Tuesday 27 June 2017

Police 'stopped Prince Andrew at gunpoint' in the grounds of Buckingham Palace

The Duke of York was ordered to verify his identity by two police officers in the gardens of Buckingham Palace
The Duke of York was ordered to verify his identity by two police officers in the gardens of Buckingham Palace

Rob Williams

PRINCE Andrew was reportedly challenged by armed officers inside the gardens of Buckingham Palace just two days after a man was arrested inside the Queen's most famous residence on suspicion of burglary.

Scotland Yard confirmed that a man was stopped about  6pm on Wednesday and ordered to verify his identity. They have not, however, confirmed that the man was Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

According to the Sunday Express newspaper, armed police pointed their guns at Andrew and shouted at him to “put your hands up and get on the ground” after mistaking him for an intruder.

The paper claims that half a minute "jittery" armed police quizzed the 53-year-old before realising who he was. The paper claims that the Duke was "livid" about the incident and "tore them off a strip".

Police have confirmed that they stopped an individual but have said "no weapons were drawn and no force was used" in the incident.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "On Wednesday, 4 September at approximately 1800hrs two uniformed officers approached a man in the gardens of Buckingham Palace to verify his identity.

"The man was satisfactorily identified. No weapons were drawn and no force was used."

Prince Andrew said in a statement today: "The police have a difficult job to do balancing security for the Royal Family and deterring intruders, and sometimes they get it wrong.

"I am grateful for their apology and look forward to a safe walk in the garden in the future."

The latest security blunder follows alarm earlier this week after a man was arrested on suspicion of burglary inside the palace.

A security review has been launched following the incident on Monday night when a man was found shortly before 10.30pm "in an area currently open to the public during the day" and arrested for burglary, trespass and criminal damage.

A second man was arrested outside the palace for conspiracy to commit burglary.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "Both men have been bailed to return to a central London police station and enquiries continue.

"A review of the specific circumstances of this incident is being carried out. No members of the Royal Family were at Buckingham Palace at the time of the incident."

A spokesman added that security would form part of the review.

The Queen made her traditional appearance at a Highland Games yesterday, as details of the break-in emerged.

She was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales at the Braemar Gathering in Aberdeenshire, where the royal party watched pipe bands and dancers perform to a large crowd.

The Queen has been spending her summer break at Balmoral Castle since the beginning of August and is not expected to return to the palace until October.

The arrest for burglary inside Buckingham Palace is the most serious security incident since Michael Fagan, an unemployed father of four, broke into the palace in 1982 and spent around 10 minutes talking to the Queen.

He had gained access to the building by climbing over the palace walls and up a drain pipe.

The Queen managed to raise the alarm when Fagan asked for a cigarette, allowing her to call for a footman who held him until police arrived.

Independent News Service

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