Two women, understood to be Just Stop Oil protesters, have been arrested after letting loose an orange smoke canister outside the Duke of Westminster's wedding at Chester Cathedral today (Friday, June 7).

The Duke and Duchess of Westminster had stepped outside the cathedral to cheers from crowds lining the streets, when the commotion happened nearby as one of the two women let smoke out of the canisters.

Police confiscated the canisters and arrested the two women.

Campaign group Just Stop Oil, which was behind the incident, said 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 from Norfolk, 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.”


A second protester Sheila, 69, from Bristol, 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.”

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.”

Rhona Dalziel, 57, said: “One of them had been reading a Richard Osman book. It’s bizarre.”

A Cheshire Police spokesperson said: "Shortly after 1pm on Friday 7 June a coloured flare was released by two women, believed to be protesting on behalf of Just Stop Oil, on St Werburgh 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 wedding ceremony had attracted thousands of people to Chester city centre. Prince William was one of the attendees while the Duke was accompanied by close friends and family.

The newlyweds left the cathedral for a private occasion at the Eaton Estate.