Jim Beaton

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Chief Superintendent
James Wallace Beaton
Metropolitan Police
Born 17 February 1943
Nickname(s) Jim
Place of birth St Fergus, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK
Allegiance UK
Country UK
Years of service 1962-1992
Rank 1966 Sergeant
1971 Station Sergeant
1974 Inspector
1979 Chief Inspector
1983 Superintendent
1985 Chief Superintendent
Awards GC, CVO

Chief Superintendent James Wallace Beaton, GC, CVO, known as Jim Beaton,[1] (born 17 February 1943, St Fergus, Aberdeenshire, Scotland) was Queen's Police Officer from 1983-92[2]

Beaton received the George Cross in 1974 for protecting The Princess Anne from the would-be kidnapper Ian Ball during an attack in The Mall, London.[citation needed] He received the Director's Honor Award of the United States Secret Service in the same year. He was made an LVO in 1987 and promoted to CVO in 1992.[citation needed]

In March 1973, Beaton was transferred to the Royalty Protection Squad, A Division, from 14 November as a Personal Protection Officer assigned to Princess Anne. He was given the number 11 in the small team responsible for protecting members of the Royal Family. In 1974, the princess and her then-husband Captain Mark Phillips were returning to Buckingham Palace from a royal engagement. Their car was stopped in the Mall [clarification needed] and a man, Ian Ball, later found to be mentally ill, jumped out and tried to drag the Princess from the car. He shot the Royal Chauffeur, Alex Callender, and a passing journalist, Brian McConnell, who tried to assist. Inspector Beaton was shot three times, including in the chest and abdomen, and sustained injuries to his pelvis while trying to disarm Ball.[3][4] For his bravery, Beaton was awarded the George Cross; Callender and McConnell were awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal.[5] Beaton remained with the Princess until February 1979.

Beaton served in the Metropolitan Police from 1962 to 1992. He spent the first years of his career Constable on the beat at Notting Hill from 1962 to 1966. In 1966 he was promoted to Sergeant at Harrow Road, and in 1971 a Station Sergeant at Wembley, an Inspector in 1974, Chief Inspector in August 1979, Superintendent in 1983, and Chief Superintendent in 1985.

In 1982 he became the Queen's Police Officer. He retired in 1992, when he became a security manager.[citation needed]

Honours and awards[edit]

George Cross UK ribbon.png George Cross (GC) 26 September 1974
Royal Victorian Order UK ribbon.png Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) 1992[6]
Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO) 1987[7]
Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal 1977
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 2002
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012
Police Long Service and Good Conduct ribbon.png Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal


  1. ^ Michael Ashcroft, George Cross Heroes, 2010
  2. ^ Beaton profile, stephen-stratford.co.uk; accessed 10 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Kidnap attempt on Princess Anne". BBC. 20 March 1974. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Witness". BBC. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46354. pp. 8013–8014. 26 September 1974.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 52923. p. 8409. 15 May 1992.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 50948. p. 3. 12 June 1987.