Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will be on September 19, Monday, at Westminster Abbey. It is expected to last an hour. England’s longest-serving monarch died at 96, after 70 years on the throne, and several world leaders are slated to show up to the state funeral to pay respects. US President Joe Biden, and First Lady Jill, have arrived in London – along with the presidential fleet of cars. 

Recently chosen Indian president Draupadi Murmu has also reached London for the funeral. The prime ministers of Canada, Australia and New Zealand are already in the UK for the ceremony, and French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier are all due to attend. 

With so many foreign heads of state, including some controversial names like Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) – who’s been linked to the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi – security in London is extremely tight. 

As per MI5 or Security Service, the nation’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency “The threat to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) from terrorism is SUBSTANTIAL.” As per Metropolitan Police, “substantial” denotes that an attack is likely. 

Also Read | What’s next for the UK as Queen Elizabeth II is laid to rest

Several Twitter users have found this situation to be remarkably similar to the 2016 action movie London Has Fallen, starring Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart. The latter plays the POTUS, while the former is the loyal Secret Service agent who accompanies him to the UK. In the movie, world leaders convene when the British PM dies, and a terrorist attack on the event puts the president’s life in danger. 

In the movie too, the US President arrives in his own convoy which gets attacked before they can attend the event. “A funeral for the Queen of England, with most of the world’s royalty, politicians, heads of state, presidents, EU leaders & high-ranking officials attending, all in one building, what could possibly go wrong? Watch the movie ‘London Has Fallen’ to learn more”, another Twitter user said. 

Some quipped about sending Butler with Biden while one Twitter user noted “Every freak with a grievance is probably looking at this event. I’d triple security and ground all aircraft”. In the same vein, another person on the social media platform added, “Even so I’m sure the Met Police, M16 and the SAS are ready. Let’s all hope for a peaceful and respectful funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.”

Authorities are already preparing for the security challenge, with an overt and covert presence at key transportation hubs and other vital points of the city. Airport-style security is to be expected for regular people attending the funeral, and there’ll be strict restrictions on what can be carried inside. 

Also Read | After Queen’s death, former colonies seek blood diamonds back

World leaders have been advised to have trimmed security teams and not to bring private jets, so as to keep the airports relatively uncluttered. Meanwhile, the office of newly elected British PM Liz Truss told The Washington Post that security measures for different world leaders will vary.

Biden is expected to have his armoured limousine, called the Beast, and unsubstantiated reports in the British media claim that the emperor of Japan and Israel’s president will also bring their own vehicles.