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Security concerns for King Charles’ Coronation

King Charles and Queen Camilla

The security arrangements around the King’s Coronation will be “well-rehearsed” following the Queen’s State Funeral last year, says one eminent expert.

With heads of state expected from across the globe to arrive in London next month, security chiefs were already aware the threat was “very high”.

But former military intelligence officer Philip Ingram MBE, a columnist for Security Journal UK, says the authorities should be ready for the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

He said: “The arrival of so many world leaders is the main threat and remains so from the time they arrive to the time they leave. But the whole thing has already been rehearsed after the death of Her Majesty the Queen last year.”

The announcement that there will be more than 6,000 armed services personnel present posed more of a logistical question than a risk, he said.

Ingram added: “The logistics are relatively straightforward whether it’s 600 or 6,000. The threat will be with having so many world, leaders and heads of state in one place but they will be well protected during their time in London, I am sure.”

As with the Queen’s State Funeral, the presence or large crowds cannot rule out lone operatives or extremists using the event to make their mark.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Defence, The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Defence Secretary of State Ben Wallace made no mention of security other than to acknowledge “the biggest military ceremonial operation for 70 years”.

Sailors, soldiers and aviators from across the UK and the breadth of the Commonwealth will take part in two “magnificent” processions accompanying Their Majesties to and from Westminster Abbey, where the Coronation Service takes place.

Fly past
Later in the day, military personnel will conduct a breath-taking Coronation fly past of more than 60 aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force flying over The Mall in Central London.

A Government statement said: “From military bases in all corners of the country and on His Majesty’s ships at sea, gun salutes will sound out to herald the moment when The King is crowned.

“Across the coming weeks, Armed Forces personnel around the country will be busy rehearsing for their role in a display of pageantry, professionalism and pride to honour their new Commander-in-Chief, The King.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “I am incredibly proud of our brilliant military personnel who are preparing to honour centuries of military tradition by taking to the streets, skies and seas to pay tribute to our new King and Queen and mark the Coronation next month.

“As they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Commonwealth friends and allies, I know the hard work of thousands of our servicemen and women during the past weeks and months will culminate in an incredible display that will amaze crowds at home and across the world.

Enormously proud

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “We can be enormously proud of the professionalism and precision of our Armed Forces as they honour His Majesty, their new Commander-in-Chief.

“From the Procession on The Mall, to the flypast over London, with gun salutes at sea and across the country, it will be a spectacular and fitting tribute and a privilege to take part in for all those involved and watching from afar.”

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of the Defence Staff, said: “The contribution of the Armed Forces to the Coronation symbolises unyielding service to King and Country.

“It reflects centuries of tradition, but is indicative of the integral role the Armed Forces play in modern Britain and the extraordinary ways we support the nation, whether deterring aggression and maintaining stability worldwide or strengthening our domestic resilience and prosperity.”

Thousands more servicemen and women will be watching at home and overseas, and are justly proud to wear The King’s Uniform on this special day.

Nearly 400 Armed Forces personnel from at least 35 Commonwealth countries will also be on parade to mark the historic moment.