Scotland Yard to increase security sheild for Britain's royal wedding
A redoubling of efforts to avert incidents on the royal wedding day of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer has been ordered by Scotland Yard following a shooting incident directed against Queen Elizabeth II.
A Police Federation spokesman said after the incident that there had to be a review not only of security arrangements, but of the royal family's readiness to expose itself to danger. It is believed Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has urged the queen to take greater precautions.
Although the queen was not harmed, she was badly shaken when an unemployed youth fired six blank cartridges at her at close range while she was riding her horse, Burmese, during Saturday's annual tropping the color ceremony in London. The youth, who was seized by the police, is charged under the 1842 Treason Act.
Coming so soon after the assassination attempts on President Reagan and Pope John Paul II and only six weeks before a royal wedding, the shooting has provoked calls from members of Parliament and police spokesman for a total reappraisal of the risks royal family members constantly run.
Two weeks ago, an American living in London was charged with sending a hoax device to the Queen and threatening the lives of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer who are to married at the end of July. Last month, a bomb exploded while the Queen was visiting an oil terminal in Scotland. The bomb was thought to have been placed by the Provisional wing of the illegal Irish Republican Army.
Since the Irish troubles intensified during the last year, the Queen's bodyguard has been strengthened.
The need for safeguarding Britain's royal family from assasination attempts now has been given startling new urgency by this latest incident, particularly since Britons have responded positively in recent years to seeing their monarch and her family moving about more freely in public.
Despite the shooting incident, the Queen is not inclined to accept serious restrictions on her movements.
Speaking about he royal wedding immediately after the incident in the Mall a senior policemen said security arrangements for the July 29 royal wedding were already a challenge for Scotland Yard long before the latest incident. Plans call for a parade through London in open, horse-drawn carriages and a ceremony in St. Paul's Cathedral, a building regarded by police experts as notoriously difficult to secure.
Security experts say there will be no really effective security for the Queen unless she agrees to travel everywhere in bullet-proof cars an declines to ride horses and walk about in public.