Buckingham Palace Police Mistake Prince Andrew For Burglar, Draw Guns

Buckingham Palace police confronted Prince Andrew this week after mistaking the Duke of York for a burglar, approaching him with their guns drawn.

The case of mistaken identity took place after a break-in at the palace led to an increase in security.

Prince Andrew, the third child of Queen Elizabeth II, was taking a walk this week at the official royal residence in London when he was approached by guards.

What happened next is in question. British media reported that the Buckingham Palace guards drew their weapons at the 53-year-old Prince Andrew, yelling for him to get on the ground.

The officials royal account of event differs, however.

“On Wednesday, 4 September at approximately 1800 hours (1700 GMT) two uniformed officers approached a man in the gardens of Buckingham Palace to verify his identity,” a royal spokesman said. “The man was satisfactorily identified. No weapons were drawn and no force was used.”The incident came just days after a break-in at Buckingham Palace prompted a full review of security. A 37-year-old man was arrested after scaling a wall and breaking into a state room. The man was charged with burglary, trespass, and criminal damage, and a second man outside the palace was arrested for conspiracy to commit burglary. Though there were no members of the royal family inside the palace at the time, the break-in was seen as an embarrassing security breach. There have been other high-profile break-ins at Buckingham Palace before. In 1982, an unemployed man named Michael Fagan climbed a drain pipe into the Queen’s private chambers, talking to her for 10 minutes before she could alert guards.In 2004, a man campaigning for fathers’ rights slipped by Buckingham Palace security to stage a protest on the building’s balcony. This breach was especially embarrassing for the palace’ security, as he was dressed as Batman at the time.

[Buckingham Palace photo by David Iliff via Wikimedia Commons]