London: Soldiers guarding key Royal palaces in the UK are on high alert following reports of a planned attack on the Queen's guards by Islamic State militants.
The Queen's Guard have been warned about the threat to kidnap and murder one of their member by ISIS terrorists, according to a report in The Mirror.
"Intelligence picked up (internet) chatter which is being taken seriously. ISIS know it would be very difficult to attack a member of the Royal family, but one of the Queen's Guard would be a huge target for them," the report said quoting a source as saying.
"Action has been taken accordingly. The threat is so acute some guards have already been moved."
Guards at St James's Palace and Clarence House are now deployed behind fences and rails amid concerns about a lone gunman, suicide bomber or knife-wielding assassin.
Troops will stay out in the open on Horse Guards Parade as the defiant Queen insists on maintaining tradition.
But now they have a guard of their own - as specialist armed officers discreetly back them up as they stand in ceremonial uniform.
Home Secretary Theresa May raised the threat from "substantial" to "severe" - the second-highest level - in August because of the danger posed by ISIS and al-Qaeda fanatics.
Terror target Clarence House was the venue for Prince Harry's 30th birthday party in September, where he celebrated alongside stars including singer Ellie Goulding.
Ceremonial guards are thought to have been posted outside the building since it was built in 1827.
The Queen's Guard are fully trained soldiers who have typically served in Afghanistan. They stand on sentry duty for two hours at a time.