Queen caught up in major new security scare as two intruders break into Windsor estate weeks after Philip's funeral
THE Queen has been caught up in a major new security scare after two intruders broke into her Windsor estate.
Police arrested two intruders — a man, 31, and his girlfriend, 29 — after they scaled fences at Windsor’s Royal Lodge last Sunday.
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The spot is near where Her Majesty, 95, walks her beloved corgis and goes riding.
Six days earlier a woman was mistakenly let into the lodge grounds by guards. Prince Andrew, 61, lives there and is understood to have been at home each time.
The grieving Queen, living at nearby Windsor Castle, has been a regular visitor since the death of husband Philip.
'HEADS COULD ROLL'
Ken Wharfe, Princess Diana’s personal protection officer for seven years, said last night: “When you take these incidents into account then it is a farce.
“It is totally unacceptable and makes the Queen vulnerable. This is very worrying and things really need to change.”
In the latest drama, on April 25, police found the intruders in the lodge grounds which include All Saints Chapel where the Queen goes to service.
The pair were arrested and taken to Maidenhead police station. They were later released on police bail pending further inquiries.
It is totally unacceptable and makes the Queen vulnerable.
A source added: “This is an astonishing lapse. Everyone was on high alert after the first intruder, now this happens. Heads could roll. It is unforgivable.
“The couple wandered around for ages before anyone spotted them and police were called.
“Andrew was at home at the time. You have to wonder what on Earth is going on up there.”
On Monday April 19, a woman believed to be a Spanish national aged 44, turned up at a lodge gate in a taxi.
She claimed that she was Andrew’s fiancée and said they had a lunch appointment.
Guards waved her in and she spent 20 minutes walking around before going into the lodge where she was stopped in the lobby.
She was arrested on suspicion of burglary and later sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
The two lapses raise questions over whether the Queen would be better off at Buckingham Palace.
But royal biographer Penny Junor said Her Majesty prefers staying at Windsor.
She said: “No one would wish to deprive the Queen of seeking solace wherever she chooses but it is worrying that security should be so lax around a building where she is such a frequent visitor.
“Andrew was in. By the grace of God, the Queen wasn’t. But she might well have been.
It’s time to beef up security
By Penny Junor, Royal Biographer
IT is worrying the Queen’s security is so lax.
It is less than two weeks since a woman blagged her way into
Andrew’s home, Royal Lodge. We now learn it has happened again.
Andrew was in the lodge, the Queen wasn’t, but she might well have been.
There was a time when nowhere was totally secure. Michael Fagan managed to climb over the perimeter fence and into Buckingham Palace twice in the 1980s.
Today security there is state-of-the-art.
But Buckingham Palace is not homely. It is a functional building with few creature comforts.
The Queen feels more at home at Windsor.
So she must either return to London and be safe, or beef up security elsewhere. My vote would be the latter.
“She has been spending increasing amounts of time with Andrew since the Duke’s death.
“Today security at Buckingham Palace is state-of-the-art — and possibly the only royal residence that is.”
The couple wandered around for ages before anyone spotted them and police were called.
The Queen has spent the past seven months at the castle due to Covid restrictions.
She arrived in September after a short break at Balmoral and Sandringham.
Due to “HMS Bubble” rules she has not been inside Buckingham Palace since March last year.
She regularly walks and rides in the grounds of the lodge, where Andrew has lived since his divorce from Sarah Ferguson.
The Met provides full-time, armed security to royals at their palaces and homes.
Only senior royals have full-time, round-the-clock bodyguards.
The Met’s Special Escort Group provides mobile armed protection when royals are travelling.
The Thames Valley force provides general policing around the castle. The Queen is also guarded by the Foot Guards of the Household Division based at Victoria Barracks, just outside the castle walls.
Other security lapses at Windsor include comic Aaron Barschak dressing as Osama Bin Laden to gatecrash William’s 21st birthday party at the castle in 2003.
In March 2012 an intruder scaled a fence at the castle and got within yards of the Queen’s private apartments before being captured.
Security fears were raised last year during a planning application to move the Royal Collection Trust’s retail HQ out of the castle and into Windsor Great Park.
Documents said: “Security of the Home Park and castle is becoming tighter and as part of this it is intended to reduce incoming vehicle movements.”
Dai Davies, head of the Met’s Royal Protection Unit in the 1990s, said: “The Queen likes to wander around the grounds at Windsor.
“But nobody should be allowed inside in any shape or form.”
Andrew is often photographed driving three miles across the Great Park to see the Queen at her private apartments. His 30-room Royal Lodge has two security gate posts for visitors.
The mansion is surrounded by miles of fences, walls and trees, which run through the royal park where the latest intruders are believed to have gained access.
Andrew’s daughters Beatrice, 32, and Eugenie, 31, and their families often visit him and their mum Sarah, who also lives there.
Thames Valley Police confirmed officers were called to reports of two trespassers in the lodge grounds on the afternoon of Sunday, April 25.
Fence is not being guarded
By Ken Wharfe, Diana’s protection officer
THE perimeter protection at Royal Lodge is insufficient — it needs an immediate review. It’s serious.
The fence is not being guarded effectively. Who next will jump over?
Once you’re over, garden vegetation gives you cover to get closer to the house.
The Queen would expect the police to sort this.
If someone can wander around a protected area for 20 minutes, then this is of serious concern.
These breaches are serious enough to warrant an urgent review, since the perimeter protection would appear to be unguarded manually and likely not to be covered by CCTV.
Perimeter security, it would appear, is not being taken seriously.
Any trespasser with serious intention to do harm would feel confident having scaled the fencing.
A spokesman added: “Two people, a 29-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man, both from London, were arrested on suspicion of being found in or upon enclosed premises.
“They have been released under investigation while inquiries continue. There was no risk to any individual on the site.”
Buckingham Palace said it did not comment on security issues. The Met Police also said it would not comment.
The Sun on Sunday says
THERE are few higher priorities than the safety of our head of state.
So it is astonishing that intruders could so easily penetrate the grounds of Windsor where the Queen walks her dogs.
As we reveal today, two people managed to clamber over fences around Prince Andrew’s home near the Castle.
Six days before that a woman claiming to be the Prince’s fiancée was ushered into the Royal Lodge by guards.
Cops who guard Her Majesty must sharpen up their act.
Royal palaces shouldn’t be open to any Tom, Dick… or Harry.
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