Changing of the guards: The Royal guards at the U.K.’s palaces have been repositioned, and armed security added, in light of fears of “lone-wolf” Islamist extremist attacks similar to the one earlier this year in Ottawa.
At Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s Guards–known the world over for their red coats, tall black hats, and stone faces–have been withdrawn from their sentry boxes in front of the building and repositioned behind locked gates and fences, reports The Telegraph.
Additionally, armed police were put in place to guard the guards–a move made after the soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial on Parliament Hill in Ottawa was gunned down this October.
The U.K.’s ceremonial palace guards do carry rifles that are outfitted with a bayonet, however “the firearms are not loaded,” notes The Telegraph.
Guards have similarly been moved outside other U.K. palaces, including at Clarence House, St James’s Palace and Windsor Castle. They have been ordered to not take Sentry duty alone.
Retired officer Major Iain Dalzel-Job of the Scots Guards told The Daily Mail he believes the move is “a big shame,” adding: “I suppose the changes are necessary as there is a significant threat.”
The threat comes from the notion the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) views the palace guards as a high-profile target.
“Al-Qaeda groups have also called on would-be terrorists to launch ‘lone wolf’ attacks against UK soldiers and police,” notes The Daily Mail.
Police confirm there have been security changes, but did not offer details.
Featured image: Guard at Buckingham Palace via Shutterstock