A major police security operation was underway today as thousands flocked to London1 to see Trooping the Colour to mark the Queen2‘s official birthday. All senior royals including The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William will gather for the major occasion, also known as The Queen s Birthday Parade. The Duchess of Cambridge along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte are expected to appear on the balcony at Buckingham Palace following the spectacle.
Extra police will be on duty around the palace to ensure the area is secure following the London and Manchester terror attacks. Prince William at last year’s event (EPA)
Snipers will be positioned on nearby roof tops and plain clothes officers will mingle among the crowds to bolster the uniformed police presence. The traditional celebrations came as The Queen, ahead of the event, issued a statement saying the UK has been “resolute in the face of adversity” following recent tragedies in London and Manchester.
Happy family: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at last year’s event (REUTERS/Toby Melville)
She said: “Today is traditionally a day of celebration . This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood.”
The Head of State released her statement on her official birthday, the day after she visited the survivors and heroes of the Grenfell Tower tragedy accompanied by Prince William.
“In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies,” Her Majesty said.
“As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events. Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh leaving Buckingham Palace in central London to view the Trooping the Colour ceremony (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)
“During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need.”
The monarch visited the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital following the Manchester Arena attack in which 22 people were killed following an Ariana Grande concert.
She added: “Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity.
“United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.”
Prince Philip waves to crowds as he and the Queen travel to Horse Guards Parade for Trooping the Colour last year (AFP/Getty Images)
Trooping the Colour is an annual event that is part of the Queen s official birthday celebrations. It begins with an impressive pageantry parade which includes her personal troops, the Household Division and Horse Guards. The Queen rides in a carriage before inspecting the troops and taking a salute from the officers and men on parade.
Troops line the street during ast year’s event (REUTERS/Toby Melville)
The Queen has two birthdays – her actual birthday in April and an official birthday marked every summer by the Trooping the Colour ceremony. Today the Queen leaves Buckingham Palace accompanied by a Sovereign s escort from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. She then takes a Royal salute from officers and inspect the troops before the Regimental Colour, flag, is carried down the ranks.
After Foot Guards, the Household Cavalry, The King s Troop and Royal Horse Artillery troop past, the Queen will head back to Buckingham Palace to the balcony for the Royal Air Force fly-past. The tradition for monarchs to have two birthdays was started by George II back in 1748. George was born in November and it was felt that it was too cold to host an annual birthday parade at that time.
It was decided that his birthday festivities would be combined with a military parade known as the Trooping the Colour, which was held in spring. Subsequent monarchs helpfully had birthdays at more convenient times of the year, but the Queen s father, King George VI, reintroduced the tradition which she has continued. The Queen has taken the salute every year since her coronation in 1953, apart from in 1955 when there was a national rail strike.
Theresa May to launch wide-ranging internet regulation and security changes despite not winning majority
Theresa May looks set to launch wide-ranging internet regulation and plans to fundamentally change how technology works1 despite not having won a majority. In the speech in which she committed to keep governing despite calls to stand down, the prime minister made reference to extending powers for the security services . Those powers which include regulation of the internet and forcing internet companies to let spies read everyone’s private communications were a key part of the Conservative campaign2, which failed to score a majority in the House of Commons. In the speech, given in Downing Street after losing her majority but still looking to form a government3, she laid out a series of plans that she hopes to carry out at what she called a “critical time for our country”.
One of those will be “cracking down on the ideology of Islamist extremism and all those who support it,” she said in the short speech . And she will also “give the police and the authorities the powers they need to keep our country safe”. That statement one of few policy proposals in the speech seems to be a reference to new powers to regulate what is said and read on the internet, as set out in the Conservative manifesto4. Theresa May had already promised in the final days of the campaign to launch a worldwide plan to get “international agreements” to “regulate cyberspace” .
