Because she happened to be standing next to climate activists on the coronation day of King Charles III, a supporter of the Royal Family has been arrested and detained for 13 hours, according to her own statements. "It was so shocking and emotional because it's something you would never expect to find yourself in a cell for a long time," Alice Chambers told the BBC on Thursday night.
The architect, who comes from Australia, regularly goes to royal events. "I think about all the things I could have done that day, all the parties I could have gone to. But I went to the coronation – and didn't see any of it."
"One would think that something like this should never happen"
According to her own statement, the 36-year-old had secured a good place for the procession on the Mall on Saturday morning. She was – probably unknowingly – next to activists from the group Just Stop Oil. Soon after, officials seized the climate activists and themselves and led them away in handcuffs amid boos from bystanders. Several times she had unsuccessfully pointed out a mix-up. Instead, she was questioned and searched, officers took her fingerprints and a DNA sample, and took photos. It was not until Saturday evening that the error was recognized.
The police had arrested a total of 52 people – mainly opponents of the monarchy and climate activists – on suspicion that they wanted to significantly disrupt the coronation. This is made possible by a new, controversial law that the conservative government passed only shortly before the coronation.
"You'd think something like this should never happen," Chambers said. "No one should have to endure a long time in detention just because they are an innocent bystander." Chambers has filed a complaint against London's Metropolitan Police – which in turn passed it on to Lincolnshire Police because the officer who arrested the woman was seconded from there. "I have the impression that at the moment it's all about finger-pointing and they don't care about my complaint in the slightest," Chambers stressed.