Royal fan detained for 13 hours after 'wrongful arrest' at King's coronation

A royal superfan was arrested and detained by police for 13 hours just for standing near a group of Just Stop Oil protesters at the King's coronation.

Alice Chambers, a 36-year-old architect from Australia who lives in London, was handcuffed by police officers last Saturday while eagerly awaiting to see the King drive past on his way to Westminster Abbey to be officially crowned.

Speaking to Sky News, she recalled patiently sitting on the ground among other royal revellers on The Mall when she noticed a "commotion" before several police officers stormed over.

"There was a big commotion as several police officers swooped in and started arresting Just Stop Oil protesters before they could begin protesting," she said.

"Before I could get up, two police officers came over and grabbed me, before taking me away in handcuffs."

Ms Chambers said she repeatedly tried to explain to officers that she was merely an innocent bystander, but was met with silence.

"When I was arrested I repeatedly tried to explain to the police I had no affiliation with the protesters. I provided my personal details, but was still detained for 13 hours."

Ms Chambers recalled feeling distressed as she was taken into custody at Wandsworth police station where she spent the rest of coronation day - not exactly what she had in mind for the once-in-a-lifetime event.

Police acknowledged 'misunderstanding'

She said she was kept locked up until around 7pm when she was finally interviewed by officers, who "quickly realised" they had made a grave error.

"It was only when I was interviewed hours after being detained that the officers realised I was simply an innocent bystander and subsequently released me with no further action," she said.

Ms Chambers added the officers were then very kind towards her and apologetic, telling her it was a "misunderstanding".

Read more:
Composer denies he was Meghan in disguise at coronation
Bridgerton star's coronation remark becomes most complained
Coronation protesters arrest to be investigated by MPs

Following her ordeal, Ms Chambers called for an investigation into police failings on coronation day, despite understanding the police "had a lot to deal with" in regards to controlling the crowds.

Addressing the mistake, a Metropolitan Police spokesman told Sky News: "We are aware that a woman was arrested in relation to a protest on 6 May 2023.

Click to subscribe to the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts

"The arresting officer was from Lincolnshire Police and the complaint has therefore been passed to the relevant force to investigate.

"The Met will assist by providing any relevant information they require."