Belgian Princess detained at London climate protest

Police in the UK capital London arrested the half-sister of King Albert of the Belgians during a sit-in by the climate action group Extinction Rebellion. 63-year-old Princess Esmerelda, who is the daughter of the late King Leopold III and his second wife the late Princess Liliane, has since been released. During the past week activists from Extinction Rebellion have been staging sit-ins in a number of world cities, including London.

Princess Esmerelda was detained during one such sit-in on Trafalgar Square in Central London. She was among a large number protesters that were removed from the Square by police. The Belgian Princess was taken away in a police van. She was question at a near-by police station. Princess Esmerelda told the Francophone daily ‘L’Echo’ that she was held for around 5 hours before being realeased.

She added that although she was prepared for every eventuality she was extreamly anxious when police took her away to the police station. Nevertheless, she intends to carry on protesting for measures to stop climate change.

"The more people from all sections of society protest, the great the impact will be”, Princess Esmerelda told L’Echo.

"The state of (climate) emergency calls on us al to put pressure on governments to take urgent action”, the Princess wrote on Twitter. 

Princess Esmerelda has long been active in the climate action movement and has met leading figures in it such as Greta Thunberg, Anuna De Wever and Kyra Gantois.

Extinction Rebellion has been blocking streets and squares in a number of European cities all week. In London the BBC was also targeted by the activists. On Friday the blockaded the entrance to Broadcasting House in protest at what they claim is the British public service broadcaster’s “marginalisation” of news concerning climate change issues.

Today activists from Extinction Rebellion plan to stage a protest in the gardens of the yal Palace in Brussels.