Protesters arrested moments before Royal Family attends Commonwealth Day Service

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
Police officers detain one of two men who ran into the road outside Westminster Abbey, London, ahead of the Commonwealth Service. (Press Association)

Two men have been arrested after protests outside Westminster Abbey, moments before the Queen and the Royal Family marked Commonwealth Day.

Several members of the family, including Harry and Meghan, and Kate and William, are attending the Commonwealth Day Service, but just moments before they were due to arrive, protesters broke down a barrier.

Videos and photos which surfaced online showed a scuffle between officers and the protesters.

Photos released by Press Association showed at least one man being detained after running into the road outside the Abbey.

Two people were arrested in London ahead of the service. (Press Association)

Read more: Sussexes and Cambridges out of Commonwealth Day procession as Harry and Meghan make final engagement

In a statement on Twitter, MPS Westminster said: “As part of the policing operation for Commonwealth Day celebrations, officers arrested 2 men at approx 2.20pm in Victoria St, SW1 for breach of Anti-Terrorism Road Traffic Regs (ATTRO).

“Both are in police custody. An operation remains in place whilst the celebrations are ongoing.”

The protesters had signs related to Cameroon, including some reading “Commonwealth of hypocrisy”.

Police officers speak with demonstrators holding placards with messages about Cameroon outside Westminster Abbey. (Press Association)
Police officers detain one of two men who ran into the road outside Westminster Abbey. (Press Association)

One of those who appeared to be taking part in the protest shared a photo on Twitter beforehand, which said: “Demonstration at Westminster Abbey on Commonwealth day, demanding justice for the over 350 villages burnt by CameroUn army, We are demanding justice for the Ngharbuh Massacre, justice for baby Martha.”

Signs held by the protesters read “We demand justice for Kwa Kwa” and “stop the torture, stop the rape, stop the killings”.

The arrests happened less than an hour before the arrival of the royals, including Prince Harry, Meghan, Prince William and Kate, as they attended the annual Commonwealth Day Service.

The service is the last scheduled engagement for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who will be stepping back from senior royal duties at the end of the month.