UK's royal palace guards moved behind gates on attack fears: media

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UK's royal palace guards moved behind gates on attack fears: media
A royal fan holding a christening celebration balloon watches as members of the Grenadier Guards mount guard outside St James's Palace in London, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Britain's Prince George, son of Prince William and Kate Duchess of Cambridge and who is third in line to the throne will be christened in the Chapel Royal inside the palace Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
The Changing of the Guard Ceremony takes place at Buckingham Palace in London, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. A contingent of some 70 members of the Ceremonial Guard and dignitaries of the Royal 22e Regiment travelled to London, on Wednesday to stand guard at Buckingham Palace. The Royal 22e Regiment accomplished this task for the first time in the spring of 1940 at the request of His Majesty King George VI, Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment. It was a first for the King's Guard Sentinels to receive commands, not only from a non-British unit, but also in French. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Members of the public watch as British soldiers, members of the House Guards participate at the Changing of the Guard ceremony, in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in central London, Monday, June 16, 2014. Changing the Guard is one of the oldest and most familiar ceremonies associated with the Royal Palaces. In 1689, the court moved to St James's Palace, which was guarded by the Foot Guards. When Queen Victoria moved into Buckingham Palace in 1837, the Queen's Guard remained at St James's Palace, with a detachment guarding Buckingham Palace, as it still does today. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Grenadier Guard marches past the stained glass windows of the Chapel Royal outside St James's Palace, in London, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Prince William and his wife Kate have asked seven people to be godparents to their son, Prince George, who will be christened at a major royal family gathering Wednesday, palace officials said. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip plan to attend the christening Wednesday at the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace, along with Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, Prince Harry and other royals. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, in purple hat, and members of the Royal Family watch from the balcony at Buckingham Palace, London, as soldiers from the Welsh Guards fire a Feu de Joie (Fire of Joy), as part of the Queen's official 80th birthday celebrations, Saturday June 17, 2006. British soldiers in tall bearskin hats paraded before Queen Elizabeth II and military jets saluted her with a flyby Saturday over Buckingham Palace in the second round of celebrations of her 80th birthday. (AP Photo/Chris Young, Pool)
A foot guard marches pass outside the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace in London, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. The royal christening ceremony of Prince George, son of Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge is to take place at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 23: A guard marches as crowds gather outside St James' Palace ahead of the christening of HRH Prince George of Cambridge on October 23, 2013 in London, England. (Photos Samir Hussein/WireImage)

(Reuters) - The soldiers who stand guard outside Britain's royal palaces have been moved behind metal fences because of fears of a terror attack, local newspapers reported on Monday.

The Royal Guards, a popular tourist attraction outside royal residences because of their ceremonial uniforms, have been separated from the public, with armed police providing additional protection.

The Telegraph newspaper said Buckingham Palace and the police feared that militant Islamists could see the Royal Guards as high-profile targets. Although the guards carry weapons fitted with bayonets the guns are not loaded.

The Metropolitan Police and Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the reports.

Britain raised its terrorism alert to the second-highest level in August and last month said it was facing the biggest terrorism threat in its history because of radicalised Britons returning from fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Earlier this month Britain's top policeman said the country had thwarted a 'lone wolf' style attack just days before it was due to happen, and that authorities had foiled five terror plots in the last four months.

Two months ago a soldier on ceremonial sentry duty was shot dead in the Canadian capital Ottawa by a man who then charged into the parliament building.

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