Belfast Telegraph

Royal Wedding: Windsor on lockdown in run-up to couple's big day

Amal Clooney and George Clooney arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Amal Clooney and George Clooney arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Amal Clooney and George Clooney arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Oprah Winfrey arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Ian West/PA Wire
Meghan Markle's friend, US actor Patrick J. Adams and wife Troian Bellisario arrive for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Ian WESTIAN WEST/AFP/Getty Images
Meghan Markle's friend, US tennis player Serena Williams (CL) and her husband US entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian (CR) arrive for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
David Beckham and Victoria Beckham arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
David Beckham arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
James Blunt (right) and Sofia Wellesley arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Marcus Mumford and Carey Mulligan arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Pippa Middleton (left) and James Matthews (second left) arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Chris Jackson/PA Wire
Parasport athlete Dave Henson, arrives at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Toby Melville/PA Wire
David and Victoria Beckham (both right) talk with Sir Elton John (left) and David Furnish as they arrive in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Nacho Figueras and his wife Delfina Blaquier arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Serena Williams arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Amal Clooney and George Clooney arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Odd Andersen/PA Wire
Joss Stone (right) arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: Cressida Bonas arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Ian West - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Pippa Middleton and James Matthews arrive for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Chris JacksonCHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images
Cressida Bonas arrives for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Chris JacksonCHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images
Eliza Spencer, Louis Spencer, Victoria Aitken and Kitty Spencer arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire
Unidentifiable guests arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Michael and Carole Middleton arrive in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
James Haskell and Chloe Madeley arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Delfina Blaquier arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Chris Jackson/PA Wire
Lady Edwina Louise Grosvenor (left) and Dan Snow arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Prince's Harry's friend, British singer James Blunt (C) arrives for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / POOL AND AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer and Karen Spencer arrive at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Sabrina Dhowre (L) and Idris Elba attend the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales marries Ms. Meghan Markle in a service at St George's Chapel inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. Among the guests were 2200 members of the public, the royal family and Ms. Markle's Mother Doria Ragland. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Rebecca Deacon and Adam Priestley arrive at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Prince William's private secretary, Miguel Head arrives at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Tom Inskip arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Guests begin to arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Chris Radburn/PA Wire
Nacho Figueras and his wife Delfina Blaquier, arrive ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Chris Jackson/PA Wire
Sir Keith Mills and his wife Maureen Mills arrive at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

By Nina Massey

Police have created a ring of steel around Windsor Castle as part of a massive security operation for the royal wedding.

The wedding is one of the largest public events policed by Thames Valley and in the run-up to the big day officers have been patrolling Windsor, including armed officers, dog handlers and even mounted police.

Metal barriers have been put up in the town to deter attackers from using vehicles, as seen in the terrorist atrocities on London and Westminster Bridges.

Yesterday, police were manning the barricades and sniffer dogs were out in force.

As part of Thames Valley Police's (TVP) operation to safeguard Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, their guests and spectators, airport-style security and bag searches will be in operation.

As well as the visible security arrangements, officers will be engaged in covert operations.

Apart from the obvious security risks, revellers in the town are being asked not to throw confetti as it could also pose a threat.

TVP tweeted: "Please do not throw confetti or any other items at any time during the day, particularly during the procession.

"It poses a potential security risk and it's a bit of a pain to clean up. We hope everyone enjoys the day."

With the US actress a big draw to British and American fans, huge crowds are expected, and the newlyweds' carriage ride route may be closed to latecomers if the predicted 100,000 spectators become a safety issue.

If this proves to be the case, TVP, in consultation with Network Rail and British Transport Police, could order trains not to stop at Windsor's two stations.

Almost every TVP officer will be on duty on Saturday, working right across the force's area.

Harry and Ms Markle have invited 600 guests to attend their wedding, and 200 family and friends will be at an evening reception hosted by the Prince of Wales at Frogmore House.

As part of the security arrangements, drones have been banned from flying over the Windsor Castle estate on Friday and Saturday, and aircraft are restricted from flying below 2,500ft.

The security operation for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge cost police more than £6 million, figures revealed in April.

Nearly £3 million was spent on overtime costs alone, with hundreds of officers drafted in to help police the crowds watching the event in London in 2011.

But the cost of Harry and Ms Markle's wedding cannot yet be confirmed.

A spokeswoman for TVP said: "In terms of costs, a number of organisations will bear a cost, including Thames Valley Police for the policing operation and the RBWM (Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead) for the infrastructure. We are not in a position to confirm the costs of the royal wedding. If at a later stage there is an opportunity to recover costs, this will of course be explored."

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