An ex-traffic cop has revealed why members of the Metropolitan Police's Special Escort Group will use whistles when they lead Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Highly-trained armed officers from the SEG accompany members of the royal family to official functions within the UK, helping to block junctions and control traffic to allow the convoy to make steady progress and avoid presenting a stationary target to would-be attackers.
On a forum about the Honda CBF1000 – a motorbike commonly used by the force's motorcycle outriders – one user commented how whistles seem to be the best way to get the attention of drivers and pedestrians.
A member replied: "I spent a long time in the Met Police, most of it on Traffic Division (and did a fair few escorts too). I can confirm the whistle is one useful piece of kit.
"People get used to horns and two-tones, but always look round for a whistle.
"The high pitch is very directional, meaning those with good hearing will automatically end up looking straight at you.
"The other great advantage, especially when dealing with muppet motorists all day, is that you can swear down the bloody thing with complete impunity."
SEG officers ride powerful white-liveried motorbikes and undergo more than six months of courses in advanced driving, anti-hijacking and unarmed combat.
They carry a Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol.
The Queen, Charles and Camilla, the Cambridges and the Sussexes are all protected by the SEG.
The SEG rides in official convoys for the Queen's other children the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, and the Princess Royal, and the Queen's cousins the Dukes of Kent and Gloucester.
Simon Morgan, director of operations at Trojan Security, was a personal protection officer from 2007 to 2013 and guarded the Queen and Prince Charles among others.
He told MailOnline: "SEG don’t go fast, as they do in other countries.
"It’s never about speed, it’s all about making steady progress rather than banging through traffic with blue lights and sirens."
He explained that it was normal for the bikes – with registration plates ending in SEG – to be out in front of the royal car with additional security officers following in trailing cars.
A four- or six-person team from the SEG drive in convoy to provide a secure bubble in which the royals can travel.
Their goal is to enable a royal or VIP convoy to keep moving, in order to avoid presenting a stationary target to would-be attackers, and cause minimal disruption or safety hazard to the public.
The protection convoy travels with blue lights flashing but do not ordinarily drive with sirens on, preferring whistles in order to cause less disturbance.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be seen with the royal family for the first time since stepping down as working royals more than two years ago.
They are on the guest list for the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral on Friday.
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