Meghan Markle ‘kidnapped’ for her royal security training
When you’re a royal bride-to-be, it’s safe to say you have extra obligations to fulfill.
The 36-year-old American underwent a two-day terror training course in the English countryside, run by Britain’s SAS (Special Air Service), to prepare her for any worst-case emergency scenarios.
Among the exercises conducted, there was a “kidnap and rescue” portion, in which the SAS used live ammunition while “rescuing” Markle from a staged kidnapping. (Live ammo was used so that Markle is able to recognize the sound of real gunfire if she were ever in a hostile situation.)
She would have also been taught some outdoor survival skills, in case she finds herself in a life-or-death scenario in the wilderness.
An operative familiar with the training said that Markle would also be expected to “create a relationship with potential kidnappers, which is apparently better than trying to escape.”
Gerald Moor, a former senior Army intelligence officer, told Harper’s Bazaar that Markle probably found the experience “physically and psychologically gruelling.”
Another SAS officer was quoted as saying the training was designed to “frighten the life out of anyone.”
All members of the royal family have reportedly undergone the training, with the exception of Queen Elizabeth. Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton completed the exercises after marrying Prince William, but Markle’s training was done before the nuptials because of “heightened security issues at this time.”
Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, also underwent the training before her marriage to Prince Charles. Her session was particularly harrowing because her hair accidentally caught fire after a flashbang grenade exploded.
Markle is already under the 24-hour armed protection of the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command, and the upcoming wedding in Windsor will be one of the most highly secured events ever. British security forces have contemplated a range of potential threats, including sophisticated terror attacks and royal superfans.
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Harry and Markle suffered an anthrax scare in mid-February when they were sent a racist message accompanied by an unidentified white powder, which was later deemed harmless.
A spokesman for the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence would not confirm the training took place, and declined to comment “on any matter pertaining to the SAS.”
Kensington Palace told news outlets that it doesn’t comment on matters of security.Follow @CJancelewicz
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