It’s a time-honoured tradition in Britain, attracting many thousands of tourists and visitors to watch. However, Changing the Guard ceremonies at Windsor Castle have now been shelved amid concern that they would be targeted by terrorists.
Officials fear that the traditional event could become the focus of an attack like in Berlin and Nice, when terrorists turned lorries into weapons, ploughing through innocent civilians to kill and maim as many people as possible.
The security worries been that Changing the Guard will no longer happen on Saturdays because officers believe that terrorists could decide to target the thousands of tourists who come together to watch the event.
Terror attacks in Berlin and Nice
The worries follow the attack in Berlin in which 12 people died and dozens more were injured after a terrorist hijacked a huge lorry before deliberately driving it into crowds of shoppers at a Christmas market. That attack was a copycat of an earlier assault in Nice when 86 people died and hundreds were injured when a terrorist drove into people who had been watching fireworks to celebrate Bastille Day on the promenade in the French city.
After the attack on Berlin, police with the Thames Valley force became so concerned, they ordered that the Changing of the Guard timetable be changed in Windsor so that it normally takes place at really busy times when it attracts larger crowds. However, the move has come in for criticism with local residents saying they can no longer take their children to see the spectacle, and nearby traders claiming they are losing out on money because of the shelving of the Saturday ceremonies.
However, police are taking the threat to security very seriously, and say that terror cells are already known to be operating within the UK and are plotting in a bid to carry out terror attacks like those which have caused such carnage elsewhere in the world.