UK Impact

Changing of the Guard dropped due to fears of Islamist terror attack

THE changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle has been axed and the police presence stepped-up amid growing fears of a terrorist attack.

Guardsmen at Windsor Castle (left)GETTY

Police ordered army officials to scrap public marches and the Changing of the Guard on Saturdays

The world-famous military tradition has been cancelled on Saturdays, with officials concerned that terrorists might attempt to massacre soldiers and civilians in a Berlin-style lorry strike.

 Thames Valley Police have stepped-up security, brought in more armed officers and set up a number of road closures during the events.

Police have also ordered top-ranking Army officials to scrap weekend marches and tweak timetables to avoid the busiest times.

The number of officers at the events has been increased along with reinforced road closures

Thames Valley Police Spokesperson

The tradition, which attracts thousands of tourists each year, will now only take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said: “Security measures were increased in December and throughout January in relation to the Changing of the Guard in Windsor.

“These measures have been put in place as part of a review of the operation in order to reassure and increase the safety of the public and military while the events take place.

Changing of the Guard at Windsor castleGETTY

The ceremony will only be held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

“The number of officers at the events has been increased along with reinforced road closures.“The increased presence in police officers follows the review of our support to the Guard Change and is not directly linked to any increase in threat.”

The move echoes a similar adaptation to the Changing of the Guard ceremonies at Buckingham Palace.

Changing of the guard crowds in LondonGETTY

The move falls in line with changes to the Buckingham Palace guard ceremony which attracts thousands

The spectacle, which is watched by half of all London tourists, has been moved to fixed days.The event has recently been moved forward to 11am from 11.30am and now only takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Famous roads around the Palace, including the Mall and Constitution Hill, have all been closed off.

Smashed truck after the Berlin terror attackGETTY

The reason for the changes is the threat of a terror attack like those of Berlin and Nice

The move, which will be trialled for three months, came following the horrifying Christmas market massacre in Berlin last month.Twelve people were killed and another 50 injured when a jihadist smashed a 25-ton truck into the market place.

The attack followed on from a similar atrocity in the French city of Nice last July, when a truck-driving terrorist killed 86 people.

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