Female bodyguards for hire – Busting the myth that there is a huge demand for female bodyguards in London, the UK and the rest of the world.
Over the years in these ‘politically correct’ times we are all being forced to endure there has been a myth perpetuated, mainly by the main stream media, that there is a huge demand for female bodyguards.
So is there? In a word – No.
There absolutely is not and as far as I am aware there never has been.
But it makes a good, virtue-signalling-point-scoring headline, doesn’t it?
The truth is that there can’t be a huge demand for female bodyguards when there isn’t even a major demand for bodyguards full stop – male or female.
The close protection industry is a highly exclusive business serving the 0.1 percent. It’s incredibly niche and very, very few companies, specialise in solely providing the services of close protection operatives as there is so little demand for it.
The vast majority of security companies that offer bodyguards do so as an ancillary service and advertise close protection services as a sort of afterthought. Their bread and butter is venue, event, door and even retail security.
Christie and Associates is one of if not the only company in London that only provides the services of licensed bodyguards and security advisers. And I have personally been in the close protection industry for over 15 years, 12 of those based in London. And I can categorically tell you that there simply isn’t a huge demand for female bodyguards.
There are a few main markets within the London bodyguard business where we receive and protect clients from the following countries and regions: Russia, the United States, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the rest of the world. And traditionally only have clients from the Middle East ever requested female bodyguards – But now even that is changing, let me explain: over the last decade there has been a recurring need for female bodyguards which has originated from the Middle East, from mainly Muslim countries. And this is because certain Royal and prominent families do not allow or wish to avoid at huge cost a man touching or even looking at an uncovered female member of the family if they are not the husband, father, brother etc.
Certain families will book out entire floors of hotels and will often dedicate just one floor to the female members of the family and only allow female staff onto that floor – this is where female bodyguards have been invaluable. But this is rare, a rarity in an exceptionally exclusive business and then these contacts only last weeks and at most a few months at a time. And that is or was when the female member of the family is or was ‘permitted’ to leave her home country and palace or official residence, this alone is an infrequent occurrence. So this may have been where the “female bodyguards in huge demand” myth comes from; but would you call that a huge demand?
Now though that is all changing and to nobody’s surprise more than my own. And I started seeing this change at the beginning of 2018. As women begin to assert and fight for their own decision making powers in the Arab world and as the new world pushes for a fairer society for women there has been a remarkable happening within the bodyguarding business – we are getting more and more calls for bodyguards from Middle Eastern women of prominence from the women themselves. And anyone successful and experienced within the close protection world will know that this is highly, highly unusual as normally the father, the brother, the uncle or some other male member of the family would make all arrangements for the female requiring protection. It is, or was, literally part of his duty.
But to my amazement at the beginning of last year Christie and Associates and myself personally started to get enquires from these ladies themselves. And they have been fascinating conversations. But one major takeaway is that of the numerous clients we have taken enquiries from and protected only one requested a female bodyguard and she made it very clear she wanted her more as an assistant and guide than as an actual protector as she implied that her father still had his own guards ‘watching over’ her. And this particular princess was very high profile and still had to be seen to be obeying all religious laws and traditions.
On another occasion I was talking to another princess, low profile and ‘only’ married to one of the younger, lower ranking, princes, who could therefore get away with a lot more. And although I knew the answer already as I knew the position this princess was in, I asked her for interest sake “Would you like a female bodyguard?”
She literally laughed at me.
Not in an unkind way as she must have thought I was joking or mad, not sure which. Needless to say I didn’t bring the subject up again with her. But I understood her seriousness because she really was under threat, both from the royal family she had come from and from her billionaire partner. And why was she under threat? Because she is highly independent and very strong minded -Something that traditionally has been frowned upon in the Middle East.
So she definitely wanted and most certainly needed authoritative protection that could step in, if needed, between her and another man who believed he had power and dominion over her. And she knew that another women trying to take on that role would cause only further outrage and would possibly be put in even more danger than the princess herself.
At the end of 2017 I also looked after the daughter of a Russian entrepreneur and her story was similar – she wanted her own protection because since the age of 13 her father had provided the bodyguards and she believed these protectors were more loyal to her father than to herself. I immediately realised what an astute young lady she was and happily took on the contract.
Interestingly too is that I have also never had a women of the modern western world request a female bodyguard. Never, not once in fifteen years.
There certainly is a place for female operatives within a close protection team and some of the most professional and honourable operatives I have had the pleasure of working for me have been female, as I write this one in particular officer comes to mind. And female operatives like that can literally pick and choose their contracts as they are so highly prized, mind you these are not close protection contracts but rather event or venue protection gigs. And you know what? It’s not because they are female. It’s because they are highly trained, experienced, well liked and reliable, dedicated professionals.
Note: I decided to write this article as Christie and Associates still receives emails and telephone calls from ladies trying to break in to the industry and recently I spoke to an incredible candidate who was thinking about doing the training and getting her licence. I advised her against it. As I also advise most men, in fact I would advise anyone male or female not to try break in to this industry if your sole purpose is to make money. It must be passion driven. Otherwise there are a multitude of other industries that intelligent and driven individuals can dedicate and invest in themselves in to make money.
Times are changing, women are now firmly in the driving seat, even in Saudi! And now they’re deciding who protects them, and they're not choosing other women.
High Demand for Female Bodyguards in London, the UK and the rest of the world – Myth busted.
Christie and Associates