Queen's guard points his rifle at an 'intruder'

Apr 07, 2014, 08:08 IST | Agencies

A soldier levelled his bayonet at a ranting man’s neck, stopping him from trying to force his way into Buckingham Palace

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.”

Previous threats to Queen’s palace

1. Victor Miller, a 37-year-old DJ, was arrested last September in the palace grounds and was later booked for trespassing. He scaled a 12-feet fence to breach palace security, before being tracked down and taken into custody at a location ‘open to the public during the day’. The intruder is said to have made his way to the State Rooms where all the Queen’s priceless paintings, by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Titian, are kept.

2. In February of last year, police officers had to subdue a man with a Taser after he brandished a knife outside the palace gates. Talhat Rehman, 54, was filmed holding the blade to his own neck. The middle-aged man walked through crowds of tourists clutching two large kitchen knives before police surrounded him and used a Taser stun gun to disarm him.

Avg number of visitors to the Buckingham Palace per day

Car seat protest
While the Palace faces security threats, Prince George’s car seat is facing protests before Wills-Kate’s trip to Wellington. New Zealand’s national childcare advisory agency Plunket, issued photos fitting a Maxi-Cosi baby seat into the official car that will transport the visitors. But parents immediately pointed out that the seat is forward-facing, despite Plunket’s strict guidelines telling parents to carry children in rear-facing car seats until the age of two to limit whiplash in an accident.

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