A Royal Assignment: Pomp & Unforeseen Circumstances
Last year two of our Executive Protection Officers accompanied a Royal couple on their honeymoon. The tour covered three continents. Any assignment of this nature demands an extremely high degree of pre-planning and risk assessment, especially when dealing with Royals.
Many people believe Royal families are a dying breed. This is far from the truth. There are still 44 Monarchies in the world and they all consider private security to be of paramount importance.
When escorting members of any Royal family our operatives have to be constantly aware of the protocol and etiquette expected of them and everyone who comes into contact with our clients. This varies from country to country and from culture to culture. It could be something as simple as the proper way to address a Monarch: Your Majesty, Your Highness, Your Grace?
Or the delicate issue of someone even touching a member of the Royal Family, which in Britain is considered a major breach of etiquette and security. In other countries not so much.
On this particular assignment one of the honeymoon stops was Tokyo. The Japanese government had laid on a special exhibition of Sumo wrestling for the entertainment of the young Royal couple. Following the event, at a gala reception, a wrestler who had obviously consumed far too much sake, came lumbering towards the petite Princess with the intention of picking her up and giving her a big hug. One of our female Executive Protection operatives had to intercept the 150 kilo giant and restrain his affections. There are some things you just can’t train for.
Before any mission of this nature, full and detailed security surveys are conducted in advance on every venue, hotel, resort, airport and any recreational activities such as boat rides or helicopter flights. This entails our operatives meeting with the heads of security of all the key locations and liaising with local police forces and intelligence services. Everything is covered from inspecting routes, primary and secondary to and from airports and hotels, to ensuring secure transfer of luggage and other assets, nothing can be overlooked.
It’s a fact that many members of Royal families never carry cash or credit cards. In these cases our operatives also act as pursers, literally carrying the purse, its all part of the job.
On an assignment as sensitive as a Royal honeymoon, where privacy and discretion is of the utmost importance, our operatives have to be anonymous, they have to blend in to their environment, whilst being constantly vigilant of the threats that may confront them.
Interestingly, the complete opposite is true when it comes to providing protection to major movie stars. The last thing they want is privacy. They want to be seen, photographed, and interviewed. They want their Executive Protection Operatives to be highly visible, almost like badges of honour, and the more the better.
In any case we embark on, at Priavo we pride ourselves on bespoke security, tailored to our clients’ specific needs, be it on a Royal honeymoon or a red carpet, our commitment to excellence never wavers.