The Queen’s guards at Buckingham Palace have changed their ceremonial routines due to fears of a Berlin-style terror attack on the royal residence.
The soldiers, famed for their black bearskin hats, have revamped the schedule of their popular Changing of the Guard ceremony to accommodate heightened security.
Times and dates of the ceremony will be moved over the winter months so that police officers can erect traffic barriers around the palace.
The protections are designed to stop a crazed terrorist – like the Berlin truck driver who murdered 12 people last month – from getting close enough to the palace gates to kill anybody.
Disruption from the heightened security – which will reroute traffic through busy central London roads – required the guards to move the eccentric performance to more predictable times.
For the past several centuries, the ceremony, which sees a fresh complement of guardsmen troop from a nearby barracks to the palace, has taken place every other day at 11.30am.
Now the ceremony will be moved back to 11am, and will take place on the same days each week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
The moves are initially planned only for the winter season. But, according to the Daily Telegraph, sources close to the royal family are briefing that the arrangement may become permanent.
The UK’s terror threat level – set by domestic intelligence services – has been at “severe” since May 2016. Central London is by far the most obvious target for an attack.