Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Royal wedding day security costs could eclipse 2011 figure
By Jack Hawke in Windsor
Hundreds of heavily-armed and unarmed police are patrolling the streets of Windsor. (Supplied: Thames Valley Police)
Just days out from the Royal wedding the enormity of the multi-million-dollar security operation to protect attendees and spectators is starting to take shape.
Hundreds of heavily-armed and unarmed police are patrolling the streets of Windsor, while weighty steel and concrete barriers have been placed around the town to prevent vehicle-ramming attacks, with crowds in excess of 100,000 expected on the day.
Hostile vehicle mitigation measures are in place on the streets surrounding the wedding venue. (ABC News: Jack Hawke)
From 5:00am on Saturday the skies above Windsor Castle will become a no-fly zone, preventing private and commercial planes from dropping below 2,500ft (762 metres).
A major concern for authorities is the presence of drones, with speculation the local force — Thames Valley Police, will use anti-drone technology like that employed by the Queensland Police for the recent Commonwealth Games.
The threat of snipers is another major risk, with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding procession in an open carriage set to wind down the town’s narrow streets before returning to Windsor Castle.
Thames Valley Police’s assistant chief constable David Hardcastle said the force was using both highly-visible and concealed security measures for the event.
“We all know that the threats that we face today have changed, and that we have a responsibility to protect the public attending this event,” he said.
“We are working closely with businesses, communities and the local authority to ensure a safe, secure and happy event.
“A broad range of visible security measures are already in place, such as automatic number plate recognition, CCTV and hostile vehicle mitigation barriers.”
@TVP_Windsor: Preparations are continuing so that we can ensure that everyone has a safe, secure and happy day on Saturday”
Thames Valley Police has refused to say how much is being spent on security for the wedding, with additional officers being drafted in from the Metropolitan and City of London Police as well as the British Transport Police.
The force said the costs would be shared between it and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council, and a chance to recoup any of the costs with the Home Office at a later date “will of course be explored”.
A freedom of information request by the Press Association found the bill for security at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 Royal wedding was 6.35 million British pounds ($11.4 million), and costs for Saturday’s event could eclipse that figure.
A grant of 3.6 million British pounds ($6.46 million) was given to the Metropolitan Police by the Home Office to cover “additional costs” after the 2011 wedding.
Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, on their wedding day in 2011. (Reuters: Toby Melville)