Queen Elizabeth's 1982 Break-in

A little over 30 years ago, a man broke into Buckingham Palace in an attempt to communicate with Queen Elizabeth. According to The Guardian, he made several prior visits to the palace and gained entry after only one unsuccessful attempt.

Fortunately, the intruder, Michael Fagan, meant no harm to the Queen or her family; however, the incident was unsettling to the royal family as well as to most citizens of the UK. Even though the Queen was calm and actually spoke with the intruder, at that time, she was unaware of his true intentions.

Of course, the incident drew serious concerns. Supposedly, 18 months before the break-in, Buckingham Palace had increased its security substantially. People wondered how poor the security in the palace was prior to the incident.  People also pondered a more serious issue; that is, suppose the intruder had been a terrorist? According to the BBC, Fagan's illegal entry was the sixth breach of security during that year, and so far, it was only the beginning of July.

According to a recent article in The Telegraph, Fagan wondered the palace premises, while two alarms alerted the police. However, law enforcement and palace guards believed the alarms were errors and turned them off. Meanwhile, the not-so-stealth Fagan entered the palace, unhindered by security. He scaled a 14-foot wall topped with revolving spikes and barbed wire. He also managed to get by a web of sensors and trip wires and remained undetected by palace guards and their dogs. He did; however, lose his shoes somewhere on the roof.

Fagan's entrance into Buckingham Palace remains one of Britain's most embarrassing security breaches ever, especially since he relates his experience to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. For quite a  while, he roamed freely in the palace, stopping briefly to relax in Prince Charles' room and drink a half bottle of cheap Californian wine that he found there.

His excursion did not end there. Fagan decided to try each of the thrones as he chuckled to himself while testing each of the cushions. Each room was labeled as to whom it belonged; however, he could not find a room with the label "WC," and, after a brief moment of panic, decided his only recourse was to relieve himself in a bin labelled "Corgi food." According to Fagan, he did not want to be impolite and relieve himself on the floor.

Fagan reported that the Queen calmly called her guards, who escorted him out of the palace. However, before he left, they gave him a glass of whisky because they told him that it appeared as if he needed a drink.

Authorities initially charged Fagan with stealing a half a bottle of wine, but dropped the charges later.

Fortunately, this story ended well. Neither the Queen nor her family was harmed, because the intruder was no more than an eccentric individual. The greatest harm was the subsequent embarrassment caused to the guards and police, who should have been on their toes and not disregarded the alarms. Hopefully, the Corgis' handlers realized that some of their food was tainted before feeding them.

This story could have ended a lot worse. The Queen could have been harmed or even killed. Instead of an amusing anecdote, history could be telling a more chilling story.

The royal family and Buckingham Palace intrigued Fagan; however, the common burglar is not as interested in your home as he is in your possessions. He may not want to harm you, but if he is armed, he may if caught in the act.

The correct home security system can save your life.


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