ARMED cops are patrolling Windsor ahead of Prince Philip's funeral today.
Security in the historic town has been tightened as police scour drains and patrol rivers and a ring of steel is erected.
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Tooled-up cops with rifles and jet-black body armour were seen patrolling the area as the public was told to stay away.
Specialist police search teams were seen scouring drains close to Windsor Castle, where Philip will be laid to rest at St George's Chapel.
Police patrol boats were deployed on the River Thames, with extra armed cops on standby.
Royal security are prepared to shut roads to stop an influx of mourners for Philip’s funeral.
It comes as:
- Philip told the Queen to "shut up, you silly woman" as the royal couple bickered "sweetly" during lockdown
- Queen receives a message of condolence from Canadian PM Justin Trudeau
- Royal Family pay heartwarming tribute to Prince Philip as they reveal the 'unique touches' duke planned for funeral
- Mike Tindall shares a sweet photo of Prince Philip with daughter Mia
- Meghan and Harry's pals Omid Scobie and Gayle King to lead US coverage of Philip's funeral
- Queen takes new puppies for a walk at Frogmore where Harry is staying the night before Philip's funeral
Officials are prepped to set up road blocks if they need to keep crowds away.
A source told The Sun: “Its a guessing game as to how many people will show.
“If too many people come we’re prepared to block the roads to stop them getting into Windsor.
“Hopefully people will have listened to the messaging over the last week, and stay home and watch the service on tv.”
Signs on the motorway and roads to Windsor warn travellers to avoid heading to the royal residences.
Cops revealed they would be using covert security tactics in the run up to, and during, the duke's funeral.
Armed officers were pictured arriving in Windsor this morning, with cops using binoculars to monitor the town from rooftops.
The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral will be a scaled-back royal affair with just 30 mourners in attendance due to Covid rules.
But police are taking no chances with a ring of steel shielding Windsor, where Philip will be laid to rest, and the royal family.
Gun cops were seen on the Long Walk this week ahead of today's funeral as the public come to pay their respects to Philip after his death aged 99.
Thames Valley Police say the “high visibility patrols” are to "help provide reassurance and keep local residents, businesses and visitors safe".
The force revealed they will be deploying covert security tactics when the duke is honoured with a funeral at St George's Chapel.
But beefed-up policing has been visible on the streets all week.
Dog searches have been taking place across the town – including in phone boxes, drains and bins.
Increased vehicle checks will also be carried out using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), which flag suspicious drivers who can the be stopped and searched.
Checks will be made on lorries too – including loads, licences and driver hours in the run-up to the event and on the day.
Thames Valley Police also confirmed anti-terror Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) barriers are being erected around the town.
The huge concrete blocks are aimed at stopping van rampages similar to the London Bridge terror atrocity in 2017.
The public have been warned to stay away from the event, which is taking place behind the walls of Windsor Castle.
They have also been urged not to leave flowers for the duke and instead told to sign online book of condolence if they wish to pay their respects.
Buckingham Palace has reinforced the official advice and told well-wishers to watch the funeral on TV as there is no public access anyway.
Assistant Chief Constable Ben Snuggs, strategic commander for the funeral, said: "We understand that people will want to pay their respects to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and to the Royal Family during this time of national mourning.
"However, we would ask that the public respect the Royal Household’s wishes and the Government advice by minimising travel and not gathering in groups.
"Instead, we would ask people to use the online book of condolence which has been set up by the Royal Household.
"There will continue to be a police presence in Windsor in the lead up to and on the day of the funeral as part of our measures to ensure public health and safety and protective security.
"Our thoughts remain with the Royal Family and all those affected at this very difficult time."
Royal borough mayor John Story also urged well-wishers to stay away from Windsor.
He said “there will be nothing to see” and people should instead comply with official advice not to gather in large groups in public places.
But despite the plea, some defiant Brits are still intending to pay their respects in person.
Mike Fulton, 55, who lives in Windsor, said: “It is really important to me to be able to come out.
"Prince Philip is such an iconic figure for us and has always been a part of our lives. It wouldn’t be right not to turn out."
While Razika Berboucha, 57, said: "It’s important to be here because the royals mean a great deal to us.
"If we can’t come out we will do something with our neighbours and stay local."
Philip's funeral will be different to any other royal's after Covid made the family strip back all tradition.
Just 30 guests will be in attendance and the Queen will not take part in the procession from Windsor Castle.
Prince William and Harry, who arrived back in the UK two days ago for the funeral, and other senior royals will follow the Land Rover on foot.
A minute's silence will be held across the nation at 3pm to remember Philip's 70-plus years of service.
They said: "This event will be much reduced in scale with no public access. In line with Government guidelines and public health measures, there will be no public processions and the Duke's funeral will take place entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle,' he said.
"The plans have been given final approval by the Queen and reflect appropriately Government advice. Despite these necessary changes, they still very much reflect the personal wishes of the Duke.
"Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognise the Duke's life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth."
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