The Coronation of King Charles III is set to become one of the biggest public events in recent history. However, the security costs of the event have skyrocketed to around £250 million, which is more than 150 times the cost of staging the Queen’s Coronation in 1953.
According to insiders, around £150 million will fund the deployment of thousands of police officers and protection squads. The remaining costs will go to staging the ceremony and three days of celebrations.
The security operation for the Coronation has been codenamed Operation Golden Orb and will include snipers on rooftops, large numbers of armed officers in the streets, and police drones monitoring crowds for shady activity.
Special Forces will also be on standby as part of the UK Counter Terrorism Defence Mechanism, with Blue Thunder 2 helicopters poised in the event of an attack.
A special air traffic control schedule has been drawn up for dignitaries flying in, and landing spots will have tightened security, including RAF Northolt in Middlesex and RAF Biggleswade in Bedfordshire. This comes amid concerns that climate change protests would aim to disrupt private jet arrivals.
According to Mark Scoular, a security expert and tactical commander for the weddings of Prince William and Prince Harry, the final security bill could be even higher than £150 million. He explained that every threat must be assessed, with alternative courses of action recommended. Preparation will have been going on for years.
However, the cost of security has been driven up by threats from protesters. Activists have threatened to disrupt the event, with groups such as Just Stop Oil and Republic teaming up. Reports have also emerged that they may throw rape alarms at police horses on patrol.
Philip Ingram, another security expert, said: “The fact the Royals are able to interact with the public while protected by hidden security shows the level of professionalism. However, that does come at a cost.”
The Coronation of King Charles III will take place on May 6 at Westminster Abbey.