Her manifesto had laid out wide-ranging plans to regulate the internet, which included a commitment to become the “global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the internet”5. During the election campaign, the prime minister refused to rule out Chinese-style internet censorship6 as part of that regulation plan, suggesting that she might look to shut down or ban companies that didn’t comply with her controversial proposals7. Almost all of Ms May’s plans for stopping terror have focused on internet communications, despite there being no proof that they are responsible for recent attacks .
Experts have warned that those plans for internet regulation could in fact make life easier for terrorists10.
- ^ wide-ranging internet regulation and plans to fundamentally change how technology works (www.independent.co.uk)
- ^ key part of the Conservative campaign (www.independent.co.uk)
- ^ given in Downing Street after losing her majority but still looking to form a government (www.independent.co.uk)
- ^ regulate what is said and read on the internet, as set out in the Conservative manifesto (www.independent.co.uk)
- ^ manifesto had laid out wide-ranging plans to regulate the internet, which included a commitment to become the “global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the internet” (www.independent.co.uk)
- ^ Chinese-style internet censorship (www.independent.co.uk)
- ^ suggesting that she might look to shut down or ban companies that didn’t comply with her controversial proposals (www.independent.co.uk)
- ^ after the London Bridge attack (www.independent.co.uk)
- ^ internet regulation (www.independent.co.uk)
- ^ those plans for internet regulation could in fact make life easier for terrorists (www.independent.co.uk)
- ^ Reuse content (www.independent.co.uk)
Cyclists have complained of chaos after barriers were installed on Blackfriars Bridge1 to protect pedestrians from car ramming following two London terror attacks. The congestion caused by the barriers was described as dangerous on social media as campaigners spoke of serious safety concerns amid increased security measures across the capital. Fences have already been erected on Westminster Bridge,2 where a terror attack in March left five people dead, as well as on Waterloo and Lambeth bridges.
And on Thursday morning commuters were pictured crossing Blackfriars Bridge, which is on the route of Cycle Superhighway 6, with the sturdy-looking new structures in place. A spokesman for London Cycling Campaign spoke of the real safety risk as he said cyclists were being forced into often quite fast traffic as a result of the barriers. He told the Standard3: These barriers had to go up very fast indeed .
We hope that something can be done to modify or change them to provide security and not make things worse for cyclists. A photo on social media taken on Thursday morning showed a throng of cyclists moving close together as they crossed the bridge. The LCC group said in a statement: London Cycling Campaign is fully supportive of the Met, TfL and the boroughs involved in taking urgent steps to provide extra protection for Londoners and visitors to our city.
“It is also important that we do not allow this attack to impede people going about their business, including being able to cycle safely around the city.
We will be talking to all relevant bodies about how measures, such as the new barriers on the bridges, can provide the extra security needed as well as allow people, especially London s large number of cycling commuters, to continue to cycle safely with minimal disruption.
It came as the Met Police said they were reviewing the security of all 33 bridges in London. They said in a statement: Since the night of Sunday, June 4 we have had protective barriers installed at Westminster Bridge.
We are in the process of having barriers installed on Waterloo Bridge and Lambeth Bridge to maintain security at these venues.
We recognise the public is anxious about security following the terrorist attacks in London, and we want to reassure them that we are taking precautions to make the capital a safe place for people to live, work and visit. Barriers have already been introduced on Westminster Bridge (Alex Lentati)
A spokesman added that the bridges are designed specifically for hostile vehicle mitigation and are being considered at locations across London.
He added the force would not be commenting further at this time. Police, TfL, and council officials have faced serious questions over why barriers were not installed immediately4 after the terror attack in Westminster. Khalid Masood killed four pedestrians and injured about 50 others on March 22 as he ploughed into people in a grey Hyundai while they walked on Westminster Bridge.
On Saturday night, London saw another vehicle-knife attack that left seven dead and 21 in critical conditions after a white van swerved down the wrong side of London Bridge, mowing down terrified pedestrians before the three attackers began stabbing passersby.