Belgian royal family hires first female bodyguard

During King Philippe's official visit to the Mountain of Mercy in Brussels, his security entourage featured a female bodyguard who was armed for protection.


                            Belgian royal family hires first female bodyguard

Being a member of a royal family comes with its own advantages, but the public scrutiny it entails ensures that they are always surrounded by their security personnel. The Belgian royal family is no exception. However, till now the job of protecting the royal family was assigned to male bodyguards.

But things seem to have changed for the Belgian royal family, as a female body guard was seen protecting King Philippe during his recent official visit to the Mountain of Mercy in Brussels.

The bodyguard was armed with a weapon for protection and wore a coat with the royal insignia on it. She also had an earpiece to communicate with the royal effectively.

Although a first for the Belgian royal family, the trend of having female bodyguards has been prevalent in royal families across the world, with the British royal family deploying female guards to protect its members for some time.

Which makes sense as it is thought that they can be better at blending into the background, allowing for greater effectiveness when it comes to protection. Despite the fact that women have broken through the safety and protection industry a while ago, the idea of female bodyguards for the royal family wasn't a hot idea in Belgium till the recent event.

Belgian Royal Family in 2008 (Getty Images)
Belgian Royal Family in 2008 (Getty Images)

The Belgians seem to be following the British royal family in this regard, where female bodyguards have been protecting members for a while now.

Even Princess Diana and Prince Edward had a female bodyguard back in the days, according to The Sun. Kate Middleton was assigned Sergeant Emma Probert when she married Prince William. Emma was a member of Scotland Yard’s Protection Squad and trained in martial arts. She always carries a 9mm Glock pistol and a Taser stun gun, reported The Sun.

A former member of the Scotland Yard spoke to The Express and revealed that female guards were employed at the request of Prince Charles. Meghan Markle’s too will be assigned a female bodyguard. A source spoke about Kate’s relationship with Emma and Meghan’s potential bodyguard.

The source told The Sun: “Kate has grown very close to Emma over the years. They hit it off from the start and have gone on to build up a great relationship. So it is expected that a new female bodyguard would learn the necessary ropes with Emma first. It would be a trial period to make sure she is the right woman for the job. And if so, she would then be transferred to Meghan and Harry’s team. The difficulty the team face is there are far fewer female bodyguards available with the necessary skill-set than male bodyguards. But they are confident they can find someone to fit the bill.”

Earlier this year in February an envelope containing some white powder was sent to the Kensington Palace addressed to Meghan. Though the package was found to be harmless, it was treated as a racist hate crime. It was then that Harry demanded Meghan receive a fulltime female bodyguard.

Very recently, a threat on Prince George resulted in increased security measures for the little royal. Islamic State supporter Husnain Rashid from Nelson, Lancashire posted hundreds of thousands of propaganda messages, including encouraging would-be lone wolf attackers to target Prince George at his school in Battersea, London. Rashid posted a pic of Prince George alongside a silhouette of a jihadi fighter. He posted the address of George's school and wrote, "even the royal family will not be left alone," TMZ reported.

The culprit has been arrested and his sentencing has been scheduled for June 28.

Kate Middleton and Prince William with Prince George on his first birthday (Getty Images)
Kate Middleton and Prince William with Prince George on his first birthday (Getty Images)

It’s also not uncommon for security guards to develop deep relationships with the people they protect, especially the royal family, for they spend so much time together. Furthermore, if you are choosing to trust someone with your life, you already have an inexplicable bond with them.

Princess Stephanie of Monaco married her bodyguard Daniel Ducret in 1995, and they had two children together. Princess Charlotte form the British Royal Family was given a personalized birthday present by the Cambridge family's security team for her first birthday in 2016. She was given a "The Day You Were Born" print by artist Lucy Tapper, which featured her full name "Charlotte Elizabeth Diana" as well as the date and location of her birth, as well as her birth stone, star sign and birth flower.

Yet another member of the royal family who had an extremely close relationship with his bodyguard was Prince Charles. He was the first male royal to break tradition and go to university instead of joining the British Armed Forces after finishing his A-levels. During his time at Trinity College, Prince Charles’ bodyguard accompanied him every step of the way. He even attended all the lectures Prince Charles did. There was even a myth that claimed Prince Charles’ bodyguard took the same exams as the prince himself and outperformed him. Of course, it was just a myth.

Prince Charles during his time at Trinity College
Prince Charles during his time at Trinity College