A Buckingham Palace guard drew down on a man who attempted to force his way onto the royal grounds on Friday evening, according to several reports. The altercation occured at approximately 5:50pm, when an argument erupted between an unnamed man and several police officers just outside the palace gates.
According to several witnesses, this man grew more and more agitated, screaming at the cops and demanding access to the Queen’s residence for about 5 minutes, before storming towards Buckingham Palace’s North Centre Gates. The Palace guard, apparently deciding he’d had just about enough of this, walked about 50 yards from his post to meet the would-be intruder halfway.
A tourist named Gareth Scanlan was standing nearby, and as he told it to UK newspaper The Sun on Sunday, “There was a lot of shouting before the guard went in with the bayonet… It was shocking.”
As the Palace guard drew close, he raised his SA80, fixed bayonet and all, in the general direction of the intruder’s face. The guard stopped, with the tip of the bayonet’s blade about a foot away from the other man’s nose.
As the two of them stood facing each other, somebody snapped a photo, which made it on to the front page of The Sun.
Gareth Scanlan described what happened next:
“The man said: ‘Oh, you’re a big boy now.’ And the guard – who was Scottish, judging by his accent – said: ‘Yes, I am a big boy. Then, the guard pushed the guy away.”
Multiple witnesses confirmed that the man had been trying to get closer or inside the gate.
A spokesman for the British Royal Army released the following statement:
“We are aware of an incident outside Buckingham Palace on Friday and while no one came to any harm and there were no arrests, we are very clear that the Metropolitan Police lead on Royal Security arrangements including outside the Palace itself.”
The Buckingham Palace Guard is not facing any charges for his actions in this incident. As for the man who had been attempting to force his way past the North-Centre Gate, he was apparently let off with a warning. In a statement from a Metropolitan Police spokesman:
“Police were made aware of a disturbance at the North-Centre Gate of Buckingham Palace at approximately 5.50pm on Friday, April 4. Officers from Royalty Protection spoke to a man and he was given words of advice and there were no arrests.”
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on the incident.