How safe is Windsor

Buckingham Palace: How Safe is the Castle?

by Karen Diehn
After intruders have made it to Queen Elizabeth's residence, the question arises how such an incident could happen again. After all, Buckingham Palace is considered extremely well secured

Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth's London residence, is actually considered to be extremely well sealed off. A high fence surrounds the castle and the extensive garden, guards patrol and - together with other security measures inside - ensure that the royal family lives in one of the best-secured buildings in England. Actually. Since last week there have at least been doubts as to whether the Windsors, like the countless art treasures in the castle, are actually as safe as always assumed. As reported by the British media, the security measures are now being carefully checked.

This also seems necessary, because on Monday (September 2nd) two potential burglars and robbers gained access to the palace grounds. One of them was even picked up in one of the so-called "staterooms", which can only be viewed at certain times. Motion sensors had sounded the alarm and reported the intruder. Another suspect was reported by the "Mirror", among others, to have been arrested outside the palace. Both are now charged with burglary, trespassing and property damage.

Officials emphasized that there was no member of the royal family in the palace at the time of the break-in. There was no danger to the Queen or any of her relatives. Nevertheless, the police seem to be on heightened alert due to the intruders on Monday. As reported by "", just two days after the incident, Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth's second eldest son, was arrested by armed police while strolling through the gardens of Buckingham Palace. The Duke of York was not recognized, thought to be another unauthorized intruder, and stopped.

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It is not the first time that the security measures surrounding the royal family have been put to the test and the ease with which fences, barriers, secured doors and guards can apparently be overcome and tricked have stunned the British. In 1982, for example, Michael Fagan took advantage of the police's shift change and made it not only into the royal private rooms of the palace, but even into the queen's bedroom and in front of her bed. It wasn't until ten minutes later that the monarch's security guards rushed to the aid of the monarch.

Many royal observers certainly remembered one of the most spectacular events: In 1981, during "Trooping the Color", the Queen's birthday parade, the crowd fired several shots at the Queen and her companions, right in front of Buckingham Palace. While the queen quickly regained control of her mare Burmese, the shooter who had been standing behind the police-guarded barrier was arrested in the crowd. In March 2011, the car of Prince Charles and wife Camilla was surrounded by demonstrators, writes "Dailymail". The Duchess of Cornwall was attacked with a club through the open Rolls-Royce window. In 2003 a comedian made it very close to Prince William. At Windsor Castle, Aaron Barschak mingled with Williams' party guests as a "Comedy Terrorist".

The latest incident at Buckingham Palace is particularly spicy, according to The Guardian, as security measures around the royal family have been tightened since the birth of Prince Williams and Duchess Catherine's first child in July.