Environmental activists demanding urgent action against climate change have carried out their highest profile demonstration so far in a two-week campaign in London.
Demonstrators daubed a memorial fountain outside Buckingham Palace with red paint to symbolise blood on the hands of the royal family.
They also let off flares and carried placards reading: “A royal bloodbath.”
The fountain, the Victoria memorial, is a few metres from the gates to the queen’s residence and next to St James’s Park, and is a popular spot for tourists to take photos.
The protest was carried out by Animal Rebellion, an arm of Extinction Rebellion, which is holding two weeks of protests in central London.
“[The protest was] to symbolise the blood on the queen’s hands and the royal family’s crimes against animals and our planet,” said Dora Hargitai, a co-founder of Animal Rebellion.
“We believe crown land should be used to grow healthy and nutritious food for all of us.
“We cannot resolve the climate crisis without resolving the animal crisis and food crisis at the same time, which are all interlinked,” she said.
Extinction Rebellion activists also targeted the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on Thursday, calling for an end to new investment in fossil fuels.
“The key message of today is stopping the harm. When you’re in an existential crisis, when the life support systems of the Earth are literally breaking down … the first thing you do is to stop the harm,” said Gail Bradbrook, an XR co-founder.
“Unfortunately our government, and this department in particular, is actively involved in harming our planet."
The two weeks of Extinction Rebellion activism is taking place at locations around London.
On Monday, hundreds of people marched through St James’s Park towards Trafalgar Square, where a band blocked the road.
The protests come before the UK hosts the Cop26 environmental summit in November and after a series of UN reports warning of the increasing danger of climate change.
Last year, similar rallies led to the closure of Oxford Street, one of the capital’s main shopping streets.