UK police step up security for first state funeral since 1965

As Britain prepares to stage its first state funeral in nearly six decades, security officials are planning what is expected to be the “biggest policing and protective operation” in UK history.

Police are dusting off long-standing plans to keep safe attendees — including global political leaders and royalty — at Queen Elizabeth II’s historic funeral, as well as the millions predicted to flock to London around the time of the event.                 

No date has been announced for the late queen’s state funeral, which is the first since the service in 1965 for Winston Churchill, Britain’s prime minister during World War II.                 

But it is expected to be held in Westminster Abbey in the heart of the capital on September 19.             

Prior to that, her body is set to lie in state for four days in Westminster Hall, the oldest building on the UK Parliamentary estate, following a ceremonial procession through the streets of London.                 

The pomp-laden events, in particular the funeral, will require an array of elaborate security measures.     

Who is expected to attend Queen’s Funeral?

Hundreds of world leaders and dignitaries as well as millions of people are expected to descend on London.                 

They include US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and leaders from countries where the British monarch is head of state or which are members of the 56-nation Commonwealth.                 

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito will be among royalty from around the world set to attend the funeral, according to reports, in his first overseas trip since he ascended the Chrysanthemum throne in 2019 following his father’s abdication.                 

“This will be probably the biggest policing and protective operation the UK has ever mounted,” Nick Aldworth, former Counter Terrorism Policing National Coordinator, told The Independent outlet.               

“It just takes one car, one person to do something abhorrent and not only have you disrupted a constitutional event, people will be injured and killed.”

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