Security A Huge Cost At The Royal Wedding

And you thought the dress cost a lot!

What you need to know
  • Security at the royal wedding will be the biggest cost
  • Police presence is high at Windsor
  • Visitors are subject to sniffer dogs and checkpoints when they arrive in Windsor

Weddings cost a lot and not many will cost more than the union of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this Saturday.

Yes, there's cost for the dress, the catering and the food, but another key cost is the cash that will be pumped into additional security designed to keep the royal couple, their guests and the 100,000 expected spectators safe.

Just last month it was revealed that the security operation for Kate and Will's wedding cost a whopping $12 million -- half of that covered overtime pay alone.

Image: Getty Images
Heavy Police Presence In Windsor

While the figure for Saturday's royal affair is still unknown, the security operation has been underway for weeks and is slowly ramping-up to its full capacity as the day approaches.

"Security here in Windsor has been highly visible in the days leading up to the wedding," TEN's Angela Bishop told ten daily.

"Police have opened drains, checked garbage bins, and taken sniffer dogs into every nook and cranny of buildings along the procession route to the Castle."

Bishop said Police have visited each property along the procession route, interviewed the residents and recorded details about how they plan to celebrate to event and if they will be having guests during the day. Police have also collected the names and addressess of these guests.

"There is a heavy presence of police and armed forces around the town. I have to admit it can be a shock to see such powerful guns up close, just as you go for a walk down the street," Bishop said.

"And there are plenty of security checks for the media as we head in and out of Windsor Castle each day."

Police Say It's 'Business As Usual'

Thames Valley Police, together with the Metropolitan Police, have the job of keeping the royals and the community safe.

Security features including automatic number plate recognition, CCTV cameras, and hostile vehicle mitigation barriers have been installed around the castle and the town. Police will also be patrolling the streets and train stations on the day.

People who travel to Windsor for the event will be subject to sniffer dog and check points before they reach the road to view the procession.

Image: Getty Images
"We all know that the threats we face today have changed and that we have a responsibility to protect the public that are attending this event. We are working with businesses, the community and the local authority to ensure a safe and happy event," Assistant Chief Constable David Hardcastle said.

Police are relying on local residents, businesses and all other spectators to act as additional eyes and ears, should something undesirable happen.

“From today people of Windsor can expect to see high visibility police patrols, which is absolutely business as usual for us,” Inspector Andy Amor from Thames Valley Police said on May 15.

“It just gives us an opportunity to have that face time with members of the public, to answer any concerns and provide that reassurance.”

Terrorism Only Part Of The Concern

The success of the wedding as a public event relies largely on how smoothly transport runs, according to Chief Executive of Intelligent Irisks Neil Fergus. In fact, a smooth traffic operation is one way to manage the threat of terrorism.

“The success of the event is dependent of a few metrics, but one of the key metrics is that the royal party and their guests can get to where they need to go in a reasonable period of time unimpeded and that the public are able to stand and observe in their nominated areas and that comes back to general duties, police and traffic management is absolutely key,” Fergus said.

“That itself is a key enabler for the counterterrorism operation, so if you had anarchy in terms of the traffic and transport movements and public assembly the counter terrorism forces are starting well behind the baseline of how they would plan to operate and respond.”

Fergus also highlighted that the type of threat authorities deal with has changed dramatically in recent years and that Police door-knocking, drain-checking and check points for are essential to managing large international events.

“That would be entirely keeping with best practice,” Fergus said.

Who Foots The Security Bill?

One of the largest costs at the wedding is expected to be the security -- and the British government will pick up the tab. One survey found, however, that 57 percent of British adults think the royal family should pay for security, not the government.