Just Stop Oil protesters target Duke of Westminster’s wedding with fire extinguishers in Chester

  • The aftermath of the protest where Just Stop Oil campaigners let off orange powder paint following the Duke of Westminster's wedding to Olivia Henson

Protesters have disrupted the wedding of the Duke of Westminster just yards in front of his close friend, Prince William.

Orange powder was let off from a fire extinguisher-type device, stopping the wedding party as they left the church.

One of the two women was heard to say “Just Stop Oil” as the device was released, after the duke and his new bride Olivia Henson kissed for the crowds.

Crowds booed as the women were removed by police.

The campaign group has since claimed responsibility for the protest, saying two of its supporters had used fire extinguishers to project powder paint near the entrance to Chester Cathedral as the newlyweds made their way to a Bentley car.

In a statement, they quoted protester Polly, 73, a care worker, who said: “Weddings are a time of coming together in celebration to make a commitment to the future.

“However, for countless millions around the world there is no future unless we come together to stop oil and gas.”

Orange smoke was seen rising from the crowds of people watching the newly weds leave the church. Credit: ITV News

A second protester Sheila, 69, who worked as an NHS nurse for 50 years, was quoted as saying: “What do we value most? The wealth of billionaires like the Duke of Westminster or the lives of the billions who are being destroyed by the fossil fuel industry?

“Extreme wealth and the climate crisis are both symptoms of a broken system that is not serving most ordinary people.”

One of the protesters being led away by police. Credit: ITV News

Barbara Williams, 81, from Cheshire, who was standing next to the protesters in the crowd, said: “I feel a bit shaken after it.

“We were standing next to them all day.”

Her friend Andrea Machin, 56, added: “They were already here when we arrived at 7am, they had shopping trolleys with them.

“Everyone was watching the bride and groom and then we just saw orange and they had what looked like a fire extinguisher with them.

“The police realised quite quickly what was happening and pulled them out. One of them said it was for her grandchildren. It happened just as William was coming out of the door.”

A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: “Shortly after 1pm on Friday a coloured flare was released by two women, believed to be protesting on behalf of Just Stop Oil, on St Werberg Street, Chester.

“Officers were immediately on the scene and two women were quickly arrested on suspicion of public order offences.

“The 69-year-old woman from Manchester and 73-year-old woman from Suffolk are both in police custody at this time.”

The Prince of Wales had been an usher at the ceremony at Chester Cathedral on Friday afternoon.

It is believed Prince William is understood to have watched the disruption unfold but was unaffected.