Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Look Back at Palace Security


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Bill Gibbons

Bill Gibbons

    Forum Convert

  • Members
  • 482 posts

Posted 11 December 2010 - 07:43 PM

With the recent attack on Charles & Camilla's limousine by "protestors," it might be worth a look at another infamous breech of security, this time at Buckingham Palace by Michael Fagan.


Early on Friday morning, July 9, 1982, the Queen awoke to find a strange man sitting at the end of her bed. The man, dressed in jeans and a dirty T-shirt, was cradling a broken ashtray and dripping blood onto the royal linens from a lacerated hand. The Queen kept calm and picked up the phone from her bedside table. She asked the operator at the palace switchboard to summon the police. Though the operator did pass the message to the police, the police didn't even respond. Newspaper reports at the time stated that the intruder, 31-year-old Michael Fagan, had planned to commit suicide in the Queen's bedroom but decided it wasn't "a nice thing to do" once he was there. We laster leanred that Fagan wanted to "talk about love" but the Queen changed the subject to family matters. Fagan's mother later said, "He thinks so much of the Queen. I can imagine him just wanting to simply talk and say hello and discuss his problems." Blimey, couldn't he just write to the advice column in "The Sun" newspaper? Fagan thought it a coincidence that he and the Queen both had four children.

The Queen then attempted to summon a chambermaid by pressing a button, but no one came. The Queen and Fagan continued to talk. When Fagan asked for a cigarette, the Queen again called the palace switchboard. Unbelievably, no one responded. After the Queen had spent ten minutes with the mentally disturbed, bleeding intruder, a chambermaid entered the Queen's quarters and exclaimed, "Bloody hell, ma'am! What's he doing in there?" The chambermaid then ran out and woke up a footman who then seized the intruder. The police arrived twelve minutes after the Queen's first call.

So, how did Fagan get into the palace?

This wasn't the first time that protection of the royal monarch had been found lacking, but it had supposedly been increased since the 1981 attack on the Queen (a youth fired six blanks at her with a replica handgun during the Trooping the Color ceremony). Yet Michael Fagan simply walked into Buckingham Palace - twice. Only a month before, Fagan had stolen a $6 bottle of wine from the palace. Around 6 a.m. Fagan climbed the 14-foot-high wall - topped with spikes and barbed-wire - on the southeast side of the palace. Though an off-duty policeman saw Fagan climbing the wall, by the time he had alerted palace guards, Fagan could not be found. Fagan then walked along the south side of the palace and then along the west side. There, he found an open window and climbed in, only to find that he had entered a room housing King George V's $20 million stamp collection. Since the door to the interior of the palace was locked, Fagan went back outside through the window. An alarm had been set off both as Fagan entered and exited the Stamp Room through the window, but the moron, er, copper at the sub-station (on palace grounds) assumed the alarm was malfunctioning and turned it off - twice!

Fagan then went back as he had come, along the west side of the palace, and then continuing along the south side (past his point of entry), and then along the east side. Here, he climbed up a drainpipe, pulled back some wire (meant to keep pigeons away) and climbed into Vice Admiral Sir Peter Ashmore's office (the man responsible for the Queen's security). Fagan then walked down the hallway, looking at paintings and into rooms. Along his way, he picked up a glass ashtray and broke it, cutting his hand. He passed a palace housekeeper who said "good morning" (she didn't even stop and ask the scruffy, dishevelled man who he was), and only a few minutes later he walked right into the Queen's bedroom.

Normally, an armed policeman stands guard outside the Queen's door at night. When his shift is over at 6 a.m. he is replaced with an unarmed footman. At this particular time, the footman was out walking the Queen's corgis, leaving our reigning monarch completely unprotected.

When the public learned of this incident, they were shocked and outraged at the lapse of security around their Queen. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher personally apologized to the Queen and measures were immediately taken to strengthen palace security. I was an in-house security officer working in London at the time, in the Marble Arch area.

Was anyone here a serving officer in the Met in 1982?



#2 E29NP

E29NP

    Forum Obsessed!

  • Members
  • 8,429 posts

Posted 11 December 2010 - 11:31 PM

With the recent attack on Charles & Camilla's limousine by "protestors," it might be worth a look at another infamous breech of security, this time at Buckingham Palace by Michael Fagan.


Looking back at an incident that SEG had absolutely nothing to do with!

Are you a Daily Mail fan?

#3 FPO

FPO

    Forum Convert

  • Members
  • 478 posts

Posted 12 December 2010 - 12:28 AM

A footman... I wonder what family one must come from to become a footman? :)

#4 Headset57

Headset57

    Forum Obsessed!

  • Members
  • 5,032 posts

Posted 12 December 2010 - 01:12 AM

A footman... I wonder what family one must come from to become a footman? :)


and most of that is not true either, as i prefer the correct version that my colleague of 30+ ( ex Met RPS ) years says when he tells the stor.

