Author Topic: Royal Security  (Read 3734 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline CHRISinUSA

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 844
    • View Profile
Royal Security
« on: January 08, 2008, 08:28:28 AM »
After stories in a British tabloid about the reported 500,000 pounds annual cost of security for the two York princesses, an MP reportedly raised the issue on the floor of the Commons.  He suggested that the Duke of York should personally meet security costs for his daughters.  The MP was reminded that the topic of security was not to be debated on the floor of the House "for obvious reasons", and as expected, Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

The accompanying story said that the taxpayer should not have to pay to protect the princessess while they hop from one party and club to another, and that the entire royal security bill was in the range of 30 million pounds a year.  Finally, it said that the Duke of York vetoed a 2005 Scotland Yard suggestion of lowering the princesses' security efforts, while the children of the Princess Royal receive no protection.

This raised a few questions in my mind.  What are the rules for royal security?  If Anne could decide that her children should not have protection, could any other royal do the same?  I recall that Diana gave up her own personal security after the divorce - but that security was present whenever William and Harry were with her.  Do minor royals - such as the Kents and Gloucheters - receive security?  Is it just those holding the HRH status, or do non HRHs receive protection as well?

Another question is that who amongst the Government gets protection?  Clearly the Prime Minister and his family do - but which members of the Government, Commons and Lords?  Do their families likewise get protection?

In any event, 30 million pounds a year (which would be something like $70 million US) for security for the Head of State is a pittance when compared to what we in the US spend to guard the Bush and Cheyne families, the Clintons and Bush Seniors, Mrs. Ford, Mrs. Reagan, etc.   

As one singular example, when former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton recently spent a few hours at the commencement ceremony for the University of New Hampshire, it was reported that more than a dozen law enforcement and security agencies were involved in weeks of prior planning, and that during their appearance there were 170 security officers on the ground to protect them.

In another example, in September 1985, when then-President Ronald Reagan spoke from the New Hampshire State House steps about tax reform (and announced the release of a U.S. hostage in Lebanon), security was high and planning was detailed. Attendees passed through metal detectors. More than 60 state police secured the State House, rooftops and intersections along the path of the presidential motorcade, according to Monitor reports from the time. The Concord Police Department put all of its 65 officers on duty. In the city, school was cancelled for the day. "It took a week of planning by White House staff and state and city officials to bring President Ronald Reagan to Concord yesterday for a 15-minute speech," a Monitor reporter wrote after the visit.

The British are lucky they even have the ability to raise such questions in a public forum.  Our Congress doesn't ever debate such things - we simply pay the ever increasing bills.

Offline Grace

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 3126
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Security
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2008, 02:21:50 PM »
Do minor royals - such as the Kents and Gloucheters - receive security?  Is it just those holding the HRH status, or do non HRHs receive protection as well?

According to information Marlene has posted elsewhere, the Kents (including Princess Alexandra) and the Gloucesters do.  Those within the family with an HRH title all receive protection. 

From my own point of view, I can't imagine anybody questioning this in today's climate, particularly as these are working royals.  The perception of the York princesses (as CHRISinUSA has said) seems to be that of not much more than party girls and clubbers who haven't to date (though they are very young) been seen to be doing anything for the royal family, either practically or for its respectability.  Perhaps that's the difference? 

Leuchtenberg

  • Guest
Re: Royal Security
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2008, 04:23:06 PM »
It would be horrible for the York Princesses to lose their protection officers. 

I mean, some common piece of street trash might kidnap Beatrice and torture the poor thing by forcing her to wear a Chanel suit or other items of tasteful clothing.  We cannot allow this sort of thing to happen, EVER!!!!

Offline Martyn

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7022
  • Martyn's Chips
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Security
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2008, 07:45:46 AM »
The York princesses are by nature of their birth identifiable targets and as such require protection.  The same argument could legitimately be applied to the children of Pcss Anne, although I am quite sure that any potential kidnapper/terrorist will no doubt be swayed by her argument that her children are not royal and thus will not attract any attention.........(not!)

The fact remains that we live in times that necessitate protection.  The argument that the costs for the protection of the York girls should perhaps be met by their father is a pertinent one, although I have no doubt that his parsimonious mindset baulks at the notion of having to pay for anything that he considers should be free of charge to himself and his family............
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline dmitri

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2018
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Security
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2008, 07:56:50 AM »
I tend to think that royal life should bring with it certainly responsibilities and limitation of lifestyle. I for one do not approve of the hardworking British taxpayer having to pay for the Princesses when they go out clubbing. What royal duties are they carrying out when they do this? With the privilege of royal birth comes responsibility. Certainly it is far cheaper to look after them when they stay at home. They should think about how much all of their private life is costing and be a touch more responsible especially when so many British citizens have to cope with just struggling to keep a roof over their heads. Their behaviour should be impeccable or they should decide to opt out of the royal family and discard their titles and go and get a job like the rest of the British people have to.

Offline CHRISinUSA

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 844
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Security
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2008, 11:18:46 AM »
I agree with you Dmitri - to a point. 

I too think that princes / princesses should either be full-time royals (meaning everything they do - both personally and professionally - is done in full support of the Crown), or they should be in effect non royals (lead a private career and life).  The former should receive all the perks and privledges accorded the members of the royal family, but the latter should lose most all of them.

Security, however, is a more complicated affair.  Protecting the York princesses (for example) is less about protecting someone who might one day be in direct line of succession, and more about protecting someone who is a legitimate target for kidnapping / harm as a means to attack the monarch - and by extension the British nation.

Think about this scenario.  Princess Beatrice is kidnapped; the ransom terms are the release of terrorist detainees held by the US in Cuba.  Naturally, neither the US nor British government would comply with such a demand outright.  However, public reaction to such a situation - and outcry about the lack of perceived "support" from the US Government - could have harmful effects on relations between the two nations.  Support of future joint military efforts could be reduced, trade may suffer, elections may be influenced.

I suppose, when the "big picture" is considered, royal security is money well-spent.

Offline dmitri

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2018
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Security
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2008, 11:27:30 AM »
I can see where you are coming from. I doubt though that the kidnapping of the person in question would damage relations between UK and USA. If this Princess really cared about her profile she would keep it out of the public eye completely. 

Offline Kimberly

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 3143
  • Loyaulte me lie
    • View Profile
Member of the Richard III Society

Offline CHRISinUSA

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 844
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Security
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2008, 03:04:41 PM »
I can see where you are coming from. I doubt though that the kidnapping of the person in question would damage relations between UK and USA. If this Princess really cared about her profile she would keep it out of the public eye completely. 

I'm sure you're right in this case; the example was meant to be theoretical.   My point was, however, that members of the Royal Family - solely by virtue of their relations to the Monarch - are at much higher risk of being targets to those who may wish to strike at the UK.