Put your hands up: UK cops to prince Andrew

Sep 08, 2013, 23:49 IST | Agencies

Armed police shouted at the Duke of York at Buckingham Palace to 'put your hands up and get on the ground'; the prince accepted their apology, saying 'sometimes they get it wrong'

The Duke of York has accepted an apology from police after he was mistaken for an intruder in the gardens of Buckingham Palace because “sometimes they get it wrong”.

Royal mix-up: The Duke of York was ordered to verify his identity by armed police officers in Buckingham Palace gardens. File Pic/Getty Images

Prince Andrew (53) said that he was “grateful” for the apology, adding that the police have a difficult job to do and he is looking forward to “a safe walk in the garden in the future”.

He was challenged by two officers as he took a stroll in the evening sunshine just 48 hours after a break-in at the Queen’s home.

Scotland Yard have confirmed that a man was ordered to verify his identity by officers, although have added that no weapons were drawn as was first reported.

Prince Andrew said in a statement: “The police have a difficult job to do balancing security for the Royal Family and deterring intruders, and sometimes they get it wrong. I am grateful for their apology and look forward to a safe walk in the garden in the future.”

An urgent security review has been launched following the suspected burglary on Monday night. Police said a man was found shortly in an area currently open to the public during the day and has been arrested for burglary, trespass and criminal damage.

A second man was arrested outside the palace for conspiracy to commit burglary. Both men have been bailed to return to a central London police station while enquiries continue.

Two days later, Prince Andrew was walking in the gardens away from the palace when he was approached by the officers who sources claim ordered him to get to the ground before he identified himself.

The Duke is understood to have been “livid” and admonished those involved. A Scotland Yeard spokesperson said, “We are grateful to The Duke for his understanding and have apologised for any inconvenience caused.”

A Buckingham Palace source said, “It’s fair to say that to describe the Duke as unhappy and the two officers as highly embarrassed is the biggest understatement of the century.”

Prince Andrew is fifth in line to the throne, having been bumped by the recent birth of Prince William’s and Kate Middleton’s first child, Prince George.  

Security breach
The break-in is one of the most serious security breaches at the palace since 1982, when Michael Fagan evaded guards to get inside the Queen's private chambers while she was still in bed. The unemployed father-of-four, spent around 10 minutes talking to the Queen after he climbed over the palace walls and up a drainpipe. The Queen managed to raise the alarm when Fagan asked for a cigarette, allowing her to call for a footman who held him until police arrived. 

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