#5 Bill Gibbons

Bill Gibbons

    Forum Convert

  • Members
  • 482 posts

Posted 12 December 2010 - 03:57 AM

and most of that is not true either, as i prefer the correct version that my colleague of 30+ ( ex Met RPS ) years says when he tells the stor.



Unless certain details were never released? And I'm sure your colleague of 30 years may tell you a different version of the events, but the basic facts are indisputable;

Michael Fagan DID get into the palace.

He DID wander around the palace unchallenged

He DID walk into the Queen's bedroom and was sitting on her bed when she awoke

She DID have to wait longer was should have been necessary before police officers arrived on the scene

He could easily have been an assassin. Thankfully, he was a harmless idiot .

And no, I'm not a fan of the Daily Mail, although there are worse newspapers out there one could be reading.

#6 Bill Gibbons

Bill Gibbons

    Forum Convert

  • Members
  • 482 posts

Posted 12 December 2010 - 04:11 AM

This from the Sunday Telegraph, December 12th, 2010.



Most recently - until yesterday – the Queen’s most senior bodyguard, Chief Supt Ian Boyes, was suspended after accidentally firing a shot inside the palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh as he cleaned the loaded gun. It is not known if the Queen was in the building at the time.

Again, we cannot be certain of the accuracy in the details of this report as yet, but Who cleans a loaded firearm? Every pimply faced squaddie undergoing their basic training (ah, the memories) learns three golden rules:

1. NEVER point a weapon at anyone (unless you are going to shot them)
2. When receiving your weapon from the armoury, always check to see if the weapon is loaded
3. Before cleaning the weapon, ensure that the magazine has been removed and that the breech is clear.

Anybody else hear anything about this incident involving Chief Superintendent Boyes?





Sorry, forgot to post the reference: http://www.telegraph...yal-family.html

#7 E29NP

E29NP

    Forum Obsessed!

  • Members
  • 8,429 posts

Posted 12 December 2010 - 09:01 AM

I really don't what the relevance of a 28 year old past incident, has anything to do with what happened a couple of days ago.

#8 rider900

rider900

    Learning the Ropes

  • Members
  • 125 posts

Posted 12 December 2010 - 09:33 AM

I really don't what the relevance of a 28 year old past incident, has anything to do with what happened a couple of days ago.


I do, it's a debate of national security to our royals. If in the group of protesters was an armed gunman, bomber etc Charles and camilla could have been seriously injured or worse. In 1982, the Queen could have potentially been killed, and it's the same for what happened the other day. It's a debate whether our national security is good enough in protecting our Royal Family.

#9 E29NP

E29NP

    Forum Obsessed!

  • Members
  • 8,429 posts

Posted 12 December 2010 - 09:45 AM

I do, it's a debate of national security to our royals. If in the group of protesters was an armed gunman, bomber etc Charles and camilla could have been seriously injured or worse. In 1982, the Queen could have potentially been killed, and it's the same for what happened the other day. It's a debate whether our national security is good enough in protecting our Royal Family.


Roll up the armchair experts on all things Royalty Protection wise!

#10 MattM

MattM

    Forum Convert

  • Members
  • 482 posts

Posted 12 December 2010 - 10:12 AM

I do, it's a debate of national security to our royals. If in the group of protesters was an armed gunman, bomber etc Charles and camilla could have been seriously injured or worse. In 1982, the Queen could have potentially been killed, and it's the same for what happened the other day. It's a debate whether our national security is good enough in protecting our Royal Family.


If i remember correctly this was caused because the protesters deviated from their route which happened to co incide with the route the royals took.

So if anything the officers who were supposed to be maintaining the corden should of let control know.

#11 rider900

rider900

    Learning the Ropes

  • Members
  • 125 posts

Posted 12 December 2010 - 11:29 AM

If i remember correctly this was caused because the protesters deviated from their route which happened to co incide with the route the royals took.

So if anything the officers who were supposed to be maintaining the corden should of let control know.


Yeah exactly, although obviously I like the Police and think it's wrong when the meadia wrongly criticise them, on this occasion however it was bad communication which led to the event. Police who were on that street should of informed control of the protestors moving, so control could inform the Royal escort.

#12 Bill Gibbons

Bill Gibbons

    Forum Convert

  • Members
  • 482 posts

Posted 12 December 2010 - 08:57 PM

Roll up the armchair experts on all things Royalty Protection wise!



I don't know who the "armchair experts" migh be, but I've been on RPD (Royal Protection Duty) both as a squaddie and as a security guard in the UK. More recently, I was providing security for a federal cabinet minister in Calgary. It doesn't matter how well the preparations are, things can still go wrong. But as long as everyone individually remembers that if YOU do YOUR job right, then the risks and threats can be minimized.

#13 Onlyme2008

Onlyme2008

    Veteran

  • Members
  • 1,918 posts

Posted 12 December 2010 - 09:30 PM

I don't know who the "armchair experts" migh be, but I've been on RPD (Royal Protection Duty) both as a squaddie and as a security guard in the UK. More recently, I was providing security for a federal cabinet minister in Calgary. It doesn't matter how well the preparations are, things can still go wrong. But as long as everyone individually remembers that if YOU do YOUR job right, then the risks and threats can be minimized.


