Princess Eugenie mugged by bandits in Cambodia

Princess Eugenie (Pic:RexFeatures)

 

Princess Eugenie was caught up in a terrifying mugging while on her gap-year travels, it was revealed last night.

The Queen’s granddaughter had to be rescued by two bodyguards who saved her from a gang of bandits as she was travelling though Cambodia.

The 19-year-old princess’ ordeal reportedly began as she and two female friends were strolling at night in the country’s capital Phnom Penh.

When one of the friends got her purse out, the mugger grabbed it, thinking the girls were just backpakers and unaward that the bodyguards were nearby.

The royal protection officers immediately tore into action and rugby-tackled the thug as his accomplice began pelting them with rocks.

They grabbed the purse but let the mugger go in order to get Eugenie and her friends to a place of safety.

A Buckingham Palace source is said to have later confirmed the incident and praised the bravery of the SO14 Special Branch officers.

The incident follows a recent row over the £100,000 bill to keep Eugenie safe while she goes on her travels.

It is the first time in 10 years that SO14 officers have had to step in to stop a direct threat to a Royal.  

Don’t Leave Starbucks Without It! Female bodyguard leaves gun.

An investigation is underway after Tony Blair’s female bodyguard reportedly left a loaded gun in a Starbucks coffee shop in London.

 

Middle East envoy Tony Blair visiting Bethlehem in the West Bank

Bodyguard was responsible for protecting former PM Tony Blair

 

The ex-PM’s close protection officer left the Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol in the cafe’s toilet after relieving herself while on duty, it is claimed.

The gun was later found by a member of staff, who dialled 999, The Sun newspaper reported.

A Scotland Yard spokesman told Sky News it has launched an investigation into the incident, which took place on August 29.

He denied reports the officer has been sacked, but confirmed she had been “removed from operational duties”.

He added: “A police-issue firearm was left unattended in a central London café on Friday evening and was found by a member of the public.

“The weapon belongs to an MPS Authorised Firearms Officer who was on duty at the time. An investigation has begun.”

The female officer, in her 30s and attached to the Yard’s SO1 protection unit, searched frantically for the gun for an hour after realising her mistake.

A senior police source quoted by the newspaper said: “She knows she has messed up bad.”

He said she was caught short while on Edgware Road – near one of Mr Blair’s homes.

He added: “Luckily it was found in time, but if a child or a criminal had picked it up there could have been terrible consequences.

“This has come as a shock. The officer is inconsolable and seriously regrets her mistake.

“Everyone is fond of her. She was among the top in her class during training, but her firearms career could be over.”

Her SO1 unit – full name Specialist Protection Command – is responsible for protecting Gordon Brown and former PMs Mr Blair and Margaret Thatcher.

It is the second bungle involving Mr Blair since he left Downing Street.

Last September four asylum seekers got into the UK in the back of a lorry delivering his new £100,000 reinforced BMW from Munich.

On Alert as a Female Bodyguard

Movie portrayals of bodyguards often belie the reality — and the fact that risk assessment and planning usually take precedence over a gung-ho approach

Electronic and counter surveillance, explosives searching and bomb disposal, firearms training and bullet-proof vests, diplomacy, intelligence and personal security — it’s all part of the training Dublin-born Lisa Baldwin received when she forged an international career as a bodyguard seven years ago.

Baldwin, who is in her mid-20s, is head of the women’s division at the International Bodyguard Association (IBA) in the UK — the biggest such organisation in the world. She started her career as a professional swimmer in Holland and Spain, before getting into the area of personal training in Dublin. Through contacts in the industry, she was offered employment in event security for concerts and celebrity-packed parties, and it was here she learned about the work of the IBA.

She explains: “The association has a base inIreland, but the bigger courses are done in the UK, so I had to travel there and undertake 100 hours of training in order to get my IBA badge. This included a basic master class for five days, then a course in protective driving, explosives searching and electronic surveillance with a former member of MI5. Once I completed that, I undertook firearms training in Slovenia.”

To the average employee, this form of training is likely to sound incredible, given it is rarely witnessed outside ofHollywood blockbusters. Ironically, Baldwin says one of her fellow instructors (who has since passed away) was the inspiration behind the character Q from the James Bond movies.

The market for bodyguards, or ‘close protection surveillance’ as they’re otherwise known, is limited here, as our celebrities tend to be left alone when out in public. So the majority of Baldwin’s work takes her abroad.

However, she believes some Irish elite are shortsighted

when it comes to personal security. “In Ireland, many top business people or celebrities have the old-fashioned attitude of ‘I’ll be grand’, but a lot have poor security and are prime targets, particularly for kidnapping. The Arabs are the complete opposite when it comes to personal secur

ity. Sometimes the VIP will only have a secure driver, but he will spare no expense when it comes to protecting his family. Over there, they see the potential threat their wealth can bring.”

Baldwin is regularly employed by rich Arabs living in or visiting the UK, who, because of their beliefs, tend to prefer hiring female bodyguards. “They don’t like having men near their women,” she says. “Also, females tend to blend in more with the family set-up and are not as easy to spot. People assume we are personal assistants or nannies. In the UK, we call the period from May to September ‘Arab season’, as that’s when our services are required the most, in terms of protecting princesses and their children.”

Baldwin continues: “There is obviously a big Hollywood stereotype of bodyguards with ear pieces or that secret-service vibe, but we prefer a more covert way of communicating with each other without drawing attention to ourselves.”

Her line of work is not without danger, but Baldwin says preparation is key. “You look at each client and assess where the potential threat could come from — is it the paparazzi, a kidnapper, an assassin? The risk assessment helps me prepare for each role; that way, there shouldn’t be any surprises.

“We plan what routes to take when going out, so we can throw people off the scent and not let our patterns become predictable. Sometimes we will bring in a counter-surveillance team if we feel we are being watched.”

Baldwin says the role of a bodyguard does not include taking a bullet for a client if the situation arises. The emphasis is on her security as well as that of the VIP — again, this is underlined by meticulous daily preparation.

“If I’m not happy with the security, I don’t take the contract. I’ve also threatened to walk off jobs because of a potential lapse in security, for example, a really bad driver.”

The main downside to the bodyguard role is the inflexible hours and being away from family for months. But Baldwin says it is also a lucrative career with plenty of scope for travel.