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On This Day



On This Day… The Man Who Broke Into The Queen’s Bedroom

Written by: George Chittenden : 21 May 2019

It was on this day, 9th July back in 1982 when an unemployed decorator broke into Buckingham Palace, strolled into the Queen’s bedroom and sat on her bed waking her. The incident happened at around 7.15am, and according to the intruder himself, Michael Fagan, the Queen phoned the palace switchboard twice for police and when none arrived she left the room. A few moments later her duty footman, Paul Whybrew, appeared with two policemen and they removed the intruder. So how did he manage it? Well the strange thing is that it wasn’t the first time. It was his second attempt. The first had occurred only a month earlier when he’d climbed up a drainpipe and was discovered by a housemaid who called security. On that occasion he apparently fled without being apprehended.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

On his second attempt he climbed over the palace’s fourteen-foot-high perimeter wall topped with barbed wire and again climbed a drainpipe. He actually triggered an alarm sensor, but police thought the alarm was faulty and silenced it. Interestingly it wasn’t until 2007, when Buckingham Palace became a "designated site" for the purposes of section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, that his offence became criminal. However, Michael Fagan did spend six months in a psychiatric hospital after the incident and was released on January 21st, 1983.

Michael Fagan

Michael Fagan

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