The female bodyguard who protects Kate Middleton
Monday Jul 4 2011
With her chic black hat and monochrome dress, most people probably assumed the well-dressed woman in the front passenger seat of the Rolls Royce at the recent royal wedding was the bride’s designer.
Far from being there to protect Kate Middleton’s crisp white frock from creases and spillages, though, elegant Emma Probert was there to protect her life.
The Duchess of Cambridge is just the latest A-lister to put her life in the hands of a lady — close protection officer 39-year-old Sergeant Probert.
Other celebs to favour a female bodyguard in the past include her husband Prince William, Nicole Kidman, Katie Price and Justin Bieber.
And Colonel Gaddafi is flanked by 40 female bodyguards, known as The Revolutionary Nuns.
With a remake of 1992 blockbuster The Bodyguard in the works, Hollywood may have to rethink its stereotype of the bullet-dodging bloke in a black suit, shades and earpiece.
Less conspicuous but just as capable as their male counterparts, girl bodyguards are on the rise, says Ireland’s most in-demand one.
“Kevin Costner has a lot to answer for,” laughs bodyguard Lisa Baldwin (27) from Clontarf.
“The reality is nothing like the movie — it’s not all about jumping in front of bullets and falling in love with your client.”
At 5ft 6, size 10 and blonde, former professional swimmer Lisa certainly has little in common with big-screen bodyguards such as Costner, Clint Eastwood (In the Line of Fire) and Denzel Washington (Man on Fire).
“When I started out eight years ago, I was the only woman on my training course,” says Lisa, who travels the world guarding Middle Eastern royals on holidays. “But now it’s becoming more popular.”
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