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.
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.’
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)