Queen Elizabeth's Funeral Had A Staggering Number Of Police Officers On Duty

For nearly two centuries (via The National Archives), the London Metropolitan Police force has been responsible for keeping the peace in the world capital with a population of approximately 9.5 million people, give or take (per Macro Trends). The police force's approximately 43,000 officers and staff (per the London Metro Police website) are not only tasked with carrying out the policing duties of any other large city (crowd control, law enforcement, and so on), but they also have a role in protecting the monarch, or his family, when they're in town — a role shared with various members of the British armed forces.

Needless to say, the biggest monarchy-adjacent event to happen in London in several decades took place between September 8, 2022, and September 19, 2022, the 11 days between the death of Queen Elizabeth II and her funeral. Hundreds of thousands of mourners were expected, to say nothing of the "meticulously choreographed" funeral itself, which would, by necessity, involve local law enforcement at various stages of the process (per WJTV). On the day of the queen's funeral proper, about one-quarter of the entire London police force was pressed into duty.

There were more than 10,000 officers on duty

According to WJTV, the last time such a large portion of London's police force was put to work for a single event was in 2012, when the city hosted the Summer Olympics. During that weeks-long event, as many as 10,000 police officers were on the streets each day — about a quarter of the police force's payroll. We don't know the specific number of police deployed to London for the queen's funeral, but we do know that it was more than the Olympics deployment. That's because Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy called the operation the biggest in its history. That means there were more than 10,000 officers deployed.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan explained (via the Associated Press) just how big of a challenge this matter has been for his city's police. "It's been decades since this many world leaders were in one place. This is unprecedented ... in relation to the various things that we're juggling," he said.