jeudi 4 août 2022

Protection of Presidential and Royal Motorcade - English Version


Protection of Presidential and Royal Motorcade
     - English Version -

Translated with (free version)

(Sorry if there are errors in the meaning, word or verb of the expressions).

Updatet: 31/10/2022
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Visit of the Russian President V.PUTIN in Rome on 04/07/2019

The escorts during presidential or royal trips or ceremonies were marked by the attack against King Alexander 1st of Yugoslavia, on October 09th 1934 in Marseille in France.


Departure of the car of King Alexander 1st of Yugoslavia in the streets of Marseille on 09/10/1934

Return on this assassination to understand:

It was agreed that King Alexander I of Yugoslavia would parade, before leaving by train for PARIS, through several streets of MARSEILLE in France, in a car with the back of the car open to be seen by the crowd, but also by reporters, photographers and cameramen.

Departure of the car of King Alexander 1st of Yugoslavia in the streets of Marseille on 09/10/1934

Initially planned with an escort of police officers on bicycles around the car, it was decided that it would be two officers, clear saber, who would escort the car...


Departure of the car of King Alexander 1st of Yugoslavia in the streets of Marseille on 09/10/1934

But no sooner had he gone 200 meters, than a man emerged from the crowd and fired a dozen bullets into the King's Car, killing him instantly, and mortally wounding French Foreign Minister Louis BARTHOU.


Shooter on the running board of the car of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia

By the time the cameramen are filming, the shooter has already fired. The officer on horseback on the right will arrive too late. Only the driver of the car on the right will have time to hold the shooter from inside the car as you can see on this picture...


Shooter on the running board of the car of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia

The officer will tap the shooter with his sword anyway.


Shooter on the running board of the car of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia

Before the police arrested him.


Departure of the car of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia after the shooting

But it was too late. Armed with a MAUSER semi-automatic 10-shot pistol, the assailant fired a burst of bullets into the car...


King Alexander I of Yugoslavia in the foreground and Minister Louis BARTHOU

At that time, there were important risks of attack against this King...

Several mistakes were made:

1- A convertible car was easier for a killer to aim at his target

2- The windows of the car were lowered, which allowed the assailant to climb on the running board of the car and to spray the back of the car with his 10-shot pistol more easily...

3- Twelve policemen on bicycles were supposed to surround the car and were replaced by two officers on horseback...

Translated with (free version)


Here is a video of the time presenting this drama.

Visit of Franklin D. ROOSEVELT in 1936

Since this act, the security services have improved the security around the vehicles, as applied by the US Secret Service when protecting the American President by having a motorized escort on each side, a man mounted on each step.

Visit of Franklin D. ROOSEVELT in 1936

And the Presidential Car closely escorted by a car with also members of the US Secret Service ready to pounce if someone tries to approach.


Visit of the French President Albert LEBRUN to St Brieuc in 1939

The French also got feedback from this. The escorts are done with motorcycles, creating a protective bubble.

 Citroën DS 21 French presidential during a 14 July, early 70s

In addition, there is no longer a pedestrian crossing when vehicles are in motion.


French President POMPIDOU on July 14th 1971

Along the procession there are sometimes barriers, then police and gendarmes serving as a second mobile barrier.


French President POMPIDOU on board the 15/6 Chapron in Ajaccio, Corsica
during the celebrations of the Bicentenary of Napoleon on 15/08/1969

Then comes the third barrier which is motorized, or on horseback, or with bodyguards around the vehicle.


French President de GAULLE's visit to the provinces

This one stands as close as possible to the Presidential car during its journey.


French President de Gaulle on board the presidential Citroën 15/6 H CHAPRON
the 14/07/1968 during the National Day
During ceremonies, such as the 14th of July, a protective bubble is also made.

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Other countries have also adopted this principle of advanced protection, as can be seen in Japan, in this photo, to protect the Emperor HIROHITO at the end of the 30s.


Visit of Fidel CASTRO with the Soviet president Nikita KHROUSHCHEV
in a ZIL 111B in the 60s in Moscow

As well as in the USSR, with here the arrival of the Cuban president Fidel CASTRO, received by Nikita KHROUCHTCHEV in Moscow in the 60s.

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Triumphal procession on April 14, 1961 of cosmonaut Yuri GAGARINE in Moscow

An attack in 1969 in Moscow showed the importance of side protection vehicles. A government motorcade was attacked by an individual, disguised as a policeman, who opened fire on the main car. One of the motorcyclists threw his motorcycle at the shooter. The passengers of the limousine were not injured, unfortunately the driver died. The people on board were cosmonauts on their way to the Kremlin.


Here in East Germany, during a visit by Soviet President Alexis Kossygin and GDR President Walter Ulbricht in 1969 for the 20th anniversary of the Warsaw Pact.


Or here in Kenya, with the visit of Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta in 1972.

French Presidential motorcade near the Elysee during the 14th of July 2017

Nowadays, this protection bubble is still active in France, as you can see on these pictures.

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The French President of the Republic E. Macron on board a Command Car
during the National Day on 14/07/2018 going down the Champs Elysées in Paris

Here during a parade on a French Presidential Command Car,


 - French Version -

Le Command Car Présidentiel français

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Or here during the visit of foreign dignitaries in France, in this case the Austrian president on this picture.


