Queen 'expresses concern' after shake-up of royal security

Victoria Ward
The Queen is said to have expressed concerns following a shake up of royal security - Ian Jones Retained

The Queen has expressed concern about a shake up in her security detail that means her protection officers are regularly rotated, it has been claimed.

Scotland Yard has been gradually implementing a new policy that provides protection to the royal family on a pool basis, meaning back-up officers are sometimes assigned to government ministers and sometimes to royalty.

A senior source told the Evening Standard: “Her Majesty is not the only one who has expressed concerns.

“A number of senior officers are not happy either. Personal protection is all about building a relationship with the principal. How on earth is that supposed to happen if the officers are rotated every five minutes with new faces?”

Ken Wharfe, who was a personal protection officer for Diana, Princess of Wales, said: “The security will be less effective.

“Understanding the behaviours of the person you are charged with protecting is crucial. Understanding the machinations of the royal household is very important too.

The Queen is said to have expressed concerns following a shake up of royal security Credit: Ian Jones

“If you are from a pool, one minute looking after a Cabinet minister and the next a member of the royal family, how are you able to build up that rapport with the principal? It doesn’t make sense. No wonder Her Majesty has privately expressed her disquiet.”

The Royalty and Specialist Protection unit was formed in 2015, with the merger of squads that protect politicians, diplomats and the royal family.

The bigger team of pooled officers was said to have been introduced to reduce the huge overtime bills being racked up by royalty officers.

Mark Rowley, a Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, said at the time: “We're constantly looking for ways to save money that don't impact on the quality of protection."

Last November, Scotland Yard announced it was recruiting 120 armed officers to protect the increasing number of key individuals the group was tasked to protect.

The advert said recruits would be tasked with providing armed close protection to members of the Royal Family, senior government ministers, and visiting foreign dignitaries.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “We never comment on anonymously sourced reports claiming to represent The Queen's private views. Security is a matter for the police.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The process for appointing personal protection officers has not changed. Equally their roles and responsibilities remain unaltered. We do not recognise the commentary from the anonymous source.”

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