Princess Anne experienced an abduction that resulted in four men being shot and hospitalized, but she still has no full police protection, which Prince Harry is currently demanding. Harry Howard, the history correspondent for Mail Online, revisited the grim incident involving the Princess Royal.
Princess Anne Experienced An Abduction In 1974
On March 20, 1974, Princess Anne's life was compromised. She was being driven down The Mall with her husband, Captain Mark Phillips, when a crazed gunman Ian Ball forced the royal's car to stop before he started shooting.
"I could see Princess Anne and Mark huddled in the back of the car," Miss Sammy Scott, who witnessed the incident, told Daily Mail. "They were on the opposite side to the gunman. Suddenly, I saw a man fall down in front of me. He had been shot. He was covered in blood. He lay on the pavement."
She added, "Another man, a detective I suppose, came running up. I said to him: 'This man has been shot, why doesn't he go to hospital?' The detective looked at me for a moment and then said, 'So have I. He opened his jacket and I could see blood pouring from his jacket and I could see blood pouring from his shoulder. Then he also collapsed.'"
His police bodyguard Detective Inspector Jim Beaton, tried to intervene, but his gun jammed, and he was shot three times in the chest and arms. PC Michael Hills who came across the situation called for backup and tried to intervene, but he was also shot.
Brian McConnell, a journalist following the couple, also tried to stop Ball, but he too was shot in the chest. Chauffer Alex Callender was at the wheel and was also shot. Fortunately, all of them recovered and were able to continue their duties.
Despite what Princess Anne experienced, former head of royal protection Dai Davies, said Princess Anne does not get full-time bodyguard, which Prince Harry has been requesting for his family.
Who Is Entitled To Full Police Protection
Only the working royals received police protection. In January 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they would be stepping down from their duties. After carrying out their final official duties, they moved to Canada and settled in America.
Prince Harry is planning to return to the U.K. with his wife Meghan Markle and kids Archie and Lili. So, he wants full police protection to ensure the safety of his family. He offered to pay for it personally, but his suggestion was declined because Met Police is not for hire. They do not serve private citizens.
Although Princess Anne is a member of the royal family, she only receives protection during engagements and official duties. Prince Harry would be given the same treatment. Only the senior members of the royal family received 24-hour protection, including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton.
According to Ken Wharfe, a former royal protection officer, Prince Harry lost his privilege for police protection when he gave up his royal duties. He added that the duke is not entitled to the same protection given to the Queen and the heirs just because he could pay for police protection.
"If he is granted the services of the Metropolitan’s royal protection squad, for which he has magnanimously offered to pay, every visiting Hollywood star and wealthy celebrity may as well expect the same privileges," Wharfe wrote. "Britain would face the humiliating prospect of hiring out our highly trained and armed officers to any reality television narcissist or tinpot dictator’s children who can foot the bill."
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