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UK Royal Family security question


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  • UK Royal Family security question

    In the UK, who protects the Royal Family, the palaces, etc? Is their an agency similar to the US Secret Service to carry out this task? Do local police handle royalty security? Do they use private guards?

  • #2
    Royal Family Protection

    Chris, the responsibility for the protection of The Royal Family rests with the London Metropolitan Police and they provide uniformed officers to patrol the various Royal Residences.

    The Royal Protection Squad which is part of the London Metropolitan Police provides Close Personal Protection to members of The Royal Family and I guess that they would be the closest thing to your Secret Service in terms of Close Personal Protection Duties.

    The British Army also Mounts Guard at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. These Guards offer both Pratical and Cermonial Guard Duties at those Royal Residences.

    The British Army Regiments who have traditionally carried out this duty are, Regiments of the Household Division which are,

    Grenadier Guards
    Coldstream Guards
    Scots Guards
    Welsh Guards
    Irish Guards

    and Regiments of the Household Cavalry which are,

    The Life Guards
    Blues and Royals

    These Regiments are Operational Regiments of the British Army and some are currently serving in Iraq and in many other areas of conflict, but on return to the UK some will be Posted back to Public Duties which is the term used to describe the Ceremonial Duties that I have detailed above.

    You may have seen photos of these soldiers On Guard outside Buckingham Palace wearing the Red Tunic and Black Busby or as Mounted Troopers on horseback wearing the silver armour and plumes of The Household Cavalry.

    So, there you go Chris, there's a bit of general knowledge for you.

    Attached Files


    • #3
      Yes I was always aware of the soldiers (who isent lol?) I belive the 2 Household Cavalry regiments were merged into one, and I also belive their are 2 artillery units (King's Troop of Royal Horse Artillery and the Honorable Artillery Company) and then there is the guys at the Tower of London (who I belive are British Army). IMO they are the the most professional soldiers on Earth (and thats from an American), its a shame we dont have a similar unit. Well we have the 3rd Infantry at the Uknown Soldier Monument but thats about it. Am I correct in assuming the Royal Protection Squad is armed?


      • #4
        I found the following on the Metropolitan Police website which may be of interest:



        • #5
          John, your comments lead to another question. I know the UK does not have "states", but do the Met officers have authority nation wide? When the Queen travels, do they provide close protection in Scotland, or even outside the UK?
          Here, the Secret Service, as Federal Agents, have authority nation wide, and use outer rings of state/local officers. During the campaigns, other federal agents get brought in because of the volume of events. I even made an arrest on a protection detail! (Nut case tried to hand a skinned goats head to the wife of a sitting President!)
          "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
          John Stuart Mill


          • #6

            I am not sure what happens outside the UK, but Metropolitan officers employed in Royalty protection have full jurisdiction in Scotland.

            The Metropolitan Police is primarily responsible for policing London other than the City of London. They do however have several national responsibilities. All Metropolitan officers have jurisdiction throughout England & Wales and limited jurisdiction in Scotland and Northern Ireland. This is also the same for all constables in the 43 police areas in England and Wales. Similar provisions relate to Scottish and Northern Irish officers.
            Last edited by Sgt Lobster; 07-09-2004, 05:18 AM.


            • #7
              I know that the last time we had a royal visitor to Western Australia, (I think it was Prince Charles) he brought his own protection officer from the Met but the rest of his security detail came from the State Security Unit (WA Police) and of course the outer perimeter was by local cops, I believe there is a similar set up in each of the other states as well
              It was a bright, cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen.


              • #8
                Close Personal Protection

                G'day Sleuth, I'll leave the question on the jurisdiction of UK Police Forces to Sgt Lobster, he is better qualified than I to answer that question.

                Members of The Royal Protection Squad accompanies members of the Royal Family wherever they go throughout the world.

                However, in relation to the jurisdiction of Close Personal Protection Squads, be it the Royal Protection Squad, the US Secret Service or any other Close Personal Protection Service, jurisdiction in terms of Law Enforcement does not need to apply. These people are only responsible for the close personal protection of their Principal and as you, Ron and Sgt Lobster have stated, the immediate outer area/ring is secured by the local or host countries Law Enforcement Agency and the inner area containing the Principal's own Protection Staff is supported by members of the the host countries equivalent Security Service or Police Force. So, any arrests that have to be made are made by the host.

