Security chiefs have installed a 6ft steel barrier in Edinburgh amid concerns Just Stop Oil fanatics may try to destroy today’s special coronation celebrations.
A source said of the move to guard the King’s route to St Giles Cathedral: “There is a real fear of a ruse.”
Activists have been warned not to cause chaos at the King’s Crown Jewels ceremony.
Last night there were fears that the eco-protesters’ latest high-profile stunt could target Karl’s coronation celebrations.
Insiders said authorities were wary of a disruptive demonstration – after 6ft security barriers were erected along the route the monarch will take to St Giles’ Cathedral in the capital.
A source said: “There are real concerns that Just Stop Oil may be trying to pull something off while everyone is looking at Edinburgh.”
“But the fanatics would be wise not to try and ruin the king’s big day.
“The information about their plans must be fairly recent as the latest precautionary measures were not part of the original plan.
“Contractors just arrived this week with truckloads of the tall metal fences.
“The public will be kept away from the procession as there is a 6ft gap between the new cordons and the smaller ones we typically see at these events.”
The source added: “This is the first time this type of fencing has been used on the Royal Mile.
“It wasn’t even there when the Queen was laid out in the cathedral last September.”
And the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Robert Aldridge, urged activists to keep all protests “peaceful”.
He said: “The eyes of the world will be on us again as we celebrate the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. and Her Majesty Queen Camilla.”
“We are asking those who wish to view the Royal Procession and the People’s Procession to plan ahead.
“Of course we are aware of planned protests.
“As a democratic city and state, it is right that people have the right to express their views.
“Detailed plans are in place to ensure the safe conduct of the event, including dedicated protest areas along the route.
“I hope these are peaceful and that we can look back on another proud and successful day for Edinburgh.”
Russell Findlay, the Conservative shadow justice secretary, said: “With our capital in the spotlight, it would be upsetting if the Just Stop Oil protesters were planning a disruption.”
“But I expect Police Scotland will be more than able to deal with them – albeit at an unfortunate additional cost to the taxpayer.”
Teams of specialist search officers were seen yesterday using harnesses and ropes to enter the St Giles building.
Thousands will line the Royal Mile as the day’s events begin at 1.15pm with a popular procession from Edinburgh Castle.
Charles and Camilla will then make the short journey from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to the Cathedral where the National Thanksgiving and Dedication Service is scheduled to begin at 2.15pm.
During the event, the King will be officially presented with the Scottish Honours. He receives a crown, a scepter and a sword.
However, instead of the 16th-century weapon previously used, he is presented with a newly forged blade dubbed the “Elizabeth Sword” in honor of his late mother.
It cost £22,000 to make as the original was too fragile.
At the same time, anti-royals activists will hold a protest rally in Holyrood, also attended by Green Party co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater.
We explained yesterday how the two Scottish Government ministers will support the gathering organized by the Our Republic group calling for an end to the monarchy and the election of the head of state. They meet at 13:00 in front of the Parly building.
In a post on their website, supporters were urged to bring placards and flags and join a protest “against the path of the procession to St Giles’ Cathedral”.
But Mr Harvie was described by Conservative MP Donald Cameron as “childish” and “attention hungry”.
Another group called Republic will protest in front of the cathedral.
Just Stop Oil held its first Scottish protest in May when around 20 activists blocked an oil terminal in Clydebank, near Glasgow. Her supporters have been arrested more than 1,200 times since early April.
Demos have also disrupted the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield, Ashes Cricket and the Grand National in Aintree.
Police officers in Edinburgh were confirmed last night to have spoken to protest organizers.
Deputy Police Commissioner Tim Mairs said: “Our approach will be to ensure we run a safe event that balances the safety of attendees with the rights of peaceful protesters who want their voices heard.”
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