The application for a restricted airspace order was made as part of a continuous review of security arrangements, not in response to any specific danger or intelligence. The restricted airspace order, if granted, would bar aircraft from flying over 2,500 feet and within 1.5 nautical miles of Windsor Castle. According to Metropolitan police,
[The order would] further enhance the security at what is an iconic location and keep the community living nearby safe.
The decision comes after the discovery of a 19-year-old man with a crossbow at the castle on Christmas Day.
A 19-year-old guy was arrested at Windsor Castle on Christmas Day while reportedly in possession of a crossbow. According to the Metropolitan Police, he had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. The CCTV footage that was made available to the police appears to show a masked man in a dark hoodie brandishing a crossbow and speaking to the camera in a garbled voice. The man claimed that he planned to Assassinate the Queen in a revenge operation. A spokesperson of the Metropolitan Police said,
As part of the Met Police's responsibilities under the Royal and Specialist Protection Command, the Met is responsible for policing within the footprint of Windsor Castle and we work closely with Thames Valley Police to ensure the castle and the surrounding areas are kept safe and secure.
As part of our ongoing review of security arrangements at Windsor Castle, and working in partnership with Thames Valley Police, we applied for a restricted airspace order for up to 2,500ft at a radius of 1.5 nautical miles around Windsor Castle.
Following the Christmas day incident, Home Secretary Priti Patel directed the Home Office to explore tightening crossbow ownership rules. Considering that something could happen so close to the palace, it has brought up concerns of further security review and analysis. Metropolitan police spokesperson confirmed,
This was not brought about in response to any specific threat or intelligence but was intended to further enhance the security at what is an iconic location and keep the community living nearby safe.
According to the Metropolitan Police, the local community has been encouraged to comment on the application for the restricted airspace order.