Queen's security in deep water for Jubilee on Thames
Here's one artist's impression of how the royal barge migh look as its taking part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee pageant along the river Thames on June 3. (AP)
PHOTO GALLERY: Decorating the Queen's royal barge
One of the most spectacular events of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee is also one of its most dangerous.
On Sunday, June 3, about 1,000 boats -- from historic boats to yachts to canoes -- will travel about 11 kilometres down the Thames from Chelsea to Tower Bridge in London led by the new royal barge, Gloriana.
It promises to be a visual delight for the more than a million spectators expected. And a headache for security forces.“The police and security services are entering unchartered territory," Professor Anthony Glees, director of security and intelligence studies at the University of Buckingham, told the Mirror newspaper.
“The security services have to find a way to secure seven miles of river, seven miles of footpaths, seven miles of airspace, seven miles of homes and apartments."
The pageant is costing about $19 million, funded by private donations and sponsorships. That doesn't include security costs, which will be massive.
“Make no mistake about it, the royal family will be a trophy to terrorists or so-called activists," said Glees. “They will be travelling extremely slowly and will be in full public view. You can’t speed off at 50 mph like you can in a car if something goes wrong.”
The royal barge itself is 27 metres long (88 feet) and will carry the Royal Family. The Spirit of Chartwell, a luxury touring boat, is being converted for the Jubilee and renamed Gloriana.
When finished the boat will resemble one used by the Mayor of London in the 1800s. Renovating the boat will cost close to $800,000.