"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Monday, 4 May 2009

Princess Eugenie Mugged in Cambodia

It emerged last night that the Queen's granddaughter Princess Eugenie, 19, sixth in line to the throne - currently jetting around the world on her gap year - had to be saved by her two elite SO14 bodyguards after a man grabbed her friend's purse in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

The two specialist officers from Scotland Yard wrestled the man to the floor, but an accomplice pelted them with stones.

They decided their safest option was to let him go and remove Eugenie from the situation.

There are a couple of interesting story strands here; firstly many are asking why this minor royal gets publicly funded, 24 hour protection which costs around £250,000 a year (her sister Beatrice gets the same).

I must admit, if I had to make a list of all the things I resent my taxes being spent on, this would be a long way down. If we have the money to allow politicians to claim for second homes they never live in, to allow Afghan asylum seekers to live in million pound mansions, to send millions in aid to places like Pakistan and Gaza - then we have enough to protect the Royal Family. If we don't, perhaps the government should be looking at why, rather than calling other people 'freeloaders' (pot, meet kettle).

On the other hand, some are using this incident to justify Eugenie's protection - even though this is the first time that So14 have had to directly prevent a threat to a royal in ten years.

It's not as if she was on a state visit to Australia, is it? It seems that she is one of thousands of Western teenagers and tourists who travel to the Third World and expect to be safe by virtue of their colour or their passport.

Sadly, things seem to work in almost the opposite fashion these days - many Westerners are the victims of crime abroad, and a lot end up dead.

A cursory search of Google for 'Britons murdered abroad' brings up countless harrowing stories;
the British couple shot by a Thai policeman, the medical student killed whilst helping children in Uganda, the PhD student shot dead in South America, Scarlett Keeling, the 15 year old British girl drugged, raped and drowned in Goa. Another incident in India occurred when an Israeli environmentalist was killed on an Indian ferry after trying to prevent a gang of men molesting his British girlfriend in 2003.

All of these incidents have occurred within the last six years; they all seem to revolve around Western tourists being targeted for robbery because they are perceived to be rich, and Western women targeted for sexual assault because they are perceived to be 'easy' by primitive misogynist cultures.

Perhaps if it is known that even Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie isn't safe with her highly trained bodyguards, many young people will seriously think about just where it is most safe to travel - and best to avoid - on a gap year or holiday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree! Good point..