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Mind the Gap

Her Majesty, the Queen’s Guards vs. the US Secret Service

Today, more than ever before businesses and people need to be on extra high alert. Cybersecurity and protective services to safeguard your company and yourself are on the rise.  The e-newsletter instalment of “Mind the Gap” shares trivial information about the differences between the UK and the US.  This article explores the protective measures and services employed by the UK and US to ensure the safety of Her Majesty the Queen and the President of the USA, respectively.

Whether you see them on horse or on foot, the Queen’s Guard has had an active presence in England since the year 1660. Introduced during the reign of King Charles II, these soldiers were placed outside of the Sovereign’s Palaces. Despite swarming sightseers, the Queen’s Guard is not merely a tourist attraction. These men are fully operational military soldiers who attend military training for more than half a year. When Her Majesty, the Queen is at her home in Buckingham Palace, there are always 40 men and three commanding officers guarding the residence. Although the main duties of the soldiers are to protect the Sovereignty and the Palace, their jobs are more extensive.

Infantry soldiers are responsible for the Changing of the Guards. This is a ceremony where the new guards assume responsibility of protection from the hands of the old guards. This grand ceremony consists of meticulously dressed foot soldiers that partake in a uniform drill while a band is playing. The entire process takes approximately 45 minutes. Tourists gather around Buckingham Palace railings more than an hour before the ceremony begins to ensure unobstructed viewing. Altogether, this historic process is one that no one wants to miss when in the UK.

Across the Atlantic, The White House, located in Washington, DC has a different method of protection. The Secret Service is the renowned protection team responsible for the safety of the White House and the President of the US. Presidential and White House protection services go far beyond armed agents. The Intelligence and Technology Teams are essential in the operation. The Secret Service was initially formed in 1885 to prevent counterfeiting US currency. It wasn’t until the assassination of William McKinley in 1901 that Congress formally requested protection of the President from the Secret Service.

Although there are some similarities in protective services between Buckingham Palace and the White House- such as the large fence that guards both buildings, the latter goes to far more extremes. Technologically speaking, the White House is one of the most secure facilities in the US. The White House is protected in physical, technological and intelligence layers. Today, the Secret Service has more than 6,500 employees, all dedicated to the safety of the President and The White House. Food scanners, radar systems, and bulletproof windows surround the building as well as the most up-to-date technologies such as air filtration systems and infrared scanners. The Intelligence Division of Homeland Security is dedicated to thinking ahead and preventing attacks. They randomize the protection system and ensure the President is as protected as possible. Her Majesty the Queen’s Guard and the Secret Service combine history and current technologies to protect their leaders. Whether it’s Her Majesty the Queen’s Guard or the US Secret Service, it’s clear that countries will go to the highest extent possible to protect their leader.

Trivia: Who was the first man who died in the Secret Service and what was his connection to the UK?

The first person to submit the correct answer to babc@babcphl.com will receive one complimentary ticket to our Cybersecurity Seminar taking place on Tuesday, September 26, 2017.

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