ARMED police are patrolling Windsor ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral today.
Security in the historic town has been tightened as police scour the sewers and patrol the rivers.
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Police armed with tools with rifles and armor were seen patrolling the area when the public was told to stay away when a steel ring was erected.
Police search teams have been seen scouring the drains near Windsor Castle, where Philip will be resting at St George’s Chapel.
Police patrol boats have been deployed along the River Thames in the historic town, with additional armed police on duty.
Royal security had been prepared to close the streets to prevent the influx of people bringing funerals to Philip’s funeral.
The public has been warned to stay away – but officials are prepared to set up roadblocks if they need to.
It takes the form:
“It was a game of guessing how many people would play,” a source told The Sun.
“If too many people come, we prepare to block their way to stop them from entering Windsor.
“Hopefully everyone will listen to the messages over the past week and stay home and watch the service on TV.”
Highway and road signs to Windsor warn visitors to avoid going into the royal residences.
The police revealed that they would use secret security tactics before and during the duke’s funeral.
Armed officers arrived in Windsor this morning, with police using binoculars to monitor the town from the rooftops.
The Duke of Edinburgh The funeral would be a miniature royal affair with only 30 funeral attendants attending due to Covid’s rules.
But the police had no chance with a steel ring covering Windsor, where Philip would be resting, and royal family.
Police guns were seen on Long Walk ahead of the funeral today when the public came to pay homage to Philip after his death at the age of 99.
Thames Valley Police said “high visibility patrols” were meant to “help provide peace of mind and keep local residents, businesses and visitors safe”.
The force revealed they will deploy secret security tactics when the duke is held funerals at St George’s Chapel.
But the booster policy has been on the streets all week.
Dog searches have taken place across town – including in phone boxes, sewers, and trash cans.
Enhanced vehicle inspection will also be made possible with Automatic License Plate Recognition (ANPR), which will flag suspicious drivers who may be stopped and searched.
Checks will also be performed on the truck – including payload, license and driving hours during event times and during the day.
Thames Valley Police also confirmed hostile Vehicle Mitigation Counterterrorism (HVM) barriers are being erected around town.
These giant concrete blocks are intended to prevent truck attacks similar to the London Bridge terrorist attacks of 2017.
The public has been warned to stay away from events unfolding behind the walls of Windsor Castle.
They were also encouraged not to leave flowers for the duke and instead were asked to sign an online condolence book if they wanted to pay their respects.
Buckingham Palace strengthened its official advice and told the wise to watch the funeral on TV since there was no public access anyway.
Assistant Chief Constable Ben Snuggs, chief of strategy for the funeral, said: “We understand that people will want to pay homage to HRH, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Royal Family during this time of national mourning.
“However, we ask the public to respect the Royal wishes and the Government’s advice by minimizing travel and not gathering in groups.
“Instead, we will ask everyone to use the online condolences established by the Royal Family.
“Police presence at Windsor will continue before and on the day of the funeral as part of our measures to ensure community health and safety as well as protective security.
“Our thoughts remain with the Royal Family and all those affected at this very difficult time.”
Royal District Mayor John Story also urged the wise to stay away from Windsor.
He said “there will be nothing to see” and instead people should follow the official advice not to gather in large groups in public places.
But in spite of the plea, some of the challenging Britons still intend to personally pay their respects.
Mike Fulton, 55, who lives at Windsor, said: “It’s really important for me to be able to play.
“Prince Philip is an iconic figure to us and has always been a part of our lives. It wouldn’t be true if he didn’t appear.”
While Razika Berboucha, 57, said: “It’s important to stay here because the royal family means so much to us.
“If we can’t get out, we’ll do something with the neighbors and stay local.”
Philip’s funeral will be different from any other royal after Covid made the family eliminate all traditions.
Only 30 guests will attend and the Queen will not attend the procession from Windsor Castle.
Prince William and Harry, who returned to the UK two days ago for the funeral, and other high-profile royals will follow in the footsteps of Land Rover.
A minute of silence will be held across the country at 3 pm to commemorate Philip’s more than 70 years of service.
“This event will be greatly scaled down when there is no public outreach,” they said. The Duke will take place entirely on the grounds of Windsor Castle, “he said.
“The plans were last approved by the Queen and reflect the advice of the Government. Despite these necessary changes, they still reflect a lot of the Duke’s personal wishes.
“Although the ceremonial arrangements have been reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognize the Duke’s life and more than 70 years of service to the Queen, Great Britain and the Commonwealth.”