According to new reports out on Wednesday, Queen Elizabeth has been sent a letter containing a suspicious white powder that has caused authorities to launch an investigation. According to BBC News, the letter was delivered to the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh, Scotland. Emergency personnel were called to the property straight away, and police have released a statement confirming that the letter was indeed sent to the address.
The report indicates that Queen Elizabeth was not at the residence at the time the letter was delivered. She is currently living at her residence at Buckingham Palace.
“We can confirm that the suspicious letter that was delivered to the Palace of Holyroodhouse on Wednesday, June 7 has been analyzed and found not to pose any risk to the public. An investigation is now underway to identify the sender and establish the full circumstances surrounding this incident,” a police spokesperson in Scotland said.
At this time, it is unclear if the letter was addressed to the Queen or her husband, Prince Philip. The white powdery substance has also not been identified, though it sounds like emergency personnel have deemed the substance safe. It is also unclear why someone would send a letter containing this unidentified substance to the Queen’s residence in Scotland if she wasn’t there. This does seem to suggest that there was no ill intent behind the letter, but authorities have yet to elaborate.
This suspicious letter was delivered to the Queen within days of a terror attack in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and one in the UK on the London Bridge. Both of these attacks occurred within weeks of the Manchester Arena attack, which left 22 people dead. With the UK’s terror alert recently raised to “critical,” no one is taking chances with anything, especially not when it comes to a suspicious letter or package of any kind being sent to the Queen’s residence.
Although precautions were taken, the Palace of Holyroodhouse remained opened and was not evacuated when the letter was examined. However, roads in the area were blocked off to allow emergency vehicles to go in and out.
Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time that a suspicious letter was sent to Edinburgh.
“This is the second instance of such a letter being sent to a notable location in Edinburgh. Last month, another letter with similar white powder was sent to Scottish National Party headquarters (the party of Scotland’s First Minister Nicole Sturgeon), a close neighbor of Holyroodhouse,” People Magazine reports.
Talk of white powder in envelopes is very reminiscent of the anthrax attacks that circulated the United States back in 2001 (and the subsequent anthrax hoaxes). Letters were sent to various people at media companies and within congressional offices. According to NPR, “five people died from inhaling anthrax and 17 others were infected after exposure.”
Authorities believe that the man responsible for mailing the letters was Bruce E. Ivins. He committed suicide on July 29, 2008.
As you can probably imagine, knowing how deadly anthrax can be, authorities are being very cautious when it comes to the white powdery substance sent to the Queen. While it sounds like the letter sent to Scotland didn’t contain any harmful materials, no chances can be taken.
The Queen is safe in England. She has not released any kind of statement about the letter or about the investigation that is said to be “ongoing” at this time. It is unknown if security measures at Buckingham Palace have been beefed up since the terror attacks or since this letter was discovered. An update on this story may become available in the coming days.
[Featured Image by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images]