Police out in force for royal wedding

Police out in force for royal wedding
Some 2,000 police officers are set to patrol the streets of Stockholm in the coming days, with around 15 heads of state attending the marriage of Crown Princess Victoria and commoner Daniel Westling.

“This police operation is the largest operation we have ever done in Stockholm,” Swedish police spokesman Ulf Goeransson told reporters.

He said some 2,000 officers will be walking the streets of the capital, where Swedish flags have already inundated the streets, during Saturday’s wedding of Crown Princess Victoria, 32, to her former gym trainer.

The police will be joined by over 6,000 members of the Swedish military, for what Swedish public radio called the largest Swedish military operation of all time.

“It is really big for us. It’s not like we’ve never done anything like this before but the extent (of the operation) is especially large this time,” Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Beck-Friis Häll told the radio.

The 6,000 military personnel include 2,900 officers and soldiers and 1,200 home guards, but also musicians making up 19 military bands that will provide entertainment for the couple as their cortege parades through the city.

Towards the end of the couple’s procession, 18 Gripen fighter jets will fly over the capital, at a height of 400 meters (1,312 feet), Häll said.

Police spokesman Göransson told reporters Swedish police had visited neighbouring Denmark and Norway, where royal weddings were recently held, to learn about security arrangements.

They also drew on the experience of the Netherlands, where security around royal events was beefed up after seven bystanders were killed in failed attack on the royal family in 2009.

Saturday’s event is expected to draw large crowds, including families with children, and police said they would establish no fewer than eight centres throughout the capital to help reunite lost little ones with their parents.

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