Published On: Tue, Apr 17th, 2018

Royal wedding: Tents along Windsor route banned, angering fans | Life | Life & Style

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in Windsor on May 19 is the most anticipated event in the royal calendar.

It’s expected to be watched by two billion people worldwide, the same number that watched Prince William marry Kate Middleton in 2011.

Thousands of dedicated royal watchers from the UK and around the world plan to travel to Windsor and line the route and see the newlyweds in the flesh.

Windsor is home to 30,000 residents, but over 100,000 people are expected in the centre of the market town to witness the happy event.

Harry, 33, has already said that after the ceremony, he and Meghan, 36, will take a two-mile public carriage ride thought the streets of the market town, allowing fans to see them up close.

Devoted fans had planned to nab a prime viewing spot days before the big event, but those plans have been scuppered by the police.

Well-wishers are allowed to gather in the town centre in the days before the wedding, but must not erect tents for shelter, as Thames Valley Police are enforcing a no tent rule.

It means that the public will be forced to sleep in the open air at the mercy of the unpredictable British weather. They will have nothing more than umbrellas to shelter from rain, as they wait hours or even days for the nuptials.

When William and Kate married at Westminster Abbey in 2011, hundreds of pop-up tents lined the procession route in the days leading up to the event but this time, police are taking no chances.

Thames Valley Police are going to great lengths to protect the Royal Family and the wider public, with the bill for securing the event estimated to be between £10 and £20 million.

Security measures will include thousands of extra police officers, rooftop snipers, undercover police mingling among well-wishers and a thorough search for explosives.

Thames Valley Police will also install full body scanners in the centre of Windsor that everyone must walk through, and will also make use of automatic number plate recognition technology, CCTV and crash barriers.

“Visitors to the town can expect to see our officers, both armed and unarmed, our search dogs and our mounted section out and about,” a police statement said. “There are also many security measures that you can’t see.”

They continued: “On the day if travelling by car, you may be stopped by one of our roads policing officers. If travelling by train, British Transport Police will be patrolling stations and carriages.

“Once you arrive in Windsor there will a screening and search regime. There will also be community wardens throughout the town centre. These are all part of our measures to keep you safe.”

The Met and Surrey Police will also be involved, as will the Army.  

Part of the role of the dedicated security team is to identify and in some cases even detain potential threats to the couple ahead of the big day.

This includes the very serious issue of stalkers. A special Met Police unit that targets risks to the Royal Family has identified 160 royal ‘stalkers’, it has been reported.

Out of these these 160 people, 106 are men and 54 are women, according to police figures – and six have already been detained under mental health legislation.

The Queen is expected to give the prince the title of Duke of Sussex on his wedding day, making Meghan the first ever Duchess of Sussex.

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