Four women charged after Royal Ascot climate change protest aimed at the Queen
Four environmental protesters who shackled themselves to the running rail at Royal Ascot on Saturday in an attempt to get the Queen to intervene in climate change policy have been charged with obstructing or disrupting a person engaged in a lawful activity.
The protesters, all women aged between 20 and 46 who had been dressed as catering staff, made it on to the track after the first race on Saturday and unfurled a banner with the slogan 'Racing to Extinction'.
When security came to try and remove them they found the women handcuffed to the far rail by the winning post and glued to the banner, requiring a screen to be erected around them while they were taken away and subsequently arrested by Thames Valley Police.
Jessica Agar, 20, Samantha Smithson, 38, and Lucy Porter, 46, all of no fixed abode and Sally Davidson, 33, from London, have been charged and bailed before attending Slough Magistrates Court on July 13.
A police spokesman said they were "not able to confirm" how the protesters were able to get on to the course, but it is understood all four had worked as catering staff on the previous days at Royal Ascot.
The protesters were revealed on Saturday to be linked to the Extinction Rebellion climate change movement and stated in an online press release that they had been trying to directly get the Queen, who was at Royal Ascot for the first time since 2019, to intervene in influencing environmental policy.
The women, who had earlier posted a letter to the Queen on the website change.org, were quoted in the statement apologising for the disruption, but added they had "no other choice" as "we are running out of time in the race to tackle the climate and ecological emergency".
Racing continued without disruption on Saturday with Nick Smith, Ascot's director of racing and public affairs, describing it as "a minor incident" which "barely got noticed".
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