From antiquity to today the safety and protection of public, wealthy, and most importantly, politically influential figures has been a very sensitive matter. Every emperor, king, powerful businessman, and president throughout history has been well aware of the fact that there are a series of dangers lurking around them such as assault, kidnapping, homicide, harassment, loss of confidential information, and a host of other criminal offenses. For that reason they make sure to hire the best guards to keep an eye on them 24/7. On this list we will find out about 25 effective bodyguard units that did (or still do) their job pretty well.
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The Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince, Monaco
Even though Monaco’s protection and defense is the main responsibility of the French military, the most famous sovereign in the world maintains a small, armed unit for his protection and that of the Prince’s Palace. The Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince was originally founded by Prince Honoré IV in 1817 for the protection of the principality, but it seems like its role has completely downgraded to ceremonial and decorative purposes in recent years. Their motto is “Honor, loyalty, devotion” and the uniforms of the 119 personnel of the unit have been traditionally designed by some of the most famous and glamorous fashion designers including Yves Saint Laurent, among many others.
The Governor General’s Horse Guards, Canada
The Governor General’s Horse Guards is an armor-plated patrolling unit in the Primary Reserve of the Canadian Army and the first and most historic of three household regiments in the reserve, along with the Governor General’s Foot Guards and the Canadian Grenadier Guards. Heavily influenced by the Queen’s Guards of England, the Canadian unit was established in 1855 and is located in Toronto. Their motto is “Second to None.”
Royal Guard of the Archers, Portugal
The Royal Guard of the Archers was established in the sixteenth century and their sole purpose was to protect and observe the Portuguese monarchy’s palace. Soon their role became ceremonial because the monarchs and the royal family trusted their safety to the regular units of the Portuguese Army since they had more skill and experience fighting in wars and battles. The Guard of the Archers was armed with halberds, which they rarely used, and for that reason they were also known as the Royal Guard of the Halberdiers. The end of the monarchy in 1910 meant the end of the palace guard as well.
If you’re a fan of the Winter Olympics then you definitely remember some tall guys with fancy uniforms taking part in the flag-raising ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. If not, then this is a great chance to learn about them. The Cuirassier Regiment or just Corazzieri was a special military force of the Italian army with a rich history of fighting and bravery that takes us back to the late fourteenth century, when Amadeus VII, Count of Savoy, used a team of archers to protect and look after him. After the abolishment of monarchy in Italy the unit was re-established in 1946, and organized as a cavalry squadron that serves only a festive role and attracts many tourists who want to take photos with contemporary soldiers who wear the uniforms of those from the distant romantic past.
Den Kongelige Livgarde, Denmark
In English, Den Kongelige Livgarde translates to “the Royal Life Guards.” They are an infantry unit of the Danish Army, established back in 1658 by King Frederik II for extra protection from his enemies. Originally the Life Guards of Denmark had a dual role: they fought on the front lines since they were one of the best combat units, and they were the monarch’s personal bodyguards and accompanied them everywhere, particularly for ceremonies and celebrations. Nowadays their role is mostly ceremonial and they are known for their impressive dark blue uniform.