London: An armed Queen’s Guard raised his rifle at a ranting potential intruder outside Buckingham Palace in a ‘shocking’ drama outside the royal gates. The tense encounter came after the man, who was seen at the north centre gate of the palace, had spent five minutes shouting at royal protection officers.

On the job: According to a tourist, the man’s encounter with police escalated before the armed soldier rushed to the scene. File Pic/Getty Images

The guard, dressed in the traditional red uniform and bearskin hat, reportedly strode 50 yards from his post to up the pressure in the confrontation. Witnesses described how his raised weapon, with an attached bayonet, was levelled at the throat of the man as they exchanged heated words on Friday afternoon. Tourist Gareth Scanlan, 32, told how the man’s encounter with police escal

ated before the armed soldier rushed to the scene. Scanlan said that when confronted the bayonet, the would-be intruder said ‘Oh you’re a big boy now’ to the soldier — thought to be Scottish — who in turned replied, ‘Yes I am a big boy’ before pushing him.

Royal protection officers then ushered the man away, though he was not arrested.

It is unusual for soldiers to leave their post unless a Royal is under threat, as the Metropolitan Police are responsible for most issues related to guarding the palace. But it is believed that the soldier who intervened has the backing of his superiors.

The Metropolitan police said that they gave the man ‘words of advice’. A Metropolitan police spokesperson said, “An incident occurred at the north centre gate of Buckingham Palace at approximately 17.50hrs on Friday 4th April. ‘Officers from Royalty protection spoke to a male and he was given words of advice. There were no arrests.”