- Britain’s military heavily involved in HRH’s funeral arrangements
- 1,500 personnel from all three services
- Cortege route will be mine swept by Army & RAF units
- Army sniper teams & armed soldiers to disrupt or destroy drones
It will come as no surprise that Britain’s military is heavily involved in Her Majesty the Queen’s funeral arrangements. We have already seen the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 5 Scots, providing the bearer party for the Queen’s coffin at Holyrood Palace and St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, where it lay for 24 hours whilst thousands of Scots and visitors filed past to pay their respects.
At the Queen’s lying in state in Westminster Hall in London, and on the day of her funeral, the military involvement will be huge and crucial. It is estimated that as many as 1,500 personnel from all three services may be involved in the ceremonial aspects, headed by the Household Cavalry and Brigade of Guards who are well versed in such occasions if not to this scale. It is expected that sailors from the Royal Navy will pull the gun carriage on which the coffin will lie and that there will be an RAF flypast. This will be the very visible presence of our armed forces.
Less visible will be those elements which will be providing the police and security at the event. The route of the cortege will be swept, possibly several times, in advance by British army and RAF units versed in bomb disposal. The high vantage points along the route will probably be manned by police and army sniper teams, and also soldiers with the weaponry to disrupt or destroy drones. There will undoubtedly be Special Forces on standby somewhere close.
Completely invisible most of the time will be the large numbers of logistics personnel. With the expected influx of military personnel from across the UK and abroad, a huge logistic exercise will already be underway. All those coming to London for the funeral have to be given a bed and otherwise accommodated, fed, transported and provided with medical and other support. It’s a big task!