Police will put a steel ring around Windsor for Prince Philip’s funeral this weekend.
Specialist officers and sniffer dogs searched telephone booths, mailboxes, drains and trash cans as part of the operation.
Thames Valley Police said they have put in place a series of visible and covert security measures for Saturday, when the Duke is to be honored with a ceremonial royal funeral at St George’s Chapel.
These include automated license plate checks, video surveillance and barriers to prevent attacks using vehicles, as well as armed and mounted officers on patrol.
And experts say GCHQ could even listen to worldwide “chatter” online and on phones, looking for any increase in funeral conversations.
It comes as Scotland Yard ramps up patrols as revelers prepare to flock to pub gardens and activists descend on the capital for another ‘Kill the Bill’ protest.
Armed police pictured on patrol outside Windsor Castle today
Thames Valley Police said they had put in place a series of visible and covert security measures for Saturday
Officers will also patrol Buckingham Palace and Westminster for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
Police have asked the public not to congregate near royal residences, avoid gathering in large groups, minimize travel and donate to charity instead of paying floral tributes.
Patrols were also carried out in downtown Windsor, the Long Walk and Home Park.
Those who traveled to Windsor Castle to pay tributes today were urged to remove all wrapping from the flowers and warned they would be removed at the end of the day.
Among those who paid tribute was Professor Chris Imafidon, who met Phillip in 2003 when the Royal visited Queen Mary’s University in East London.
He said: “I was nervous to meet him, but he immediately made me feel so relaxed. I told him I was nervous because I was a foreigner and he was part of the British royal family.
“But he said to me: ‘I am Greek, I am a foreigner and I am a refugee too! ”
“I came to pay tribute to him because he was such a wonderful person. It was all about education, empowerment, empowerment and equality. He will be missed by many, many people.
An armed policeman stands guard at the entrance to Windsor Castle
Dance teacher Carole Hellewell, 60, of Farnham, said: “I was here on Sunday and it was very busy. I deposited flowers then.
“I came back with my husband David because our friends in Canada and America asked us to pay them tribute as well.
“It is a very, very sad time and I believe the death of Prince Philip will be felt by millions of people around the world. “
Publican Robert Gillespie, 62, who runs the Two Brewers Pub next to the castle, decorated his establishment with red, white and blue flowers to mark the prince’s death.
He said: “I saw him driving his horse and carriage here from the Royal Mees to the Long Walk and he was always waving his hand at me.
“I will close the pub tomorrow or the day of his funeral too to pay tribute to him.”
Only a small number of guests will attend tomorrow’s service, and even the Prime Minister will step down to make room for an additional family member under strict numbers rules.
Children leave floral tribute to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, ahead of his funeral
Those who traveled to Windsor Castle to pay their respects today were asked to remove all wrapping from the flowers and warned they would be removed at the end of the day.
The funerals of the royals are years of planning, with each operation named after a different bridge. The Queen is believed to be London Bridge and the Duke is Forth Bridge.
The security operation will focus on preventing risks and “embarrassments”, in particular controlling unauthorized access to the castle.
But law enforcement and security will be alert to any incident that could prevent a threat – from accidents, public disturbances and crime to terrorist attacks.
The potential for knife attacks, gunfire and the ability to plant bombs will all be considered.
But officers can be particularly “sensitive” to threats drones might pose by disrupting or attacking the ceremony and can rely on technology to try to sabotage their flight path or even call in the military.
Richard Aitch, chief operating officer for Mobius International, which provides security services to governments and private companies, said the focus could be on covert tactics to avoid overshadowing the grim mood of the day.
He believes that even in the event of a pandemic, the security operation for an event like this would be “huge”, with a cost running into “millions”.
It could also involve GCHQ listening to “chatter” around the world online and on phones, looking for spikes in funeral conversations, while monitoring would be a “huge aspect” of the arrangements, he said. he adds.
Flowers and condolences from the Windsor Estate have been moved to the castle grounds
Widespread use of face masks amid the pandemic can present challenges for police as it makes it more difficult to identify people, he warned.
Scotland Yard will also put more officers on the streets as the country prepares to take advantage of the first weekend of relative freedom.
Metropolitan Police said they anticipate a busy weekend as pubs open for the first weekend since December.
Other officers will also be in London for the funeral of Prince Philip.
The force said in a statement: “Saturday is an important day for the nation, as His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh rests in Windsor.
Although this event does not take place in London, the Met has set up a protective security operation near Westminster and Buckingham Palace to ensure the safety of people and deter criminal activity. This highly visible police operation will continue throughout the weekend.
“On Saturday afternoon, the Met is aware that a number of people are expected to gather in central London for a protest. Gathering for the purpose of protest may be authorized under applicable regulations.
“However, a risk assessment must be carried out indicating how the gathering will be safe and minimize the risk of participants transmitting Covid-19. ”