it is we seek to be, what constitutes us. 

“That's what I would like to see from a head of state. 

“I would like the people of Scotland, to be able to choose the voice that represents them and that represents not just our past, with pomp and privilege and patronage and ermine robes, but someone who embodies a positive, optimistic democratic vision of our future, of the kind of Scotland that I believe we can and should be if we want to hand on the best possible country to the next generation.”

READ MORE: MP Angus MacNeil suspended from SNP's Westminster group

One of those taking part in the protest outside St Giles' was Rumana Kapadi. She told The Herald: “I am anti monarchy. I'm anti imperialism. I don't believe that they serve the working people. I don't believe that they serve people of colour. 

“All they've done is take from the country that they colonised.” 

The Herald:

Richard Green from Stirling was another in the vocal crowd of demonstrators gathered beside the statue of David Hume. He said he was here because of his support for an independent, Scottish republic. 

“The Westminster government’s denying us the right o have a referendum. There's no constitutional route through by the Scottish people have the right to take a decision on whether we want to remain or not. 

“And at the head of that state which is denying us the right is the monarchy and I'm against an unelected head of state anyway and I don't believe that an independent Scotland should have the monarchy of a foreign country as head of state.”

A small band of counter-protesters gathered nearby, holding signs reading Charles King of Scots. 

It's understood they were led by Alistair McConnachie, whose group, A Force For Good, has links to the far-right BNP.