When it comes to protecting the Royal Family, it takes more than just having a bodyguard follow them around everywhere. There are specific protocols that must be adhered to so that everyone stays safe, no matter what situation they end up in. Some of the monarchy’s rules might seem a little ridiculous or unnecessary, but they all serve an important purpose. They’re what keep the family happy and healthy, and not buried six feet underground.
The price of fame
If a prince or princess were to ask for your hand in marriage, would you turn them down? When faced with the prospect of fame and wealth, you’d probably be swayed to say yes. However, these benefits come at a very significant price.
From the moment that ring’s on your finger, your safety is never assured. People will be out to get you, and some will even attempt to take your life. Fortunately, there’s a reason that Meghan, Kate, and the other royals don’t spend every day living in fear. These royals are protected well by some of the best people around.
Their own bodyguard
Everyone in the Royal Family has a security detail that they can personally lean on to keep them safe. Although there’s usually a group of people looking out for each member of the family, they’ll always have one bodyguard that’s watching over them constantly. They might not make themselves visible, especially if their charge is having a private conversation. However, they’re always close enough that if anyone were to try something, they can react in an instant.
By assigning a specific person to each royal, it’s easier for the family to get comfortable around the people responsible for their safety. The more at ease they are with their bodyguards, the better it is for everyone involved. That’s typically why the royals are assigned security that are the same gender as them. Both Meghan and Kate have female bodyguards, and the familiarity makes for a more pleasant atmosphere.
Put through the wringer
Obviously, the monarchy doesn’t just hire anyone to join their security team. Before someone can be put in charge of looking after the Royal Family, they have to go through months of training. Simon Morgan, a former member of the Royal Protection Department, had roughly 30 weeks worth of courses to ensure he was skilled enough for the job. This included things like learning combat with and without a weapon, different types of driving, and having a keen eye.
He didn’t get greenlit for the department until he’d proven he could go above and beyond for the Royal Family without making an error. Mistakes are a part of life, but when you’re working in security, they can have disastrous consequences. If Morgan did something wrong while on the job, there was a good chance it could have cost the life of his charge. That would have been a national disaster.
Eyes on the prize
Once someone has received their training and shown t they can do their job perfectly, they’re assigned to one of the royals. This is where the real test begins, and there’s rarely an opportunity for them to enjoy downtime when they’re working. Security detail has to be on the ball at all times; they can’t afford to take their eyes off the prize. This is never more important than when their charge is meeting with the public.
While these moments are great for building relations between the royals and their supporters, there’s every chance that someone in the crowd could mean the family harm. If the bodyguards aren’t aware of every little detail around them, they could miss an opportunity to foil an unexpected attack. Understandably, this is incredibly taxing on the security detail, but it’s what they signed up for. No-one said their job would be easy.
Looking after themselves
Although they have bodyguards around to keep them safe, there’s still a slim chance someone from the Royal Family could end up in danger. In these moments, they don’t have anyone else looking out for them – they’re on their own. That’s why everyone receives SAS training to help them out of these sticky situations. The family is regularly given refresher courses to remind them how to protect themselves, both with their fists and their words.
Sometimes, talking their way out of trouble is the only way to assure a person’s safety. When Meghan was introduced into the royal circle, she was also given this training, and her child will receive it as well once they’re old enough. It’s a precautionary measure that ensures the family is always protected, even if they don’t have security around to look out for them.
Armed and ready
Hopefully, Meghan and her in-laws won’t ever have to worry about using these SAS skills, though. Given that security around the family continues to increase, we doubt they have anything to worry about.
Their bodyguards will protect their charges by any means necessary, ensuring they never even get close to such dangerous circumstances. This includes pulling out a firearm if the situation calls for it. The Royal Family’s security detail are always armed, although they generally keep that fact hidden until they’re forced to take action.
Hands off the door
Last year, social media erupted when Meghan Markle was pictured closing her car door. It might have seemed like people were losing their minds over nothing, but there was a reason it caused such a stir.
The Duchess of Sussex was actually breaking a security rule by closing the door herself because she was putting her safety in danger. Bodyguards are assigned this job in case their charge suddenly needs to make a quick escape. They wait until they know the area is safe before shutting the door themselves.
Following the cops
Car safety is something that’s of paramount importance to the monarchy. Given how frequently the family attends events, they’re often traveling from one place to another by chauffeured cars. To ensure the royals aren’t endangered en route, they often receive a police escort.
The presence of the cops typically puts people off from trying any funny business, allowing the family to get where they’re needed with great ease. Although they don’t have these escorts all the time, they’re always present for the bigger occasions.
Switching things up
It’s not just the police who help the monarchy stay safe when they’re on the road. For regular trips, the family will typically follow different routes to reach the same destination. For instance, if William and Kate’s children are being driven to school, they won’t always go the same way to get there.
The family’s chauffeur will find multiple routes to the school so that people can’t track them as easily. It’s a simple trick, but it’s incredibly effective at preventing an attack on the kids.
Staying ahead of the game
In many ways, avoiding predictability is vital for keeping the Royal Family safe. If the chauffeur were to follow the same route every day, it wouldn’t be hard for someone to wait at a set location and ambush the car.
As soon as a security tactic becomes predictable, it’s important to change things up and surprise any potential attackers. The monarchy’s bodyguards always have to be one step ahead of everyone else; otherwise, the safety of their charges is compromised. This is what they’re paid to do.
A failed kidnapping
The Royal Family takes their security very seriously, sometimes to the point of going over the top. However, they’ve seen firsthand just what happens when they let their guard down. Back in the ‘70s, Princess Anne nearly became the victim of a kidnapping.
