Thames Valley Police have confirmed that strict security measures will be put in place for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19th, and have described the operation as ‘amongst the largest in [their] history.’
The police have confirmed that automatic number place recognition technology, CCTV and hostile vehicle mitigation barriers to prevent a vehicle attack will also be put in place in the run up to the wedding. It's also thought that a further security boundary will be placed around Windsor Castle and St George's Chapel itself. An exact date for the implementation of these measures has not been revealed, for obvious security reasons.
Residents and visitors can also expect to see an increased police presence on the streets of Windsor in the coming weeks, including armed and unarmed officers, search dogs, mounted police and the National Police Air Service. This should not be a source of alarm but reassurance, the police have said, as these ‘are all part of our measures to keep people safe.’
Arriving in Windsor on the day, guests and spectators will be subject to a ‘screening and search’ regime, similar to airport security checks, and ‘any items that may pose a risk to the public’ will be removed.
Thames Valley Police Assistant Chief Constable David Hardcastle, the strategic commander for the royal wedding, said ‘We are proud to police the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. The force has a long history of policing Royal events from the annual Windsor Garter Ceremony to state visits and more recently Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday.’
‘The wedding of Prince Harry and Ms Markle is no exception,’ he continued. ‘We are working with our partners, local businesses and the community to deliver a safe, secure and happy event for everyone.’
Along with members of the royal family and a number of VIP guests, the couple have also invited 2,640 members of the public to join the festivities at Windsor Castle, and will travel by coach through Windsor after the ceremony to greet gathered well-wishers.
NOW READ: Prince Harry And Meghan Markle's Relationship Timeline
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met in London in July 2016.
They were introduced by mutual friend Markus Anderson, who is the director of Soho House.
In October 2016, the Express became the first newspaper to publish news that Prince Harry had a new girlfriend.
On November 8th 2016, Kensington Palace released an unprecedented statement which referring to Markle as Harry's girlfriend for the first time.
In the statement, Prince Harry condemned the 'wave of abuse and harrassment' faced by Markle, saying that he was 'worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.'
'It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,' the statement continued.
The couple were papped together for the first time in December 2016, shopping for a Christmas tree in London at the Pines and Needles store.
Later that week, they were seen on London's West End, catching a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
In February, Prince Harry wore a his 'n' hers bracelet on the cover of Town & Country magazine, just weeks after Markle was pictured wearing the same one on Instagram.
In March 2017, Meghan joined Prince Harry in the Caribbean for the wedding of his friend's Tom 'Skippy' Inskip and Lara Hughes-Young.
It was the first time that Markle accompanied Harry to a wedding, marking another milestone occasion for the couple.
The first public event attended by the couple was the polo at Coworth Park in May 2017.
Later in May, Markle attended the party portion of Pippa Middleton's wedding to James Middelton.
Prince Harry was seen driving her to the event after the church ceremony.
The couple made their first official public appearance in September, when Markle attended the opening of Prince Harry's Invictus Games.
Meghan wore a maroon midi dress with a pleated chiffon skirt by one of her favourite Canadian brands Aritzia.
She teamed it with a matching burgundy biker jacket by Mackage.
Although Prince Harry was sat next to First Lady Melania Trump at the event, rather than his girlfriend, she was only seated a few rows behind him.
The couple were photographed together the following day at the wheelchair tennis.
Much was made of Markle's choice of outfit: ripped jeans and a white blouse called 'The Husband'.
The couple 'broke with royal protocol' by holding hands and appearing affectionate while at the Invictus Games.
Prince Harry reportedly spent time with Meghan's mother Doria while at the Games too.
The couple indulged in some PDA at the closing ceremony.
Prince Harry was photographed kissing Meghan.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan referred to Harry as her boyfriend numerous times, saying: 'We're a couple. We're in love. I'm sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people understand is that this is our time.'
In late September 2017, it was reported that Meghan had met the Queen, prompting speculation that the relationship was getting serious.
In early November 2017, it was reported that Meghan Markle was leaving Suits after seven series.
In mid-November 2017, bookies suspending betting on an impending royal engagement, as speculation grew that an announcement was about to be made.
On November 27th 2017, Prince Charles announced the engagement of his younger son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after 15 months of dating.
The couple later appeared at a photocall, with Markle wearing a white dress coat by Canadian brand Line The Label. The website has subsequently crashed.
The engagement ring, by Cleave and Company, was reportedly designed by Prince Harry himself, using two stones that belonged to Princess Diana.
When asked by waiting photographers if the proposal was romantic, Harry joked 'of course!'