The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be a day of national celebration, but one that will require a major security operation to ensure that the happy couple, their guests and the crowds and crowds of well-wishers are kept safe. According to new estimates, security costs for the 19th May festivities at Windsor Castle could even top £24 million, the estimated cost of policing for William and Kate's 2011 ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
'Thousands of people will be working on keeping the family and their fans safe. This is a time to be extremely prudent and sensible. Every precaution needs to be taken,' Dai Davies, a former Head of Royal Protection and Chief Superintendent of the Met Police, told E! News.
The security detail for William and Kate's wedding reportedly included rooftop snipers, undercover police placed in the crowd, months of counter-terrorism investigations and a search for explosives. According to E!'s report, though, Harry and Meghan's nuptials could present a higher risk due to Harry's military service in Afghanistan and the recent racially-charged anthrax scare which sought to target Meghan.
'Windsor is a much harder area to secure than London, which is so much better prepared. In Windsor, there are shops, buildings, houses, you name it and there is a history of people trying to get into Windsor Castle,' Davies added.
Clearly 99 percent of the population are deliriously happy [about the wedding] but you could get a small right wing fascist group who may object to it, so that adds to your problem. I don't know how they are going to secure [the area] to the level that I would want, but […] I'm sure they'll come up with a plan.
The Met Police confirmed that 'an appropriate policing plan will be put into place' on the day, though obviously they were not forthcoming with details.
Harry and Meghan recently announced that they have invited 2,640 members of the public to join in the festivities at Windsor Castle. After the ceremony at St George's Chapel, the couple will travel by coach through the streets of Windsor.