Royal wedding fans swerve Windsor tent ban by camping in sleeping bags

  • Four royal fans already sleeping out overnight in Windsor ahead of Harry and Meghan's wedding
  • They have set up camp behind the barriers on route that royal procession will take through town
  • Thames Valley Police are enforcing a no tent rule in the run-up to the big day for security reasons

By Mark Duell for MailOnline

Published: 05:53 EDT, 16 May 2018 | Updated: 07:28 EDT, 16 May 2018

With just three days to go until the wedding of the year, anticipation is mounting around the world.

But it would be tough to find anyone more dedicated than these four royal fans who are already sleeping out overnight in Windsor ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's marriage on Saturday.

The fans, who are kitted out in Union Jack flags and clothing bearing the couple's faces, have set up camp behind the barriers on the route that the royal procession will take through the Berkshire town.

These royal fans are already sleeping overnight in Windsor ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding on Saturday
These royal fans are already sleeping overnight in Windsor ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding on Saturday

These royal fans are already sleeping overnight in Windsor ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding on Saturday

The fans have set up camp behind the barriers on the route that the royal procession will take through the Berkshire town
The fans have set up camp behind the barriers on the route that the royal procession will take through the Berkshire town

The fans have set up camp behind the barriers on the route that the royal procession will take through the Berkshire town

The fans are kitted out in Union Jack flags and clothing bearing the couple’s faces, ahead of the big day on Saturday
The fans are kitted out in Union Jack flags and clothing bearing the couple’s faces, ahead of the big day on Saturday

The fans are kitted out in Union Jack flags and clothing bearing the couple's faces, ahead of the big day on Saturday

Thames Valley Police are enforcing a no tent rule in the run-up to the wedding on Saturday for security reasons
Thames Valley Police are enforcing a no tent rule in the run-up to the wedding on Saturday for security reasons

Thames Valley Police are enforcing a no tent rule in the run-up to the wedding on Saturday for security reasons

Royalists are now a fixture at wedding and funerals, with hundreds trying to bag key spots along procession routes
Royalists are now a fixture at wedding and funerals, with hundreds trying to bag key spots along procession routes

Royalists are now a fixture at wedding and funerals, with hundreds trying to bag key spots along procession routes

Royal fans have been forced to sleep in the open air or on fold up chairs, with some using sleeping bags on the pavement
Royal fans have been forced to sleep in the open air or on fold up chairs, with some using sleeping bags on the pavement

Royal fans have been forced to sleep in the open air or on fold up chairs, with some using sleeping bags on the pavement

Thames Valley Police are enforcing a no tent rule in the run-up to the big day for security reasons, forcing people to sleep in the open air or on fold up chairs, with some using sleeping bags on the pavement.

Royalists are now a major fixture at wedding and funerals, with hundreds trying to bag key spots along procession routes days in advance, but some have criticised the ban on camping as 'really sad'.

Carl Martin, 33, a royal fan from Felixstowe, Suffolk, said he received an email from the council telling him that 'camping will not be allowed... but folding chairs and some form of cover will be allowed'.

It comes after police were seen clearing away sleeping bags and other possessions belonging to homeless people ahead of the royal wedding.

Windsor Council leader Simon Dudley had called for homeless people to be removed from the streets because they would show the borough in an 'unfavourable light'.

Police said large items deemed a 'security risk' would be banned in the Berkshire town ahead of the wedding, including tents
Police said large items deemed a 'security risk' would be banned in the Berkshire town ahead of the wedding, including tents

Police said large items deemed a 'security risk' would be banned in the Berkshire town ahead of the wedding, including tents

Officers said they had put in place 'extensive' measures are part of the policing plan to 'deliver a safe, secure and happy event'
Officers said they had put in place 'extensive' measures are part of the policing plan to 'deliver a safe, secure and happy event'

Officers said they had put in place 'extensive' measures are part of the policing plan to 'deliver a safe, secure and happy event'

Shops and buildings are being searched in the days leading up to the wedding at Windsor Castle on Saturday
Shops and buildings are being searched in the days leading up to the wedding at Windsor Castle on Saturday

Shops and buildings are being searched in the days leading up to the wedding at Windsor Castle on Saturday

Police officers stand today outside Windsor Castle on the Long Walk in the Berkshire town, three days before the wedding
Police officers stand today outside Windsor Castle on the Long Walk in the Berkshire town, three days before the wedding

Police officers stand today outside Windsor Castle on the Long Walk in the Berkshire town, three days before the wedding

Police officers pose with the Madame Tussauds wax figures of Harry and Meghan in Windsor today
Police officers pose with the Madame Tussauds wax figures of Harry and Meghan in Windsor today

Police officers pose with the Madame Tussauds wax figures of Harry and Meghan in Windsor today

The council considered introducing fines of up to £1,000 for rough sleepers but scrapped the plans following public outcry. More than 100,000 people are expected to arrive in the town for the big day.

Police said large items deemed a 'security risk' would be banned in the town, including tents. The 'extensive' measures are part of the policing plan to 'deliver a safe, secure and happy event for everyone'.

Shops and buildings are being searched in the days leading up to the wedding and plans are in place to stop trains from calling at Windsor railway station if the numbers of people in the town causes a 'public safety risk'.

Meanwhile Kensington Palace announced today that Harry's niece and nephew would be among Meghan's young helpers at the nuptials at St George's Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle this weekend. 

