Armed and in heels, Meghan’s bodyguard: How the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a new head of protection who cuts a glamorous figure for a police officer
- The woman has been working with the couple for several months and is currently with them in Australia
- She cut an unusually glamorous figure in black culottes and beige heels, a smart black jacket and striped top
- On Friday she dressed down in flat pumps overseeing operations on Bondi Beach as the couple met surfers
The bodyguard cut an unusually glamorous figure for a police officer, in black culottes and beige heels
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a new female head of protection – armed and in heels.
The woman, who the Mail is not naming for security reasons, has been working with the couple for several months and is currently with them in Australia, overseeing the massive police operation that surrounds them.
Harry and Meghan are travelling across four different Commonwealth nations, conducting 76 engagements in 16 days.
Most senior female members of the Royal Family have at least one woman close protection officer on their team.
The Duchess of Cornwall has always had one, as does the Duchess of Cambridge who has become extremely close to her ‘PPO’, mother-of-one Emma Probert, who has been with her for a number of years.
It took a little while to find a woman for the job with Harry and Meghan, but the new senior female police officer, who has the rank of Inspector, has replaced the prince’s long-standing head of security, Sergeant Bill Renshaw, who retired after more than 30 years in the force. This week she has been very much in evidence, standing discreetly alongside the prince and his new wife. In Melbourne on Thursday she kept a watchful eye over pregnant Meghan as she undertook a huge public walkabout.
As the duchess shook hands, posed for photographs and collected dozens of bunches of flowers and gifts, she cut an unusually glamorous figure for a police officer, in black culottes and beige heels, a smart black jacket and striped top concealing the gun and Taser that most protection officers normally carry.
Her long, blonde hair was artfully twisted and clipped from her face. And on Friday she was dressed down in flat pumps while she oversaw operations on Bondi Beach as the couple met surfers.
Kensington Palace declined to comment last night.
This week the bodyguard has been very much in evidence, standing discreetly alongside the prince and his new wife
But a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said they could confirm that ‘there are a number of female officers working within the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command, including an inspector currently working in Australia’.
The spokesman added that they were not prepared to confirm the identities of officers in roles of this nature.
Met Commissioner Cressida Dick has been keen to raise the number of women in senior jobs.
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In a recent interview discussing the BBC hit Bodyguard, she said she thought the plotline of the show was ‘ridiculous’ but added: ‘It’s great of course to have senior female role models and figures in senior positions in drama as well as real life, I think it inspires lots of people to think I maybe could be the Home Secretary or maybe I could do this … I have a lot of protection officers.’ A source said the unnamed inspector was a ‘brilliant’ appointment, who had earned their role on merit.
They added: ‘As these officers are by their principal’s side 24 hours a day, it is always preferential to have a woman on the team. There are some things that a MRF (Member of the Royal Family) just feels more comfortable doing with a woman at her side. But to have a woman in charge of the team is pretty much unheard of. It is good news for the Duke and Duchess and good news for the force.’
Duchess: I’m glad I quit social media
She was once a voracious social media user. But it seems Meghan had no trouble giving it up when she joined the Royal Family.
The Duchess of Sussex told a fan yesterday how liberating it had been to have to close her accounts and shut her website when she got engaged to Prince Harry.
‘She said it was very freeing that she no longer has social media,’ said Jessina Oakes, 26. ‘She said a really beautiful quote: ‘Flattery and criticism run through the same filter’.’ It is understood the duchess – who was visiting Sydney’s Bondi Beach – was quoting artist Georgia O’Keeffe, who said: ‘Flattery and criticism go down the same drain.’
While working as an actress, Meghan documented every aspect of her life on Twitter, Instagram and her lifestyle site The Tig.
4.30am yoga takes the edge off jet lag
The Duchess of Sussex has been doing 4.30am yoga sessions in Australia to help with her pregnancy and jet lag, according to another mother-to-be.
Charlotte Connell, 35, is 23 weeks pregnant and is the mother of Finn, two, who gave Meghan, 37, and Harry, 34, garlands when they joined surfers for a barefoot ‘anti bad vibes circle’ at Bondi Beach in Sydney.
She said: ‘Meghan told me that pregnancy was like having jet lag. She said she was up at 4.30am doing yoga as she couldn’t sleep. It’s a double whammy for her, she said, as she has both the baby and jet lag.
‘We talked about how you feel jet lagged even though you have not travelled anywhere. But physical activity like yoga and surfing is so good for healing your mind.’
Tuesday: the Duchess of Sussex in Sydney after the swell news (left); starting to show in khaki (right)
Wednesday: hanging loose in Dubai (left); Thursday: bulging in blue in Melbourne (right)
Friday: Bulging in blue in Melbourne (left); in a two-tone Roksanda frock in Sydney (right)
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