King says ‘encouraging’ policing plans for Operation London Bridge are working

·3-min read
King Charles arrives for a visit to the Metropolitan Police Service Special Operations Room in Lambeth (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)
King Charles arrives for a visit to the Metropolitan Police Service Special Operations Room in Lambeth (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)

The King has told officers it is “encouraging” that policing plans for Operation London Bridge are working during a visit to a Metropolitan Police base.

Charles was given a tour of the Metropolitan Police Service Special Operations Room on Saturday, where he met and thanked emergency service workers for their efforts ahead of the funeral of the Queen and over the last nine days.

The Prince of Wales also briefly visited the Lambeth HQ, where he spoke to two police officers and thanked them for their service before departing in the same car as the King.

The pair later undertook a walkabout where they spoke to members of the public who were stood in the queue near Lambeth Palace to see the Queen’s coffin.

During the visit to the police headquarters, the King was greeted on arrival in south London by Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, Home Secretary Suella Braverman, mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Lord Lieutenant of Greater London Sir Ken Olisa before being given his tour by Sir Mark.

As his vehicle arrived, members of the public lined the streets and cheered, with several shouting “God save the King” as he stepped out of his car.

During the visit, the King met and spoke with several police officers involved in the planning for Operation London Bridge, the codename for the plans put in place following the death of the Queen, as well as members of British Transport Police, London Ambulance Service, the Army and London Fire Brigade.

He was seen laughing and joking with staff and asked several questions to each worker about their role in the operation and thanked them for their service.

While speaking to the operation planning team, who also prepare the policing efforts at football matches and protests in the capital, the King asked them questions relating to the planning around Operation London Bridge.

He asked the officers: “Have you been planning for a long time… or have you just been drafted in?”

One officer responded: “Yes your Majesty, we’ve been planning for about three years. There were teams before us.”

He replied: “And the plans are working?”

The officer said: “They are, absolutely.”

“That’s the most encouraging thing,” the King said, and began to chuckle.

He also questioned the staff about crime levels during the mourning period.

Referring to his time visiting the base, the King added: “It’s nice to know where it all happens. I’ve been here before – this is the absolute hub, isn’t it?”

The officers replied that it was. The King then described their work as “absolutely fantastic”, adding: “Thank you”.

After the King’s visit, Mr Khan told journalists: “He was really keen to see for himself the hard work to keep our city safe, to keep His Majesty safe, the royal family safe, also there’ll be hundreds of leaders from across the globe coming to London.

“It was lovely to have the King show that much interest. He went around meeting people, asking questions, listening to their answers, being incredibly inquisitive but also incredibly warm.”

Sir Mark said: “It was a privilege to introduce His Majesty King Charles to some of the teams working hard behind the scenes to deliver this monumental policing operation, which will culminate in us deploying the greatest number of officers in the Met’s history for a pre-planned event on Monday.

“It gave officers and staff a real boost.”