A suspect package, believed to be a bomb, was discovered near Buckingham Palace last night on Birdcage Walk. Whilst there is some confusion as to what actually occurred, it seems most likely that the police carried out a controlled explosion of the package. There was a loud bang which interrupted BBC and Sky news broadcasts. A senior BBC News producer, Pia Talbot, claimed that the Metropolitan Police Force told her that they and exploded the bomb.
The news came as Londoners held a vigil in Trafalgar Square for the victims of Wednesday’s terrorist attacks in Westminster, London.
Following the attack, security has been increased in the British capital, with a greater police presence near the Palace of Westminster. The gates of Buckingham Palace were ordered to be closed and Her Majesty The Queen cancelled a trip to open New Scotland Yard (the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police) which she had been due to complete with HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
Despite the heightened security threat and even after the finding of the bomb last night, The Queen and The Prince Philip remain in Buckingham Palace. In fact, Her Majesty is due to bestow honours of prominent members of the film and television industry later today.
Of course, there are increased fears for the 90-year-old monarch’s safety but it is understandable that The Royal Family wish to remain defiant in the face of adversity. During the Second World War, King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth (the current Queen’s parents) refused to leave London during the Nazi bombing campaign known as the Blitz. At one point, Buckingham Palace itself was bombed, and the King and Queen were very nearly killed. When asked about the possibility of The Royal Family being evacuated, The Queen Mother said “The children won’t go without me. I won’t leave without the King. And the King will never leave.” This steadfast grit and stubborn defiance helped to inspire the British people to keep fighting against Nazism.