Has I said the route and car was a bad choice, the trouble in London was well known. Being has it is said that Camilla had a stick poked in her side, how luckily it was just a stick,

#14 Headset57

Headset57

    Forum Obsessed!

  • Members
  • 5,032 posts

Posted 12 December 2010 - 10:04 PM

Yeah exactly, although obviously I like the Police and think it's wrong when the meadia wrongly criticise them, on this occasion however it was bad communication which led to the event. Police who were on that street should of informed control of the protestors moving, so control could inform the Royal escort.


like the officers on the cordons knew their was a royal team out and about, they had bigger fisheys to catch, not on the same links or control box. :lol:

Edited by Head Dancer 257, 12 December 2010 - 10:33 PM.


#15 MrBlonde

MrBlonde

    Forum Legend

  • Members
  • 2,673 posts

Posted 13 December 2010 - 08:21 AM

Anybody else hear anything about this incident involving Chief Superintendent Boyes?

Yep, blogged about it when it happened, see my signature. I agree with the firearms handling info and no you don't clean a loaded weapon but my guess is that saying it went off while cleaning sounds 'slightly' better than saying it was an ND while messing about with it etc (or whatever really happened)

I really don't what the relevance of a 28 year old past incident, has anything to do with what happened a couple of days ago.

Indeed, residence security versus mobile security are very different, different people with different training are in the role now and technical measures at the Palace will nodoubt be much improved now (probably had a major upgrade the same time they did Downing Street after the '91 IRA attack)

I do, it's a debate of national security to our royals. If in the group of protesters was an armed gunman, bomber etc Charles and camilla could have been seriously injured or worse. In 1982, the Queen could have potentially been killed, and it's the same for what happened the other day. It's a debate whether our national security is good enough in protecting our Royal Family.


If i remember correctly this was caused because the protesters deviated from their route which happened to co incide with the route the royals took.

So if anything the officers who were supposed to be maintaining the corden should of let control know.


The Royals are people, they have wants and needs and they are not inanimate objects you can wrap up in whatever security you deem necessary.
You always need to balace the security YOU want with the requests of the Principal. Charles loves his classic Phantom and that's what HE decided to travel in and that was half of the problem - if he'd been in one of the armoured Range Rovers or new Jag XJ there wouldn't have been a problem, but it was his choice, he's the boss. If his team flatly refused to let him travel in the Rolls and make his engagement because of what was happening in London, he'd have had the lot of them removed from his protection, got someone else and still gone in his choice of motor.

There are so many engagements that Royalty Protection can't do a full work up and advance every time, so they do a dynamic risk assessment on the job; whomever was feeding the guys on the ground info about the mob either failed to let the protection team know trouble was heading there way (unlikely), or it was decided to push ahead and try and arrive before things got too bad - it far safer to protect the VIP once they are inside a building than while on-route and diving off up a side road could have lead to more trouble if they found themselves facing another mob while moving away from the known route and any protection they had planned to meet there or was already in place at the venue.

Edited by MrBlonde, 13 December 2010 - 08:23 AM.


#16 Cuddles

Cuddles

    Mischievous Northern monkey

  • Moderators
  • 5,780 posts

Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:55 AM

I don't think this belongs in News but it's not quite Locker Room material either...

#17 MattM

MattM

    Forum Convert

  • Members
  • 482 posts

Posted 13 December 2010 - 10:42 AM

I don't think this belongs in News but it's not quite Locker Room material either...


General Discussion?

#18 Cuddles

Cuddles

    Mischievous Northern monkey

  • Moderators
  • 5,780 posts

Posted 13 December 2010 - 10:50 AM

General Discussion?


Yep, I'll go with that. If it doesn't go down well it's your fault :aok:

#19 SkinSte

SkinSte

    Forum Obsessed!

  • Members
  • 6,614 posts

Posted 13 December 2010 - 03:08 PM

Roll up the armchair experts on all things Royalty Protection wise!


I think you're being very unfair to Sleighwhatever. Nothing in their post indicates arm-chair expert, just a staement that they can see the link between two incidents involving the Royal Family and their security. I thought that was pretty obvious myself but each to their own.

#20 E29NP

E29NP

    Forum Obsessed!

  • Members
  • 8,429 posts

Posted 13 December 2010 - 03:16 PM

I think you're being very unfair to Sleighwhatever. Nothing in their post indicates arm-chair expert, just a staement that they can see the link between two incidents involving the Royal Family and their security. I thought that was pretty obvious myself but each to their own.


Just because I quoted his post, did not necessarily mean I was directing it at him.

Sleigh Rider, I aplogise if it seemed that way. SkinSte, don't be quick to jump the gun :(

#21 SkinSte

SkinSte

    Forum Obsessed!

  • Members
  • 6,614 posts

Posted 13 December 2010 - 03:31 PM

Well it's hard to see whoelse it was directed at so there was no gun-jumping on my part.




0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users