The changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Queen's Guards rotate shifts at Buckingham Palace

A Queen's Guard was photographed pointing a rifle at a potential Buckingham Palace intruder as tensions escalated outside the London home of the Queen.

Reports claimed the soldier strode from his post to confront the man who had been shouting in the guard's direction for five minutes at the palace gates.

Witnesses saw the guard raise the weapon, which was fixed with a bayonet, at the would-be intruder, who said: "Oh you're a big boy now", to the soldier, who replied: "Yes I am a big boy", before pushing him.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) confirmed there had been an incident outside the palace, adding that officers from Royalty protection issued advice to the man, who was not arrested.

Security at the palace is mainly dealt with by the MPS but Queen's Guards are also on hand to protect the palace.

Royalty Protection

Royalty Protection is responsible for:

  • Personal protection for the Royal Family, both nationally and internationally.
  • Protecting Royal residences in London, Windsor and Scotland.
  • Protecting members of the public who visit Royal residences.
  • Personal protection for members of certain Royal families visiting the UK.
  • Special Escort Group mobile protection for protected persons, high risk prisoners and high value property.
  • Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (FTAC) is responsible for assessment and intervention in relation to people fixated on protected persons and sites.

Source: Metropolitan Police Service

Royal Security Lapses

Michael Fagan
Michael Fagan climbed into the Queen's bedroom at Buckingham Palace

The incident was not the first time security has been breached at Buckingham Palace . The most famous case came in 1982 when Michael Fagan was able to break into the palace for ten minutes, even starting a conversation with the Queen.

The 33-year-old scaled Buckingham Palace's 14ft perimeter wall and climbed up a drainpipe before wandering into the Queen's bedroom. The Queen was said to have remained calm and alerted security when the intruder asked for a cigarette lighter.

Security at the palace was top of the agenda again in 2003 when a Daily Mirror journalist Ryan Parry managed to get a job as a footman in the build-up to the high profile visit by US president George Bush.

Jason Hatch
Jason Hatch scaled Buckingham Palace in 2004 as part of a Fathers 4 Justice protest

Parry worked for two months in the palace after using a false reference to get the job. The breach prompted Buckingham Palace to appoint a new director of security and review security.

Just one year later though, Jason Hatch abseiled onto the palace balcony dressed as Batman in a Fathers 4 Justice protest.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens later said if officers had judged the intruder a terrorist he would have been shot.

In 2013 a man was arrested for burglary, trespass and criminal damage after he was found in one of the royal state rooms.

The man was said to have triggered a motion sensor after trying to smash a door with a fire extinguisher.