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Buckingham Palace’s unwanted visitors: A history of trespasses at the residence

The protected royal site has attracted guests over the years, though not all of them were invited.

File photo dated 20/10/14 of Buckingham Palace, in central London. A man has been arrested after climbing Buckingham Palace’s front gates in the early hours of the morning.
File photo dated 20/10/14 of Buckingham Palace, in central London. A man has been arrested after climbing Buckingham Palace’s front gates in the early hours of the morning.

A 22-year-old man held on suspicion of trespass is just the latest to attract the law’s attention for encroaching on Buckingham Palace.

Last year a homeless man who trespassed in the grounds of the Palace and damaged items before sleeping on them was jailed for 28 days.

Steven Lawlor entered the protected royal site on July 16 and broke poster boards and glass cabinets fixed to metal railings to use as bedding, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard the following month.

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The impressive grounds of Buckingham Palace (Yui Mok/PA)

Security officials found the 44-year-old sleeping on the ruined items in an area near the south-east corner of the palace just after 5am, after bedding down four hours previously, the court was told.

In September 2013 a security review was launched after an intruder was able to scale a fence and get inside the palace, before being arrested by police.

No members of the royal family were at the palace at the time, and the 37-year-old man, who was found shortly before 10.30pm “in an area currently open to the public during the day”, was arrested for burglary, trespass and criminal damage.

A second man, 38, was arrested outside the palace for conspiracy to commit burglary.

Two days later the Metropolitan Police apologised to the Duke of York after officers challenged him in the gardens of Buckingham Palace at around 6pm.

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Prince Andrew received an apology from the police after they mistook him for an intruder (David Mirzoeff/PA)

Prince Andrew said: “The police have a difficult job to do balancing security for the Royal Family and deterring intruders, and sometimes they get it wrong.

“I am grateful for their apology and look forward to a safe walk in the garden in the future.”

The September 2013 break-in was one of the most serious security breaches at the palace since 1982, when Michael Fagan evaded guards to get inside the Queen’s private chambers while she was still in bed.

The unemployed father-of-four, then 31, spent around 10 minutes talking to the Queen after he climbed over the palace walls and up a drainpipe.

The Queen managed to raise the alarm when Fagan asked for a cigarette, allowing her to call for a footman who held him until police arrived.

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