Buckingham Palace has been thrust into lockdown following a major security incident outside the renowned landmark’s grounds.
At approximately 7:00 pm (local time) on Tuesday, May 2 officers apprehended a man who had approached the gates of Buckingham Palace and allegedly hurled several objects, which are believed to be shotgun cartridges, onto the Palace grounds. The items were promptly retrieved and are expected to undergo specialised examination.
Upon searching the suspect, a knife was allegedly discovered by police, leading to his arrest on suspicion of carrying an offensive weapon. No firearm was reportedly found in his possession.
After discovering a suspicious bag, the authorities cordoned off the area, and specialists were summoned to assess the situation. As a precautionary measure, a controlled explosion was conducted.
“Officers worked immediately to detain the man and he has been taken into police custody,” Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Joseph McDonald said.
“There have been no reports of any shots fired, or any injuries to officers or members of the public.
“Officers remain at the scene and further enquiries are ongoing.”
Cordons around the area have now been removed.
A man has been arrested outside Buckingham Palace after he threw a number of items – suspected to be shotgun cartridges – into the Palace grounds.
At this time it is not being treated as terror related.
Read more: https://t.co/QCsytAdf8C
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) May 2, 2023
As events were unfolding, British politician Jacob Rees-Mogg happened to be present in the vicinity. According to a statement given to GB News, he was awaiting his turn to discuss the upcoming coronation in an on-air appearance.
“People came to us using yellow tabards to say there was an incident and we all had to go. Just an element, of I fear, not ‘keep calm and carry on’ [but] ‘let’s hustle and bustle’,” he said.
Although there were fears that King Charles was present at the Palace during the incident, reports indicate that he was with Camilla, the Queen Consort, at Clarence House.
The incident comes as the United Kingdom prepares to celebrate King Charles III’s coronation on May 6.
The historic weekend will commence its celebrations with the coronation of Charles and Camilla at Westminster Abbey, presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury who will oversee the solemn ceremony.
According to the DailyMail, Charles’ coronation will be “more religiously and culturally diverse.”
The Palace had previously stated that this year’s coronation will “reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future” but will still be “rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry”.
Upon the conclusion of the coronation service, the newly crowned sovereign will be accompanied by fellow members of the Royal Family in a grand procession towards Buckingham Palace, culminating in their highly anticipated appearance on the iconic Palace balcony.