Police officers REMOVE sleeping bags and belongings of homeless people living on streets outside Windsor Castle - but promise to return them after the royal wedding

Police have been seen clearing away sleeping bags and other possessions belonging to homeless people ahead of the Royal wedding in a video obtained by MailOnline.

Entire areas around Windsor castle is being placed on lock-down as anti-terror bollards are erected and a heavy police presence moves in, ready for Saturday's nuptials between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Ahead of a dress rehearsal on Thursday the Berkshire town is being swept for safety risks.

However, while measures were taken to improve security, officers also moved rough sleepers. 

The video clip shows officers asking two homeless men, who had pitched up outside a Barclay's Bank opposite Windsor Castle, to pack up their items in see-through bags which are later sealed and taken away in a police van.

They were told the bags, which were filled with bedding, books and magazines, will be kept in storage until Monday.

A woman clutching a blue sleeping bag is seen talking to police at first before she quickly moves on clutching her possessions. 

Police said today they were offering the homeless an opportunity to store their belongings until after the big day. 

Police clear away sleeping bags and other possessions belonging to homeless people ahead of the Royal wedding in a video obtained by MailOnline
Police clear away sleeping bags and other possessions belonging to homeless people ahead of the Royal wedding in a video obtained by MailOnline

Police clear away sleeping bags and other possessions belonging to homeless people ahead of the Royal wedding in a video obtained by MailOnline

The officers ask two homeless men, who had pitched up on Tuesday afternoon outside a Barclay's Bank opposite Windsor Castle, to pack up their items in see-through bags
The officers ask two homeless men, who had pitched up on Tuesday afternoon outside a Barclay's Bank opposite Windsor Castle, to pack up their items in see-through bags

The officers ask two homeless men, who had pitched up on Tuesday afternoon outside a Barclay's Bank opposite Windsor Castle, to pack up their items in see-through bags

Thames Valley Police say the move is for security reasons and to avoid any obstructions on Windsor's tightly-packed pavements come Saturday when up to 100,000 people are expected to cram into the Berkshire town for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Local council leader Simon Dudley sparked outrage last year when he called for homeless and beggars to be cleared out of Windsor in time for the ceremony – which takes place on Saturday afternoon - in case they painted the town in a 'sadly unfavourable light'.

In the video, one of the homeless men who was made to pack away his possessions says: 'There was big speak on the TV about the homeless being helped but when they said helped they meant removed.

'I understand that there isn't the resources but Children In Need and Red Nose Day have been going on for how long? Is it getting any better? No, worse.

'Any charity – legally six per cent – that's all they have to give. I understand they have people who they employ and stuff like that. But we help other countries when there's enough British people who need help.'

At least six bags were removed and taken to the back of a parked police van. The men were allowed to keep small essential items, like bottles of water, with one of the officers heard telling them: 'Right, is that all you need for the next few days?'

Thames Valley Police are working closely with The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, The Windsor Homeless Project, and local support services in order to offer support to local homeless people.

Officers are also working with a homeless project in Sussex to offer further support.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: 'A scheme has been set up for those who choose to store their belongings at the Windsor Homeless Project during the Royal Wedding, and our officers have been assisting with transport of belongings, however this is entirely voluntary to ensure the safety of the homeless community.

'We will continue to engage and work in partnership to support the communities of Windsor.

The officers were then filmed putting some of the belongings into a police van - yards from Windsor Castle where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry in St George's Chapel
The officers were then filmed putting some of the belongings into a police van - yards from Windsor Castle where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry in St George's Chapel

The officers were then filmed putting some of the belongings into a police van - yards from Windsor Castle where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry in St George's Chapel

Footage obtained by MailOnline shows officers clearing some of the homeless sleepers' belongings from around Windsor Castle - four days before Harry and Meghan marry
Footage obtained by MailOnline shows officers clearing some of the homeless sleepers' belongings from around Windsor Castle - four days before Harry and Meghan marry

Footage obtained by MailOnline shows officers clearing some of the homeless sleepers' belongings from around Windsor Castle - four days before Harry and Meghan marry

'The Royal Wedding is a national celebration and everyone is welcome, however everyone in Windsor on the day of the wedding will be subject to a search and screening. Anyone with large items that are deemed to be a security risk are likely to have those items removed.'

Councillor Dudley, a Conservative, complained about rough sleepers in Windsor on Twitter while he was on a Christmas skiing holiday.

On his return to Britain, he wrote a letter to Thames Valley policing boss Anthony Stansfeld calling for action and copying in Theresa May and Amber Rudd.

He wrote: 'There is a growing concern amongst residents, businesses and visitors regarding the number of people occupying the streets of Windsor, who are begging during the day and in some cases taking occupancy throughout the night.'

It comes after Tory councillor Simon Dudley complained about rough sleepers in Windsor and the impact it would have on the town during the royal wedding
It comes after Tory councillor Simon Dudley complained about rough sleepers in Windsor and the impact it would have on the town during the royal wedding

It comes after Tory councillor Simon Dudley complained about rough sleepers in Windsor and the impact it would have on the town during the royal wedding

'The level of tourist interest is set to multiply with the Royal Wedding in May 2018, and there are increased concerns from our residents about their safety.

'The whole situation also presents a beautiful town in a sadly unfavourable light.'

His comments sparked a national row and were criticised by Prime Minister Theresa May, MP for neighbouring Maidenhead, and homeless charities.

The wedding will be one of the most heavily guarded events in history, with police snipers perched on roof-tops, special-forces troops mingling with crowds and road blocks in place.

A no-fly zone will also be in force during the service.  

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