London’s Metropolitan Police arrested a man who started a fire at Buckingham Palace’s front gates, with footage showing two officers tackling the man to the ground.
The man, who cannot be clearly seen as the event occurred at night, sets the fire at the foot of the palace gate at around 10 p.m. U.K. time on Tuesday. As soon as the fire started, one of the officers jumped on the man and pinned him to the ground as he handcuffed him.
The fire continued to burn during the altercation, but authorities extinguished the blaze shortly after the video ended.
Scotland Yard, the headquarters for the Metropolitan Police, identified the suspect as a 30-year-old man and charged him on suspicion of criminal damage, the Evening Standard reported.
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“Shortly after 22.08hrs on Tuesday, 20 December, a 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage after a small fire was seen near the Buckingham Palace gates,” the police said in a statement. “The man has been taken into custody. The fire has been extinguished.”
The man’s motives remain unknown, but King Charles III has already faced public protests since taking the throne. Charles narrowly avoided a public embarrassment in York when a 23-year-old threw eggs at him and Queen Consort Camilla. The eggs missed the royal couple, and police immediately restrained the protester.
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The protester, identified by The Daily Mail as Patrick Thelwell, is a self-identified climate activist. He told the Mail that he was released on bail on condition that he remain at least 500 meters from the king and that he does not carry eggs in public except for grocery shopping.
Britain’s PA news agency reported that the protester booed and shouted, “This country was built on the blood of slaves” as he was detained.
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Charles took the throne upon his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September but his coronation, in which he will assume the full power and religious responsibility of the crown, is set for May 2023 – an event that the government intends to “showcase the very best of the United Kingdom.”