TALLINN - Tallinn's Old Town is undergoing a transformation this week to make way for the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II. The colorful clutter of outdoor tables and chairs that have decorated Town Hall Square all summer will be packed away as part of security and crowd arrangements.
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, will end their week-long Baltic tour with an appearance in the square on Oct. 20.
Authorities in Lithuania and Latvia are also preparing for the mammoth task of organizing security and crowd control for the first-ever visit by a British monarch.
The Queen is scheduled to fly into Vilnius on Oct. 16, and will spend two days attending official ceremonies before flying to Riga on Oct. 18.
The royal touring party will arrive in Tallinn on Oct. 19 and leave the next day, following a farewell concert in the Town Hall Square.
In between, the Queen and Prince Philip will endure a rushed agenda of official visits, the laying of wreaths, banquets, gift exchanges, tree plantings, museum tours, and plenty of handshakes with soldiers, sailors, businessmen, volunteers and politicians.
The royalty's visit to Riga, however, has been overshadowed by preparations to host the forthcoming NATO summit in November, when dozens of world leaders will discuss pressing security concerns.