A 'Ring of Steel' was spotted surrounding King Charles as he walked in front of crowds at Buckingham Palace this afternoon.

At one point a gun was spied poking out of an armed guard's blazer as the new Monarch greeted the public for the first time in his new role.

The thousands who lined the London streets were joined by countless police officers as Charles was driven in alongside Queen Consort Camilla.

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Their vehicle sat at the front of a lengthy motorcade, signifying how the security around him has ramped up significantly over night.

When Charles emerged from the car to rapturous cheers and waving hands, stern-looking men in sharp black suits appeared almost out of thin air as they took up strategic positions around him.

Two in particular did not appear more than one or two metres away from the King at all times, occasionally exchanging arrowed glances and muttering to each other.

One of those two – who emerged from the right hand side of the car – darted to get back next to Charles after he'd exited the vehicle. As he did so, BBC News cameras caught a glimpse of the yellow butt of a gun, locked and loaded at his hip.

He, and the other mysterious suited blokes, are officers in the Royalty Protection Group – a crack squad from Scotland Yard.

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The group is made up of three sections – Personal and Close Protection, Residential Protection and the Special Escort Group – each of which come together to provide the Royal Family with water-tight 24-hour protection.

Those seen on the news today would have been armed Personal and Close Protection officers.

According to Elite UK Forces, they carry Glock 17 pistols, radios and first aid kits at all times. They are highly trained in both firearms and hand-to-hand combat.

Luckily, those lethal skills were not required today, but the man whose gun was spotted looked absolutely ready to use them when he barged a regular copper out the way to maintain his closeness to Charles.

The King was then flanked by the two close officers as he shook hands with members of the public.

While Charles grinned and the public cheered, the protection officers appeared stoney-faced as they scanned the crowd, looking out for anything or anyone that could be a threat to the new Head of State.


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