Bad week at Buckingham Palace: Prince Andrew mistaken for intruder

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(CNN) — Police spotted a man in the gardens of Buckingham Palace and stopped him, concerned he might be an intruder.

The man in question: Prince Andrew, Duke of York. He was out for a stroll through the manicured gardens in the early evening.

Andrew, the son of Queen Elizabeth II, was born in the palace in 1960, has offices there, and spends much of his time there.


Two uniformed officers spotted him at 6 p.m. Wednesday, and approached him “to verify his identity,” the Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement. “The man was satisfactorily identified.”

“The police have a difficult job to do balancing security for the royal family and deterring intruders and sometimes they get it wrong,” Prince Andrew — brother of Prince Charles and former husband of Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson — said in a statement.

“I am grateful for their apology and look forward to a safe walk in the gardens in the future.”

The British press reacted withpredictable excitement. A few accounts, apparently incorrectly, reported that the officers had their guns drawn. One outlet wrote that the prince was “held at gunpoint.”

According to the authorities, no force was used, and no weapons were drawn.

Guards were already on higher alert when the incident took place.

Two days earlier, it was the real deal: a security breach at Buckingham Palace.

A man scaled a security fence and entered the building before being detained. Authorities arrested him for burglary, trespass and criminal damage. Another man was arrested later for alleged conspiracy to commit burglary.

The incident drew headlines around the world.

It was the latest in a series of security lapses over the years, a few quite colorful. In 2004 “Batman” scaled a fence and stood on a ledge to make a point about paternal rights.

A year earlier, another royal residence, Windsor Castle, had an uninvited guest: someone dressed as Osama bin Laden showed up at Prince William’s birthday party.

It turned out both incidents had more to do with publicity for the perpetrators than safety of the royal residents. “Batman” was merely a dad with a cause; “bin Laden,” a comedian.

But Monday’s alleged burglar seemed different, a more serious matter. Comparisons were drawn to the time in 1982 that a man made it all the way to the bedside of Queen Elizabeth. The queen talked to that intruder until help arrived.

As for Prince Andrew, the garden incident wasn’t his first brush with security gone wrong. In 2003 a bodyguard accidentally fired a shot while unloading his weapon at the prince’s mansion.

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News