                Ron has given a good example in that when a member of the Royal Family or say the US President visits Australia, their Close Personal Protection Staff is supported by specialist members of Australia's various Police Forces or Security Services.

                The question in relation to the carring of Firearms is a complex one and I cannot comment on the Royal Protection Squad, however, irrespective of who they are, the host countries own laws will determine as to whether or not they would be permitted to carry Firearms.

                The above is only a general outline of the funcions of those Close Personal Protection Services which is general knowledge. They are by their very nature Secure Organisations.

                Attached Files
                Last edited by JohnKelly; 07-08-2004, 06:59 PM.


                • #9
                  Sgt. Lobster, I frequently see references to "the City" of London. Is it a seperate political entity, and who polices it? I understood it to be the financial center, but thought it was just a portion of London - just like 'Wall Street' is just a location in New York, patroled by NYPD.

                  Sorry for the thread hijack, but one question leads to another....
                  "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                  John Stuart Mill


                  • #10
                    I belive the City of London is mostly a finincial and business area. It is policed by the City of London Police.


                    • #11
                      As I understand it, what we Americans think of as London is actually multiple cities (maybe 10-20), and these cities include the City of London, Westminster, and many others. I believe there is now a mayor and council for Metropolitan London, but that only happened within the last few years. Before that, the "mayor" of London was really the "mayor" of the City of London. The City of London is about 1 square mile, and is basically the financial district.

                      The Yeoman Warders at the Tower of London are retired British (and I think New Zealand) military. I recall thet if they are British, they are retired sergeants major from the British Army or RAF, That is because members of those services swear allegiance to the Queen, but the oath for sailors in the Britiash Navy swear allegiance to the Lord of the Admiralty. Also, they are the constables of the Tower, and thus have a connection with policing as well as the military.

                      That is my recollection of what I was told almost 10 years ago, so I am open to correction.
                      Last edited by jnhdrac; 07-08-2004, 06:37 PM.


                      • #12
                        Police Forces of the UK

                        My apologies to Sgt Lobster for butting in, but no worries on my part Sleuth, as you say, "One question leads to another". Anyway, its great to get a Topic going that is of interest to all participants.

                        The City of London Police and the London Metropolitan Police are two separate Police Forces.

                        Here is an excellent Official Website that will give you the full info on all of the Police Forces within the UK.


                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          London is divided into 32 Boroughs and each of these are policed by the Met.The City of London is a specific area, as mentioned 1 mile square, which is pretty much the financial district. It has its own Police force, seperate from the Met. Before height limits were ruled out you had to be 6ft tall as a man in the City but 5'8" for metropolitan London. The City of London has its own Mayor, non elected, who is a figure head for the Corporation of London which runs the City.As mentioned there is now an elected mayor for London as a whole.He has a lot of say in the running of the Met.Each borough has its own Mayor although it is largely ceremonial.
                          The City was the original London area being centred around the Tower of London and the old heart of London. It was run on strict rules and so areas south of the river and the City such as Southwark housed the seemier side that wasn't permitted in the City.
                          One of those 32 boroughs is the City of Westminster and this is where the tourist sites and likes of the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey are found. This area grew seperately from the City of London but as the hunting grounds seperating them went and the area developed they merged into one conurbation although few people live in the City of London.
                          Back to a Policing theme, the Royal Parks have their own Police Force, The Royal Parks constabulary but they only have jusrisdiction
                          in the parks as Officers. (Anyone in the country can arrest someone they know to have committed an arrestable offence.)Also serving in London are The Ministry of Defence Police who guard a couple of MoD properties, The British Transport Police who cover trains and tubes, Kew Gardens Police and Wandsworth Parks Police who are really just responsible for smaller park areas.
                          The Yeoman Warders of The Tower all served at least 21 years in The British Army.My Dad did his National Sevice in the Grenadier Guards, part of teh Guards division.He guarded The Bank of England, the Tower where one of his mates saw one of the many ghosts and he was one of the last Soldiers to Guard the Outside of Buckingham Palace before the surge in tourism in the 60s sent them back inside the gates.!
                          Hope that whets your appetite to learn more about London and perhaps come visit.


                          • #14
                            A much better explanation than my attempt. Thanks.


                            • #15
                              Do those soldiers on palace duty have bullets in their SA-80 rifles and if something were to happen do they have permission to use deadly force? And is it true that they wear full battle dress at night at the palaces and Tower of London?


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