Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Queen & The Prowler! (1982)

Michael Fagan was the intruder who broke into Buck House and entered Elizabeth 2nd's bedchamber in the early hours of 9 July 1982. The unemployed father of four children managed to evade electronic alarms as well as both Palace and Police guards.

It was the 32-year-old's second successful attempt to break into Buckingham Palace. On his first attempt, he scaled a drainpipe, briefly startling a housemaid who called security, who subsequently decided not to act. Fagan entered through an unlocked window on the roof and spent the next half hour eating cheddar cheese and crackers and wandering around. He tripped several alarms, but they were faulty. He viewed the royal portraits and rested on the throne for a while. He then entered the postroom, where the pregnant Diana, Princess of Wales had hidden presents for her first son, William. He drank half a bottle of California white wine before becoming tired and leaving.

On the second attempt, an alarm sensor detected him. A worker in the Palace thought the alarm to be false, and silenced the alarm. En route to see the Queen, he broke a glass ashtray, lacerating his hand.

Her Magesty woke when he disturbed a curtain, after which he sat on the edge of her bed talking to her for about ten minutes. The Queen phoned twice for police but none came. He then asked for some cigarettes, which were brought by a maid. When the maid did not return to base for some time Footman Paul Whybrew appeared. The incident happened as the armed police officer outside the royal bedroom came off duty before his replacement arrived. He had been out walking the Queen's dogs.
Since it was then a civil wrong rather than a criminal offence, Michael Fagan was not charged for trespassing in the Queen's bedroom. He was charged with theft (of the half bottle of wine), but the charges were dropped when he was committed for psychiatric evaluation. He spent the next six months in a mental hospital before being released on 21 January 1983. It was not until 2007, when the Palace became a "designated site" for the purposes of section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, that what he did became illegal. Fagan's mother later said, "He thinks so much of the Queen. I can imagine him just wanting to simply talk and say hello and discuss his problems." Altogether now, Arrhhh!

No comments:

Post a Comment