Executive Protection: The Way of the Bodyguard

By Lt. Thomas A. Taylor, Missouri State Highway Patrol

Security officials always learn from their mistakes. Unfortunately, these lessons often
come following the loss of a public official or dignitary. Drastic changes are then implemented, more money is appropriated, and improvements in security are made -actions that should have been taken in the beginning. There is no better example of this cycle than the bizarre events that took place on March 20, 1974, in London, England.

The principals
Ian Ball left his house in Fleet, Hampshire, which he had rented under a false name, and drove his white Ford Escort into London. His intention was to kidnap Princess Anne of the royal family. He carried two pistols and a note demanding free pardon for the kidnapping and a ransom demand of three million pounds.He caught up with the princess at 7: 50 p.m. as she was being driven back to Buckingham Palace. She was seated in the back of her distinctive Rolls Royce limousine with her husband, Captain Mark Phillips, and her attendant, Rowena Brassey. They were escorted by chauffeur Alexander Callender and Inspector Jim Beaton of the Royal Protection Group. Beaton, a 12-year veteran, had been protecting royalty for one year. He had received some training in the use of his .380-caliber Walther PPK, the weapon carried by those officers who wished to be armed. However, his firearm training did not cover malfunctions or " stoppages" with any detail.

The attack
Ball drove his car around the limousine, then cut in front of it and stopped. Callender stopped the Rolls suddenly, thinking that it was the action of a typically rude London driver. It did not occur to him to back up and avoid trouble. Ball stepped out of his car and walked toward the limo, holding one of his pistols. Although Beaton didn’t see the weapon, he instinctively darted out of his front passenger's seat and went around the rear of the limo to take up a protective position at the door of the princess. As soon as he rounded the car, Ball shot him in the chest. Beaton ducked behind the car and drew his Walther pistol. He attempted to shoot Ball, but, in his weakened state, accidentally shot out the rear window of the limo, spraying the princess with glass. He tried again, but the gun had misfed the round and he struggled to clear it. Ball opened the car door and grabbed the arm of Princess Anne. Her husband grabbed the other, and what followed was a tug-of-war, with the princess calmly telling the intruder that she was not going to go with him. The sleeve of her blue velvet dress tore away, causing Ball to lose his grip

but was tackled by Detective Constable Peter Edwards. Ronald Russell. Hills collapsed in the street. Aftermath Ball pled guilty to two counts of attempted murder and. shooting Callender in the chest as he opened his door. A uniformed officer. Code of the samurai . Determined to protect the princess at all cost. However. She slammed the door shut. Ball pulled a second gun and shot him in the chest. Beaton then scrambled. The round penetrated his hand just below the thumb. who shot at him and missed. He had fired six shots. arrived to help. Beaton placed his right hand against the glass as Ball pulled the trigger. Russell continued to struggle with Ball as police cars began to arrive. They continued to ignore the more deadly threat posed by the Irish Republican Army. which he did. He slumped to the pavement. As McConnell staggered away. the queen’s vehicle was equipped with a police radio. ending the nightmarish attack. Ball broke away and fled. unarmed and bleeding. into the car and barred the door. Beaton emerged with his useless weapon and Ball ordered him to drop it. was ordered held under the Mental Health Act of 1959.38 revolvers.on her. already shot twice. Another passerby. He fled on foot when Ball threatened to shoot him. Royal Protection officers were given formal training in bodyguard techniques and some training with the elite SAS-Special Air Service. He alerted authorities on his walkietalkie-the first official reporting of the attack-and moved toward Ball. and protective officers were given a crash training course in their use. For the first time. Michael Hills. they all survived and were presented with medals of valor. Ball then turned the gun on the chauffeur. pulled his Jaguar up against Ball's Ford. their protective abilities were only improved to a level dealing with a lone gunman armed with a handgun. John McConnell. Glenmore Martin. Ball placed the barrel of the gun against the limo's window and threatened to shoot again. wounding four men. Incredibly. deemed insane. who shot him in the stomach. A passing journalist. the Walther PPKs were replaced with Smith and Wesson . Ball again tried to drag the princess out of the limo. Royal limousines were also fitted with bulletresistant glass and automatic door locks. this time in the stomach. approached to investigate the shooting. Beaton. Security officials (and the royal family) had seemingly learned their lesson. leapt from the car and was shot again. A passing chauffeur. but she politely told him to go away. suddenly appeared and punched Ball. blocking it in. Within days. but failed to wound Princess Anne.

Taylor. But the way of the bodyguard has to come from within. Miyamoto Musashi. near-fatal wound. is credited for writing. is something that cannot be taught at any bodyguard school. preparation is the name of the game. is director of the Governor's Security Division.A 17th-century samurai. Lieutenant Tom A. "The way of the bodyguard is resolute acceptance of death. He also serves as secretary to the National Governor's Security Association. In 1982 he was appointed as the queen's personal protection officer." Given proper training. Inspector Jim Beaton certainly embraced the way of the bodyguard. In protection work. Beaton's unfamiliarity with his weapon was not entirely his fault. . the ultimate obligation. The value of this trait did not escape the royal family.even at the risk of losing his own life. His courage under fire. his stubborn refusal to give up his protective duties until suffering a third. replacing Commander Michael Trestrail. Missouri State Highway Patrol." This phrase describes the code that a samurai followed in protecting his master -. He had complied with training standards that were obviously inadequate and the issued ammunition was considered "rubbish. he would have been better prepared to cope with the threat.

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