WINDSOR, England (WSVN) – Saturday’s highly-anticipated nuptials between Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle has security stepped-up — particularly in the wake of terror attacks across Europe.
With more than 100,000 people expected to turn out for the royal wedding, keeping them and the public safe is priority number one for authorities.
According to Robert Broadhurst, a former London Police commander, the sheer volume of people — not only around Windsor castle, but in the town itself — is a massive security issue.
“It is a real challenge. Because of the celebratory nature versus the security, it is impossible to search tens of thousands of people who want to come and line the streets,” he said.
The United Kingdom is already on high alert, with a current threat level of “severe.”
In the past year alone, there have been a string of terror attacks across the U.K., like the explosion at an Ariana Grande concert last May in Manchester that killed 19 people and injured another 50, and the London subway bombing that injured 29 people and raised Britain’s terrorism threat level to critical last June.
Broadhurst said Saturday’s wedding presents a particularly delicate challenge for law enforcement. “It’s much harder, it’s much more of a challenge, because essentially everybody in that crowd is a potential terrorist, and you don’t need to have spent hours or months building sophisticated bombs or other weaponry,” he said. “You just need a kitchen knife or a gun up your jumper, or even just a hire car, or any car, or lorry or van. So there are a new set of challenges for the police.”
Protective barriers have been set up to prevent any type of vehicle attack, like the one on the Westminister Bridge where a driver of a van plowed into an unsuspecting crowd in March of 2017.
Broadhurst said officers at the wedding could potentially be dealing with different kinds of attackers. “Any one of which could be a potential terrorist, someone who’s besotted with the royal family — and there are a number of those, believe me — or just an attention seeker.”
Which is why armed patrols and airport-style security will be among the measures taken in and around the Town of Windsor.
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