On this video of a Youtubeur invited by the French National Police School of SENS which trains the future motorcyclists of the French National Police, we can see the principle of escort with this permanent protection bubble.


Other countries also apply this principle of protection, as here in Italy, in June 2020, with these motorcyclists around the car of the President of the Italian Republic,

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Motorcade of the Emperor of Japan NARUHITO in Tokyo

Or there with these bikers guards around the limousine of Emperor NARUHITO of Japan,


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Or here with the King of Spain Felipe VI, in June 2014, during his coronation, with a motorcycle escort,


Or on horseback, here with the King of Spain Juan CARLOS and General FRANCO,


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Or here in Kenya with Kenyan President Uhuru KENYATTA with motorcycles and bodyguards on foot in 2019,

Or there, with the King of Malaysia, also with motorcycle escorts.

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Presidential Inauguration of President MOON Jae In in 2017 in the streets of Seoul

Or here in South Korea with bodyguards on foot around the presidential car.


King Abdullah II of Jordan to visit Morocco on March 23, 2017

 The usefulness of this protection can be seen during a state visit to Morocco with King Abdullah II of Jordan who was received by King Mohammed VI of Morocco in March 2017


That day, a 23 years old Moroccan will try to approach the Royal Car by running, as we can see on this video above.


Screenshot from this incident on March 23, 2017

The motorcyclists of the Moroccan Royal Guard will prevent the individual from approaching and the forces of order will subdue him shortly after.


Conversely, one can see on this video, that with light security and a group of determined people, one can stop a convoy like that of the British Prime Minister on July 24, 2019.


Visit of the American President JFK in Dallas on 22/11/1963

The risk is great for a head of state or a monarch to be confronted with a determined person during a trip. The Americans had this painful experience in November 1963 with the assassination of President John.F KENNEDY.


Secret Service Agent Clinton HILL rushing to protect Jackie KENNEDY

during the 1963 JFK assassination attempt  

Despite their motorcycle escort system and bodyguards close to the presidential car, the shooter(s) managed to reach the American President.

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Thereafter, the cars will be fully armored, bodywork and bulletproof windows.


inauguration Day of Richard NIXON in Washington on 20/01/1969

American Presidents will be able to wave to the crowd from the sunroof of their limousines and for a short time to minimize exposure...



inauguration Day of Richard NIXON in Washington on 20/01/1969

Then the device resumes its classic course of protection.


 Escort during the Inauguration Day of Jimmy CARTER on Pennsylvannia Avenue on 20/01/1977

President Jimmy Carter asked to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue during his inauguration on January 20, 1977


This showed again the risk with the arrival of a person who wanted to approach him.


Video of this murder attempt against Ronald REAGAN

We also remember the assassination attempt on the American President Ronald REAGAN when he left a building to enter his car.


Exfiltration of the president R.REAGAN during the attempt of his assassination on 30/03/81

Despite the protective service, the American President was hit.


Inauguration Day of President Barack OBAMA in Washington on 20/01/2009

All of these facts have implied, on the part of the security services, strict protocols of protection and supervision.


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The US Secret Service will develop a specific protection service for the travels of the US President.
-   - English Version --
South Korea has a similar service.

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Kim Jong Un's car at an inter-Korean peace summit on 04/27/2018

One remembers these images, during an inter-Korean summit in April 2018, the movement of a hundred meters without a spectator, the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Video of this trip on 4/27/2018
A dozen bodyguards were running around the vehicle. It was more a power image effect in the eyes of the World than a security necessity.

For the Russians, it is rather vehicles that protect the flanks at high speed, as can be seen in this video.

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The Russian President's limousine
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Even if there is a Russian motorized escort

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Men of peace can also be targets when they travel. The attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981, in St. Peter's Square also required the Holy Father to protect his vehicles.


Not wishing to have an escort on a motorcycle and to be visible from the crowd, 4X4 with large armored windows will be used during his trips around the world, here during a trip to Spain in 1982


or there, during a trip to Lyon in France on November 04, 1986.


Pope Benedict XVI will also opt for this means of protection, here in 2008 during a visit to Washington.

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Pope Francis I with the fallen policewoman in Chile during his visit

This does not preclude the zero risk of attack by opportunity. When a Chilean Police rider, during the passage of Pope Francis I's convoy in Chile in 2018, fell, he had his convoy stopped and got off to check on her immediately. The security measures, with police along the route, barriers to hold back the crowd and bodyguards present allowed this unexpected, but very risky intervention.

Video of a pope Motorcade stop in Chile in 2018


More recently, we remember the French President Emmanuel MACRON, in June 2021, who, as soon as he got out of his car, rushed towards the crowd to shake their hands. The President's security detail had only a short time to protect him.


What did not prevent a man to put a violent slap to him, as we can see it on this video... If this one had been armed with a handgun or a knife, the effect would have been devastating.


To note finally the new risks that can have Presidents or monarchs because of flying drones or on wheels.

In 2018, in the middle of a speech, the Venezuelan President at the time had escaped an attack from two flying drones.


2010 Chevrolet Suburban countermeasures from the U.S. Secret Service

However, solutions exist to jam the waves of these drones.

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