Policing the Coronation - a truly international operation
The police operation for the Coronation last weekend (6 May 2023) brought together officers from a range of roles and police forces.
Coordinated by the National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC), police officers from across the UK and the world travelled to London to be part of the policing operation for the Coronation of King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort.
In addition to the 43 UK forces, officers from the British Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies provided a truly international representation to the Coronation ceremony and policing operation.
Just like their colleagues in England and Wales, officers from the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are crown servants and provide policing support to British citizens and their communities. They were therefore invited to represent the wide policing family and are often represented at national events like the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the Coronation.
Hundreds of police officers from around the world lined the procession route with two officers representing every single force and keeping the public safe while they witnessed the historic procession.
Officers from Northamptonshire Police
Here’s some key statistics around the policing operation:
312 Protected Principals – these are VIPs who require specialist police officers to keep them safe.
800 protection officers deployed to safeguard the principals above.
Resources deployed at nine different airports.
901 officers deployed in armed policing roles.
854 officers deployed in a uniformed role to support route lining and general policing operations.
168 officers deployed from roads policing.
70 officers deployed to support the search plans.
33 police dogs deployed to support the operation.
Here’s a few of the officers who took part and their personal reflections on the weekend’s events:
Officers from the Royal Gibraltar Police (Far left Nathan Bamber-Gates and far right Mike Heap) with officers from the Royal Grenada Police (centre)
Police Constable Mike Heap is from the Royal Gibraltar Police
“It was an amazing experience. One of the highlights was being so close to, and, being part of the ceremony itself, standing proud in our tunics and guarding the line so to speak, where the King and the Parade were travelling. “We also worked with a number of officers from forces around the UK and the British Overseas Territories, which I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do normally.
“I felt immensely proud and honoured to represent the RGP and the people of Gibraltar, who might not have been able to make it that day. I felt very privileged to wear my tunic and custodian helmet with its Gibraltar flag, whilst stood guard in Parliament Square.”
Police Constable Nathan Bamber-Gates is from the Royal Gibraltar Police
It was extremely busy, there were a lot of people – a completely different experience to Gibraltar!
“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m grateful for being given the chance to go. The highlight of the day was definitely being able to see the King drive past me in the carriage."
DC Samantha Sillitoe (second from left, front row) with colleagues
Detective Constable Samantha Sillitoe of the Royal Cayman Islands Police
“I am very proud to have been given the opportunity to represent the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service at the Coronation of King Charles III.
“It was such an honour to have been part of such an historic and ‘once in a lifetime’ event. The atmosphere in London was amazing and we were met with such a warm welcome from the general public and other officers.
“The Metropolitan Police did an exceptional job and made us feel like the central part of it all.
I am from the UK and also an ex-Met Officer, so personally, this experience was very close to my heart.
“We were very lucky to be posted directly outside of Westminster Abbey and I was particularly fortunate to be stood outside of the Royal entrance. I saw King Charles & all the Royal Family literally just a few feet in front of me, both before and after the ceremony which was both surreal and amazing.
“We send our heart-felt thanks to our colleagues for inviting us to this prestigious and unforgettable event.”
Detective Superintendent Peter Lansdown of the Royal Cayman Islands Police
“We at Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) were extremely proud to participate in this historic event.
“Even coming from a paradise Caribbean island we appreciated the opportunity to experience the history and pageantry of London and the hospitality of the Metropolitan Police, the original UK police force we are inspired to follow.
“We have a number of police officers in our service like DC Sillitoe above who previously worked in the UK and we are always looking for new officers to join us in a range of roles from community policing to digital forensics.”
Police Constable Mumnoon Ahmad of Northamptonshire Police
“The whole experience was a chance to be part of history, and to say I was involved is huge. Not only does it reflect on my immediate family, but my extended family who only found out I was taking part on the day.
“It is also important to my village, where I have lived for 18 years. To have a villager who was a route liner will be remembered and acknowledged in the village archives and be a legacy for the Ahmad family. Several children whom I coach at U6 football in the village couldn’t believe it when they saw me on TV and now want to be police officers.
“While it was a long day with an early start, and we got soaked from the constant drizzle, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and really enjoyed being able to interact with the crowds towards the end of our duties.”
Police Constable Andy Poole of the West Midlands Police Honour Guard
“With nearly three decades of policing in various roles I don’t think I was prepared for what I saw, heard, or how I was left feeling as I stood there, front row for an iconic moment in history.
“We were in post hours before the ceremony so you see the streets fill up. It was so busy at one point it felt like the ground was moving. You can’t quite comprehend how many people are there unless you see it first-hand.
“We had our back to the King when he came out of Buckingham Palace but the huge roar from the crowd told us when his carriage left. It then emerged from my left-hand side and I’ve never heard anything like it. It’s so much more than a noise at a football game and I don’t think any TV coverage could do it justice. I could feel the noise, almost as if it was pounding on my chest.
“We watched as the King was driven down The Mall. The noise and cheers echoed around the area. It was nerve tingling; the hairs were standing up on my neck. I stood with a sense of disbelief. I felt I had VIP seats for the moment and it was an incredibly humbling experience.
“Just to be able to say I was there as part of the ceremonial duties will be something I will remember dearly for the rest of my career. But for me it was special for a whole other reason.
“I never got to meet my Grandad. William Poole collar 661, was a police sergeant and I’ve proudly heard stories how he was awarded a British Empire Medal by King George. He rescued an RAF crewman from a Wellington Bomber that had been hit over France during the war, and was trying to make it back to RAF Stafford. It crashed in his orchard, and as it was immediately consumed by flames, ammunition began exploding. My grandad battled the heat to smash the rear gunner’s turret open and rescue one of the lads inside it. He and my grandad survived.
“After the weekend I now have my own story to tell. Not as dramatic I agree…however I was part of the Coronation of King Charles III. I hope my grandad would have been proud of me. And I look forward to sharing both our stories to my family for years to come.”