William and Kate; Kensington Palace
Andrew Holt/Getty; Inset: Landov
Breach of security?
Blueprints for updated protection measures at The Duke
and Duchess of Cambridge
's new Kensington Palace home
, which they plan to occupy next year, have been made available for public viewing on request at the local council – a move that has met with consternation by experts in royal security.
According to the Evening Standard
, the plans call for an "air lock" double-door system (to especially thwart those with a "dirty bomb") an advanced CCTV system, special pop-up bollards and spiked railings.
Former royal protection officer Ken Wharfe, who guarded William's mother Princess Diana, tells PEOPLE, "It seems ridiculous to me that we have this open policy now. We have two high-profile members of the royal family who've recently been the subject of global of attention. We're now putting on display security plans for the redevelopment of Kensington Palace. Why?"
Adds Wharfe: "Living in the world we do, terrorists don’t need to know what level of security we are putting in. We should not be publishing these details."
A Palace official had also written to the Kensington and Chelsea Council, asking for the papers to be treated confidentially.
Rejecting the criticism, the council says it is only following guidance issued by the central U.K. government. The plans are not available online.
A council spokesman says, "We don’t allow people to take photographs of the drawings or take copies away, but they are allowed to see them if they show a passport or driving license and are asked to look at them with a planning officer."
Officials point out that it is a part of London that contains many embassies as well as the Palace, and they are accustomed to following the guidelines in all the planning applications they receive, often for important buildings for prominent people.
Buckingham Palace, in keeping with tradition, didn't comment on the security matter.