With the news media gearing up for what is being called the wedding of the century, many people are wondering what goes into protecting the participants in such an event. British officials have already implemented a number of security measures to protect the soon to be royal couple – Prince William & Kate Middleton, and friends and family on their special day.
Preparations for the royal wedding are very similar to the Secret Service’s preparations for a Presidential visitation to any area worldwide. Much like the Secret Services or Department of Homeland Security, British officials are already making routine checks of areas in and around West Minster Abbey to prepare for and prevent any potential threats for the April 29th London ceremony.
Just as the United States Secret Service plans the President’s route to and from the White House, British officials are working out varied routes for the royal couple, their family and guests to arrive at the location of the event. They will block public access to roads in an effort to neutralize any threats to the wedding party or their guests.
British officials are also running various background checks on individuals in the area to assess the threat to the wedding party. Secret Service agents often conduct background checks on individuals living in areas in which the President (or former Presidents) is scheduled to appear.
British officials are also daily checking lampposts, mailboxes, newspaper stands or any other structures along the parade route to see if there are any improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or other threats to the royal couple on their special day. When the President visits a town or city, part of the responsibilities of the Secret Service (along with cooperation with state and local law enforcement) is to police the parade route for any threats to the President.
The security for the royal wedding is being lead by agents with Scotland Yard, Great Britain’s version of the United States Secret Service. Their duties will be to protect the royal couple, their friends and family immediately before, during and after the event. Much like the US Secret Service, officials with Scotland Yard will not only be responsible for the safety of the royal family, but also for the safety of the heads of state from other countries who are invited to attend this event.
There are many parallels to the security provided at the royal wedding to that provided at any time the President of the United States travels to any area both foreign and domestic. Officials at the royal wedding are charged with the same tasks that the Secret Service faces on a daily basis when providing safety and security to the President.