Stranger Who Freely Broke into Queen Elizabeth’s Bedroom in 1982 Proved Her Life Was Not Safe

Oyin Balogun
Nov 30, 2021
12:00 P.M.
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Being royalty means wealth, luxury, and all the security that could be bought; this is what the British royal house embodies. However, there have been a few loopholes, like when the Queen's bedroom was invaded.

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Buckingham Palace is no strange place to visitors, and it is no surprise that people love to look at the beautiful structure when the opportunity arises. However, while others have been satisfied with getting a glimpse from afar, there have been a few intruders.

A place as secured as Buckingham has gotten a few uninvited guests, and a series of events and information from reliable sources have proved this to be true. In 1982, the biggest security scandal occurred in British history.

Photo of scared Queen Elizabeth II [left]. Photo of famous Buckingham Palace intruder Michael Fagan [right]. | Photo: Getty Images

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INTRUDER AT BUCKINGHAM 

It was shocking when news broke that a man had freely taken a stroll in the chambers of the British monarch. Reports showed that the Queen had been in her bedroom when the event took place.

According to authorities' reports, a man named Michael Fagan made his way into royal history after climbing over the fence of Buckingham Palace, up a drainpipe, and onto the roof. It happened just before 7 a.m. on July 9, 1982.

Fagan, who came into the royal residence through an unlocked window, was reportedly a painter and decorator. Reports at the time of the event showed that Fagan, born in Clerkenwell, London, had been married since 1972 to a lady called Christine.

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Queen Elizabeth II during the Trooping the Colour ceremony marking her official birthday at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England | Photo: Getty Images

After finding his way into the Palace, Fagan spent some time wandering around the area and even triggered the alarm system twice. During the investigation, Fagan confirmed that he broke one of the Palace's ashtrays to get a piece of glass to cut through pigeon netting on the roof.

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Eventually, the man found his way into the residential wing of the Palace and, then, to the Queen's bedroom. During one of the numerous interviews conducted after the eventful day, Fagan said the authorities claimed he frightened the Queen. 

Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on April 5, 2020 in Windsor, England. | Photo: Getty Images

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During one of the numerous interviews conducted after the eventful day, Fagan told the Sun:

"They say she must have been frightened. I didn't frighten her too much, but I was quite shocked." 

He explained that Queen Elizabeth had been sleeping in her bed when he walked in. And, waking up and finding a strange face, the Queen immediately called security.

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The incident caused a major scandal in the public eye, which made UK Home Secretary William Whitelaw offer a resignation letter to the Queen. His resignation was declined.

However, it also turned out this wasn't the first time Fagan had tried entering the Palace uninvited. According to reports, the intruder had successfully entered the room of a royal worker, Sarah Carter, in the past.

The incident at Carter's quarters happened several weeks before Fagan was discovered and arrested at the Queen's chambers. He was able to get away the first time because he had wandered to a different section of the residence before Carter could fetch security.

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THE INTRUDER'S STATEMENT 

According to several statements from the famous royal intruder, he meant no harm and wasn't aware the room he walked into was the Queen's. He confirmed he had wanted to see the British monarch but had no plans of breaking into her private space.

Further reports showed that most of the Royal bedroom doors had a brass plate with names written on paper, but Fagan swore the Queen's bedroom door had no title or indication that it was for the British monarch. 

After being discovered, Fagan was taken to the Queen's pantry, where footman Paul Whybrew gave him a glass of Grouse whisky as they waited for the police to arrive.

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THE ARREST

Fagan was taken away by authorities to Canon Row police station, where Special Branch detectives interrogated him. But in a statement made, the famous intruder revealed that police officials were later satisfied he wasn't a threat.

The decorator wasn't charged with trespassing because it was considered a civil offense, not a crime under British law. He was instead brought to trial for burglary relating to the first time he broke in.

However, during the trial, Fagan revealed other exciting details of things he did while wandering around the Palace, including drinking wine and his role in an unrelated car theft for which he got charged.

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DURING TRIAL

Fagan sure had a lot of time to explore the royal residence. In a court statement, it was revealed that the 1982 trespasser had entered room 108, where the public's gifts for the baby expected by the Princess of Wales were being stored on his first visit.

While he was there, he treated himself to a bottle of wine he found in the cabinet. According to Fagan, he drank half of the bottle and waited to be captured. But since he wasn't discovered, he went home freely.

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MORE ON FAGAN

In the years that followed, Fagan became famous for bypassing the security at the Palace and was constantly up for interviews. However, the public will get more insights into Fagan's story on "The Crown." 

"The Crown" is a Netflix-original drama that documents the life of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s to recent times. It, however, chronicles how Fagan was able to get into the Queen's bedroom at Buckingham Palace, unnoticed.

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OTHER TIMES THE PALACE GOT INTRUDED

There is no doubt Buckingham has one of the best security systems globally, but certain events have led to the presence of occasional uninvited guests. And apart from Fagan, there have been other trespassers.

In 2019, a young unarmed man climbed over the fence and found his way into Buckingham Palace. The 22-year-old intruder successfully got past the CCTV and heat sensors.

Police detained the young man, but security was still concerned as he was a few meters away from the Queen's quarters. This event happened almost 37 years after the famous Fagan invasion.

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