Michael Fagan incident
Michael Fagan was an intruder
- Film and television :* Intruder , a horror movie from 1989.* Intruder , a film by Vicente Aranda.* The Intruder , a film by Albert Ray.* The Intruder , a film by Guy Hamilton...

 who broke into Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 and entered Elizabeth II's bedchamber in the early hours of 9 July 1982. The unemployed father of four children managed to evade electronic alarms as well as both palace
Foot Guards
-British Army:The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There have been six regiments of foot guards, five of which still exist. The Royal Guards Reserve Regiment was a reserve formation of the Household Brigade in existence from 1900-1901...

 and police guards.


It was the 32-year-old's second successful attempt to break into Buckingham Palace. On his first attempt, he scaled a drainpipe, briefly startling a housemaid who called security, who subsequently decided not to act. Fagan entered through an unlocked window on the roof and spent the next half hour eating cheddar cheese and crackers and wandering around. He tripped several alarms, but they were faulty. He viewed the royal portraits and rested on the throne for a while. He then entered the postroom, where the pregnant Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

 had hidden presents for her first son, William. He drank half a bottle of California white wine before becoming tired and leaving.

On the second attempt, an alarm sensor detected him. A worker in the Palace thought the alarm to be false, and silenced the alarm. En route to see the Queen, he broke a glass ashtray, lacerating his hand.

The Queen woke when he disturbed a curtain, after which he sat on the edge of her bed talking to her for about ten minutes. The Queen phoned twice for police but none came. He then asked for some cigarettes, which were brought by a maid. When the maid did not return to base for some time, footman
A footman is a male servant, notably as domestic staff.-Word history:The name derives from the attendants who ran beside or behind the carriages of aristocrats, many of whom were chosen for their physical attributes. They ran alongside the coach to make sure it was not overturned by such obstacles...

 Paul Whybrew
Paul Whybrew
Paul Kevin Whybrew, MVO, RVM is Queen Elizabeth II's page.-Role:His role as personal page to the Queen means that he has to cater to a significant proportion of the Monarchy's daily needs. He is given grace and favour accommodation by the Queen at Windsor Castle, Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House...

 appeared. The incident happened as the armed police officer outside the royal bedroom came off duty before his replacement arrived. He had been out walking the Queen's dogs.


Since it was then a civil wrong rather than a criminal offence, Michael Fagan was not charged for trespassing in the Queen's bedroom. He was charged with theft (of the half bottle of wine), but the charges were dropped when he was committed for psychiatric evaluation. He spent the next six months in a mental hospital before being released on 21 January 1983. It was not until 2007, when the Palace became a "designated site" for the purposes of section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
The Serious Organized Crime and Police Act 2005 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom aimed primarily at creating the Serious Organised Crime Agency, it also significantly extended and simplified the powers of arrest of a constable and introduced restrictions on protests in the...

, that what he did became illegal. Fagan's mother later said, "He thinks so much of the Queen. I can imagine him just wanting to simply talk and say hello and discuss his problems."

Other incidents

Similar incidents of undetected entry to the palace have happened before and since, including several spectacular intrusions by "the boy Jones
The boy Jones
Edward Jones , or the boy Jones, as he was called by the British newspapers of the early Victorian era, was a notorious intruder into Buckingham Palace between 1838 and 1841. He later became the subject of a children's book and the film The Mudlark...

" in the first years of the reign of Queen Victoria and a Fathers 4 Justice protester scaling the walls and unveiling a banner, while dressed as Batman
Batman is a fictional character created by the artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger. A comic book superhero, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 , and since then has appeared primarily in publications by DC Comics...

, in September 2004.

External links

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