Security company Wilson James offered up nearly 200 volunteers to help keep the public safe on the day of The Queen’s funeral.
The provider of specialist services played an integral role at the state funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth ll on September 19, a national bank holiday.
Behind all the pomp and ceremony was a carefully orchestrated and executed security operation that had been planned and refined over many years.
One of the largest ventures of its kind ever in London, over 12,000 private security professionals and stewards supported police officers and military personnel throughout the day in order to keep the royal family, mourners and the public safe and the event free from any disruption.
Some 192 Wilson James colleagues volunteered their services, including 19 senior management team members.
The team was deployed along the procession across Kensington, starting with a briefing at 5am and on duty until 4pm when officers were demobilised.
A dedicated operational command centre was set up at Brompton Oratory and a secondary break area at the Royal College of Arts provided facilities for rest, staff welfare and additional command and control.
The company said planning on the day was “meticulous” with officers and supervisors were comprehensively briefed and an extensive deployment plan ensured that the event ran smoothly.
Grouping pre-populated teams into dedicated locations also gave personnel smaller areas of responsibility and, combined with the command structure on the day, facilitated simple but effective operational management.
Personnel registered and were issued with their kit in order to expedite deployment and make sure all roles and responsibilities were understood.
Gary Sullivan OBE, chairman at Wilson James said: “Those watching the state funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth ll would have had little idea of the size and scale of the security operation behind it – that’s how it should be, as it indicates just how well it was carried out.
“The consensus was that it was a very successful team operation. All Wilson James colleagues performed exceptionally during a long day with an early start, but everyone gave the kind of professional and considered service that was needed for this once in a lifetime event.
“It was a tremendous honour and privilege to be part of an occasion that marked the end of the second Elizabethan era.”
The funeral was a massive logistical and security undertaking because of the number of visitors descending on London to pay their respects.
With hundreds of foreign dignitaries, royalty and world leaders due to arrive in the capital for the event, the terrorist threat level was “through the roof”, according to one security industry observer.
Specialist teams were employed to make sure there would be minimal chance of attack by an organised terror cell, such as ISIS, or a lone operator. There was also sensitivity to extremist protests during the period of national mourning and the funeral itself.
The Queen died the longest reigning British monarch on September 8 aged 96 at her =Scottish home Balmoral.
Just two days earlier, she had performed her final public duty by witnessing the handover of power from outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson and incoming PM Liz Truss.
Much of the choreography of the funeral itself had been practised many times in the dead of night on the streets of London so little would be left to chance on September 19.
Hundreds of thousands turned out to pay their respects to the Queen as she lay in state in Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster.
Charles immediately became King Charles III and Camilla the Queen consort.
It is thought the King will start the process of turning the Royal Family into a much slimmed-down institution in the future.