Prestigious guests, huge crowd, demonstrators… the funeral of Elizabeth II, a security puzzle

More important even than the Olympic Games, the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II this Monday, September 19 is the largest event ever supervised by the London police, with leaders from all over the world and a huge crowd expected in the British capital.

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“I can confirm that this will be the biggest event that the London police have” had to frame, Assistant Deputy Commissioner Stuart Cundy told reporters. “It’s bigger than the 2012 Olympics, and bigger than the Platinum Jubilee weekend”which took place in early June, he added.

More than 2,000 officers from across the country have been recruited to help Scotland Yard provide security. “The range of police officers, police personnel and all those supporting the operation is truly immense”said Stuart Cundy, before citing, among other things, “our dog handlers, our maritime unit”.

Protect high-ranking guests

The state funeral, the first since the death of Winston Churchill in 1965, will take place Monday at Westminster Abbey at 11 a.m. in front of 2,200 guests, foreign heads of state, world elite, anonymous decorated for their associative commitment .

The presence in London of these many personalities represents a challenge for the services of order and security. “This will be the largest global protection operation that London police have ever undertaken”said Stuart Cundy.

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US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese, French President Emmanuel Macron have all confirmed their attendance, as has Japanese Emperor Naruhito and many representatives of royal families.

The police work with the UK government and other organizations “knowledgeable” to engage with world leaders and their protection teams to coordinate plans.

Framing the crowd in central London

Police will deploy more than 36 kilometers of barriers in central London, where tens of thousands of people are expected. Possible crowd movements will be “constantly monitored by police commanders”assured assistant deputy commissioner

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“The facilities and the technology that we have, so that we can see everything that is happening from several different angles, is absolutely essential in terms of crowd control”he pointed out.

London police already requisitioned

Scotland Yard has already been called upon to monitor major events in the capital since the Queen’s death on September 8, including officers standing guard around the coffin of Elizabeth II in Westminster Hall.

The police also framed Thursday and Friday the long queue, about eight kilometers on Friday, of people who waited to see the coffin of the monarch.

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On Friday, 34 people had already been arrested for various offences. None of them was for demonstrating against the monarchy, the police insist. “We have ensured that all of our officers deployed […] in London understand that it is clear that people have the right to protest”added Stuart Cundy.

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