Protestors Disrupt the Duke of Westminster’s Society Wedding – PEOPLE

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It’s not the usual fanfare associated with weddings attended by members of the royal family.

When newlyweds Hugh Grosvenor and Olivia Henson, the Duke and Duchess of Westminster, emerged from Chester Cathedral on June 7, they were met with a brief disruption in the celebration.

Protestors among the crowd released a cloud of orange smoke, projected into the air above well-wishers and to the side of the media area, as they called out, “Just stop oil.” The smoke apparently was made by powder paint projected from fire extinguishers, the anti-fossil fuel protest group said.

The protestors were quickly drowned out by boos and jeers as police approached, taking away the smoke container and escorting those responsible away.

Just Stop Oil has made a name for itself in the U.K. attacking works of art and other installations with orange paint. In October 2022, two protesters threw tomato soup at one of Van Gogh’s famous Sunflower paintings hung in the National Gallery in London. Two people were arrested, and the art, protected by a glass cover, was re-hung a few hours later, the BBC reported.

The group said that two protesters conducted the act on June 7. One was Polly, a 73-year-old care worker from Norfolk, who was quoted by Just Stop Oil as saying, “Weddings are a time of coming together in celebration to make a commitment to the future. However, for countless millions around the world there is no future unless we come together to stop oil and gas. That’s why we are demanding that the next U.K. government work with other countries to phase out fossil fuels by 2030.”

A protester is led away after Just Stop Oil tried to disrupt the wedding celebrations of the Duke of Westminster and Oliva Henson in Chester, U.K. on June 7, 2024.

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Prince William, who was an usher at the wedding for his friend, likely would have seen the protest as he watched the couple head off from the church. The Prince of Wales, 41, is a committed environmentalist, spearheading his own project to find ways to help the planet, the Earthshot Prize.

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Prince William attends the Duke of Westminster’s wedding on June 7, 2024.

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Hugh, 33, and Olivia, 31, didn’t appear to let the brief protest mar their big day. Moments earlier, they emerged from Chester Cathedral, stopping to kiss in front of the media cameras watching from across the street in the historic city in northwest England.

About an hour earlier, the bride arrived at the cathedral to a welcome from cheering crowds — and a swirling wind that sent her veil flying up and dress billowing.

The event has been called the society wedding of the year — and for good reason. Hugh is the richest person in the U.K. under 40 and was previously dubbed one of the most eligible bachelors in the U.K.

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Among his many connections to the British royal family, he is a godfather to Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s 10-year-old son, Prince George, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s 5-year-old son Prince Archie.

The Prince of Wales, who arrived well ahead of the guests to begin his duties as an usher, and his cousin Princess Eugenie, were among the friends and family in the 400-strong congregation for the service.

Olivia, who arrived in a vintage Bentley driven by her father Rupert Henson, wore a wedding dress and veil by British bridal designer Emma Victoria Payne.

The Duchess of Westminster departs her wedding on June 7, 2024.

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The ivory silk crepe satin and silk organza gown with a scalloped edge neckline and 6-foot train was decorated with bespoke embroidered detailing that was also featured on her veil. The embroidery was hand-drawn by Payne, incorporating floral motifs and edgings that adorned Olivia’s great-great-grandmother’s veil from around 1880.

The wedding dress has a sleek silhouette of bias cut skirt, pleated waistband, gathered sleeves, wide embroidered silk organza cuffs with a scalloped edge repeat motif and button detailing while its back features a dropped waist, “keyhole back and scalloped edging embroidery embellishments fastening with rouleau loops,” a press release from the couple explained. “It features a detachable 2m silk crepe satin train with a paneled construction.”

Hugh Grosvenor, 7th Duke of Westminster The Duke of Westminster and Olivia Henson at Chester Cathedral on June 7, 2024.

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The bride topped off her wedding day outfit with the ultimate accessory: a tiara. The Faberge Myrtle Leaf Tiara was made for Grosvenor brides and has been in the family since its creation in 1906. She carried a bouquet of flowers picked in the gardens of Eaton Hall, the Grosvenor family’s estate.

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