This was because her security detail wasn’t prepared for an ambush. There was only one man involved in the attempt, but he had no trouble taking out four officers in an attempt to get his hands on the Queen’s daughter. Luckily, he didn’t succeed in his mission.
Stepping it up a notch
For a moment, it looked as though the kidnapper – a man by the name of Ian Ball – was going to get away with his crime. However, after the police and several passersby got involved, he was scared off.
The incident left Anne shaken, but she quickly recovered from the scare. She was made of stern stuff, and something like this wasn’t going to get to her. However, the incident gave the Royal Family’s security a kick up the backside, and it led to a complete overhaul of their security.
More important than ever
It’s been over 40 years since the failed kidnapping attempt, and in that time the need for added security has only increased. The prevalence of terror attacks and other concerning incidents in Britain has led to increased fears that the Royal Family could be in danger.
This has forced the monarchy’s bodyguards to step up their game and ensure no harm comes to their changes which, thankfully, it hasn’t. Considering Meghan and Kate have also been pregnant over the last few years, the need to protect them has also been crucially important.
Keeping safe online
In addition to physically protecting the Royal Family, steps have also been taken to ensure that the monarchy is looked after online. Social media is still a relatively new concept in the grand scheme of things, but its impact has been pretty severe recently.
People use these websites to voice their opinions on whatever they want without any concern about how it may impact someone else. This includes talking about the royals and revealing what they really feel about all of them, and they haven’t held back.
The social media ban
There aren’t many verified accounts associated with the royals because the family isn’t typically allowed to use social media. When she got engaged, Meghan had to give up her Instagram account to fall in line with the monarchy’s many rules and regulations.
However, the family still has access to things like Kensington Palace’s Twitter account, and they can see every message that people send to it. People haven’t shied away from spewing hate at Meghan and Kate, with the majority of it aimed at the former.
Focusing on her health
Since distancing herself from social media, Meghan has revealed that she’s felt a lot freer and happier. Seeing what people were saying about her really impacted her mental health, especially given how many users were throwing hate her way.
In marrying Harry, she’d been introduced to millions of new supporters, but for every fan, there seemed to be a troll waiting in the wings. Their vicious comments overshadowed the nice stuff people said about her and made the Duchess of Sussex feel completely worthless.
Setting up guidelines
To help protect Meghan and Kate from the barrage of abuse they’d been receiving online, the Royal Family established a set of social media community guidelines. This made it clear what kind of things were acceptable to post on their channels, and what things were banned.
Anyone who broke the rules and sent spam, abuse, or anything else considered inappropriate would face having their comments deleted and their account blocked. Soon enough, the people in charge of the family’s social media accounts had a lot of work on their hands.
Too much to handle
It’s impossible for the Royal Family to police the whole internet and prevent everyone from sending abuse towards people like Kate and Meghan. While social media offers a fantastic platform for users to connect with others and share their experiences…
It’s also a breeding ground for hatred. You can’t have the good without the bad, and the monarchy will have to learn to accept that. Thankfully, at least with these guidelines in place, they can at least try and reduce the prevalence of the trolls.
Victims of abuse
It’s not just Kate and Meghan that have been affected by people on social media. Although they’ve been the primary targets of people’s aggression, other members of the family have also received a barrage of abuse.
The Duchess of Cornwall continues to be hated by some because of her relationship with Charles, and proof of that is all over sites like Twitter. Although her affair with the Prince happened before social media was around, that hasn’t stopped people from holding a grudge for all these years.
The plan going forward
If protecting against hate online was all we had to worry about then the world would probably be much safer. Unfortunately, the internet is just another place where those who wish others harm can lash out.
As social media continues to grow in popularity, the Royal Family will have to put more resources into tackling the online trolls. However, they can’t do that to the detriment of their physical security. After all, the threats people pose in person are far greater, and there’s no knowing when an attack might happen.
A new platform
While we mentioned before the Kensington Palace has a Twitter account that updates the public about some of the big goings-on within the Royal Family, it looks like the Duke and Duchess have also recently stepped up their social media game. In early April 2019, the pair opened an Instagram account that will now document their Royal affairs.
People can’t wait for the post that announces the arrival of baby Sussex and are so excited for Meghan and Harry. However, as we mentioned before, social media can come with risks, but thankfully their security team is well prepared to handle anything that comes their way.
The Queen incident
The high end security really isn’t for no reason. We previously spoke about the attempt on Princess Anne’s life back in the ’70s. Unfortunately this was not the first time there was a security threat for the Royals. In fact, in 1982, someone managed to break into Buckingham Palace and get a little too close for comfort to the Queen.
She woke up to a man in her bedroom, but thankfully no one was hurt and security forces quickly took over. It’s because of events like this that these bodyguards take no chances when it comes to the safety of the Royal Family.
Currently, there is one particular Royal who is in need of extra protection. This is, of course, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. Because she is pregnant at the moment, security forces have increased and they are by her side constantly.
There was actually an incident in Fiji in the fall of 2018 where Markle was rushed out of an outdoor market for safety concerns. Her bodyguards are doing everything they can to protect her and the precious cargo she is carrying.
When you have such a high status as being a member of the Royal Family, your team of security goes all out with protection. They even give code names for the members just in case important documents end up in the wrong hands, or someone dangerous overhears a secret conversation.
This way, no one will know who the security officers are talking about. For instance, if they are referencing the Duke or Duchess of Cambridge, the names they will use should have the initials D.C., and D.S. for the Sussexes.
While the bodyguards are not as close as they used to be with their charges, they used to have very close relationships. It makes sense because they spend so much time together. How close are we talking?
Well, there are not one, but two different instances where romantic affairs have been reported amongst the Royal Family members and members of their security forces. Both Princess Anne and the Princess Diana allegedly got a little too close with their bodyguards.