Here’s How How British Police Plan to Handle Terror Threats on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding Day
The royal wedding is meant to be a day of joy and excitement for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and the millions of people around the world who will watch the two tie the knot. But for the police, it’s a stressful day spent keeping a close watch on anyone who could be a threat. Here’s everything the police are doing to fight potential terrorist attacks. Plus, learn what those who visit the small town of Windsor (where the couple will wed) can expect.
It’s impossible to search everyone
On the couple’s wedding day, police can expect tens of thousands of visitors to line the streets of Windsor with the hope of catching a glimpse of the royal couple. But with so many people coming into town, it’s impossible for police to search everybody. “It’s much more of a challenge because essentially everybody in that crowd is a potential terrorist,” Bob Broadhurst, a former police officer, told Reuters. Broadhurst was the “Gold Commander” in charge of policing William and Kate’s 2011 wedding.
Next: The police see one of Harry and Meghan’s requests as incredibly dangerous.
Harry and Meghan want an open-top parade, which raises serious security concerns
Harry and Meghan want to celebrate their marriage with a parade through the streets of town — in a carriage with a completely open top. But police said the streets of downtown Windsor give terrorists ample opportunities to hide. “There are so many areas where gunmen could hide and terrorists could drop things onto the procession below,” one source told Express. The couple’s route would be two miles, which passes hundreds of flats, houses, shops, and balconies that would look down on the parade.
Next: Police have already increased their presence in Windsor.
Windsor has already seen an increased police presence
Windsor will have more than 3,000 police offers on duty for the wedding, and security has already started to build up. That number of police officers is more than triple the number that protected Prince Charles and Camilla’s royal wedding back in 2005, Reuters reported. But right now, England’s terrorist threat is at the second-highest level: Severe. This means a terrorist attack is highly likely.
Next: Vehicle attacks, such as the 2017 London Bridge attack, are a major concern.
Barriers will be in place to prevent vehicle attacks
Terrorists have begun to find new ways to harm innocent people, and vehicle attacks seem to be the attack of choice. In June 2017, eight people were killed in London when a van with three attackers hit several pedestrians walking on the London Bridge. Now, vehicle attacks have become more popular among terrorists. Police said they plan to have barriers in place to prevent vehicles from posing a threat to the royal couple and those looking to celebrate the wedding.
Next: Those using public transportation can expect this.
Visitors arriving by car or train should expect random searches
While the police said it’s impossible to search everyone, random searches will still be in place. Those arriving by public transportation can expect to be searched at security’s will. According to Reuters, the police said in a statement that any items that could potentially pose a threat to the public will be confiscated. In addition to thousands of police officers, there will also be search dogs patrolling the area.
Next: Although not as threatening, these are also a concern.
Stunts and protests are also a concern
When William and Kate got married, there were several anti-government protests going on. Although they’re not of the same importance as minding terrorism, they’re still a concern for police. Plus, stunts done by people vying for media attention also need to be monitored by police. “It can just be a stunt that’s not going to harm anybody but it becomes headline news and it kind of then takes the gloss off the wedding itself,” former police officer Bob Broadhurst told Reuters. It is security’s job to make sure the focus stays on Harry and Meghan.
Next: But police want to make sure to keep the quality of the wedding.
But police will try to make sure security does not overshadow the wedding
“In this day and age, security must always trump celebration,” Broadhurst told Reuters. But it’s still the police’s job to make sure that security doesn’t overshadow Harry and Meghan’s big day. It’s their wedding, but it’s also a wedding that will drive thousands of people to Windsor just for the pure excitement of witnessing the historical royal wedding. And the police need to make sure it’s a day to remember for all the right reasons.
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