The Origins Of VIP Protection And The Birth Of The Bodyguard

The use of bodyguards
for VIP/Celebrity protection isn’t a recent phenomenon. In fact it’s
been going on for thousands of years. Originally high profile figures
such as Kings and Popes hired bodyguards for protection against
foreign assassins, internal insurgents, and the odd deranged
individual who may at any stage cause a threat to their life.

Ancient bodyguard

In the early years
bodyguards were experienced soldiers recruited from battle-hardened
combat units, but it wasn’t simply their fighting prowess that made a
first-class bodyguard. More than their ability to roll their sleeves
up and get stuck in when needs dictated, a bodyguard’s personal
loyalty to their employer was undoubtedly the number one quality.

The Greeks

The ancient Greeks were
one of the first to recognise and employ bodyguards. Alexander the
Great for example had his very own crack troop of soldiers know as
the ‘Somatophylakes. These were drawn from the prestigious Macedonian
cavalry units who were among the finest in the world at the time.

The Romans

The Romans weren’t
afraid to steal ideas from other cultures and their very own
Praetorian Guard was based on the Somatophylakes of ancient Greece.
The Guard was initially formed to protect Roman generals in the field
of battle. However over a period of time the unit transformed into
the personal protectors of the Roman Emperors. They became feared not
only amongst outsiders looking to cause harm to the Emperor, but also
by the Roman people themselves, and were a formidable unit.

The far east

The need for bodyguards
wasn’t simply confined to Europe. On the contrary, Japanese Emperors
had the protection of the equally formidable Samurai from around
900AD onwards. In China too, elite guards were there to protect and
serve, however they tended to change along with the ruling dynasties
themselves. The tang dynasty used bodyguards mysteriously known as
‘the forbidden troops while the Qing dynasty had their own protection
in the form of the Imperial Guards Brigade.

Modern day
bodyguards – Through the ages

While personal
protection units have become steeped in tradition they’re still in
use today. For example the Queen’s Life Guard and the Queen’s Guard
have been protecting British Monarchs since 1660. They can still be
seen today with their bearskin hats guarding the official residences
of the monarchy. Likewise if you ever visit the Vatican in Rome
you’ll see the Swiss Guard who have been protecting the Pope since

Moving into the 20th
and 21st centuries and bodyguards were no longer employed
soldiers in the literal sense of the word. Instead nowadays they
often rely on more covert means to protect celebrities, royalty, and
high-flyers. Instead of utilising the nation’s armies, bodyguards
continue to be recruited from specialised security companies who are
highly skilled in all areas of VIP protection.

At MA Security we cover
all areas of security including VIP protection. If you’d like to find
out more ether visit our website or contact us directly on 1300
020 406
. Remember if you take your security very seriously,
then so do we!

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