The Duchess of Cornwall has praised the all-women security team who protected her during a visit to the Middle East.
Her Royal Highness with her all-female protection team during #RoyalVisitUAE From left to right: Shaima al Kaabi, Basima al Kaabi, Hannan al Hatawi, Nisreen al Hamawi and Salama al Remeithi. Earlier this year Shaima, Nisreen and Hannan also achieved the remarkable feat of conquering Mount Everest. ©Clarence House
This is the first time a member of the Royal Family has had an all-female protection team and it is of significant prominence because they were assigned to protect Camilla in a region of the world where women are discriminated against men.
All aged between 29 and 30, the eight security officers are all trained in martial arts as well as defensive and evasive manoeuvres.
Camilla was apparently delighted when she found out the security team accompanying her would be entirely female.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Camilla said: “It’s fascinating. It is quite extraordinary to have them. I have never had four women looking after me [and] they are the most incredible women. The first one had climbed Everest. I said ‘how long did it take?’ and she said 16 days! It’s quite remarkable.”
Sources have told the Mail that hidden amongst their hijabs and abayas, were concealed weapons ready to use in case of an attack.
The women were chosen from the UAE’s presidential guard, which counts more than 50 females among its ranks.
The fact that Camilla had an all-female security team is fitting because, during the visit, she spent much of her time visiting women’s centres including refuges.
On Friday the Duchess visited a women’s refuge in Bahrain. At the centre, she met and spoke so survivors of domestic violence.
The Duchess said: “These women, victims of domestic abuse, are able to tell their story so it can be published in the media because the more people that read about it, the more others come out of the shadows and talk about it themselves.”
After visiting the women’s centre, she and Prince Charles boarded a plane back to London ending their week-long tour of the Middle East.