Meghan took part in a staged kidnapping that involved fake guns, according to the book Finding Freedom

By Stephanie Petit
August 26, 2020 12:54 PM
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When Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton joined the royal family, they were prepared for any situation.

The Duchess of Sussex underwent a two-day training course at the British Army's SAS headquarters to prepare her for possible hostage or security situations, the same one Kate went through after her 2011 wedding to Prince William, according to the tell-all book about Meghan and Prince Harry Finding Freedom.

"Meghan took part in a staged kidnapping, where she was bundled up in a car by a 'terrorist,' taken to a different location, and then 'saved' by officers firing fake guns (the kind used in Hollywood films) for realism," wrote authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand. "During the mock kidnapping, Meghan was taught to develop a relationship with the enemy. She was also instructed on how to drive a car while in pursuit."

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle
| Credit: James Marsh/BPI/Shutterstock

A source told the authors that it was an "extremely tense and scary experience" for Meghan.

The protection course is routine for any members of the royal family to complete.

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle
| Credit: Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Kidnapping attempts on the royals are all too real: in 1974, Princess Anne famously survived one.

Queen Elizabeth's only daughter was returning to Buckingham Palace by car after attending an evening charity event with her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, when their chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce was forced to stop by another car that had blocked their route.

When the driver, unemployed laborer Ian Ball, started firing shots that injured both her chauffeur Alex Callender and her private detective James Beaton, he climbed into the front seat and ordered the 23-year-old royal to get out, to which she reportedly replied, “Not bloody likely."

Ronnie Russell with Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne
| Credit: Mayfair Auctioneers

In a 1980 interview with British talk show host Michael Parkinson, Princess Anne spoke about how she refused to budge, even as Ball grabbed her arm and tackled her to the floor of the car. “We had a sort of discussion about where or where not we were going to go,” she revealed in a deadpan voice.

Ronnie Russell
| Credit: Mayfair Auctioneers

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Passerby Ronnie Russell, an amateur boxer, came to Anne's aide and was awarded the George Medal – Britain’s highest civilian award for gallantry by the Queen herself in November 1974 for his act of bravery. At the ceremony, also attended by Anne, the reigning monarch said to Russell: “The medal is from the Queen, but I want to thank you as Anne’s mother.”