One week today in Windsor, and the wedding day will be here. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot in St George’s Chapel – part of the oldest inhabited castle in the world. We are told that Windsor is 99.9% ready for the event, as the world’s media begin to pour into this historic town with the River Thames flowing through. The Castle itself a focal point towering up in the town centre, but to one side the Long Walk takes you from bustling streets to the leafy Great Park.
Town councillor Philip Bicknell is expecting tens of thousands to flock to Windsor to catch a glimpse of the royal couple as they travel in an open-top carriage through the Great Park and Windsor after the service. “We believe this will be the biggest number of people fitting into Windsor for any event. It’s going to be quite tight, but the atmosphere will be electric”. Of all the places outside the capital, Windsor is probably the most experienced place to host such an event. The Castle has been the residence of the monarch since 1070 and is one, if not the favourite residences of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
As well as hosting this, and previous weddings – including Prince Harry’s Uncle Prince Edward, Windsor has also been the location for many state visits also a parade for the Golden Jubilee. Even so, the security operation around Windsor is immense, with some roads blocked off with barriers and number-plate recognition camera’s keeping watch in the light of the current terror state signifying an attack somehow may be likely. Armed police are already patrolling the streets, ever vigilant.
The Royal Family are well-liked and occasionally seen in Windsor, whether it is the Duke of Edinburgh out for a morning carriage ride or the Queen either riding a horse or driving in the Great Park. For that reason, it will not just be the world that comes to Windsor, when they come they will see the appreciation of the people of Berkshire for the monarchy as even the barriers will be decorated with bunting made by the people of Berkshire organised by the local radio station.
I have had the pleasure to be involved in Royal events in Windsor in the past, and from that I can say that when they say they are 99.9% ready I am sure they will do the royal couple proud and like many married couples give them a day to fondly back on in the years to come.