While the UK continues its celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Ministry of Defence has launched an urgent investigation into a shock security blunder after a man falsely impersonating a priest conned his way into spending the night at barracks close to Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth permanently resides.
According to The Sun, the conman had approached soldiers at the gate of Victoria Barracks claiming to be a priest and friend of padre to the Coldstream Guards at the base.
Despite being unable to provide proof of his identity or credentials, the imposter was allowed entrance into the bracks where he spent the night drinking, eating, and spinning stories to senior officers.
“It was only later when he started talking about how he had worked as an ejector-seat test pilot and had some organs replaced that the chaps started to get suspicious,” a source told the publication.
The alarm was only raised the next morning after the imposter had eaten breakfast and spent the night on the castle’s grounds.
By the time police had escorted the man off the premises, he had already stayed on site for 16 hours.
The barracks is only 250 metres away from Windsor Castle, and though Her Majesty had returned to her home hours after the incident, Metropolitan Police commander John O’Conner condemns the guard’s “lackadaisical attitude”.
“The timing is very serious. They should already be on full alert for the Jubilee. We are still under a continuing threat from terrorists…” he said.
The new scare comes months after a 19-year-old man with a crossbow was arrested on the grounds of the castle after he wanted to “assassinate the Queen” in a “revenge” mission, which led to new security arrangements including a no-fly zone restriction over Windsor.
In the past, the castle has been the scene of numerous security blunders and attempted terrorist attacks.
Last April, Prince Andrew faced a major security scare after a woman was arrested inside his home after walking around the gardens of the Duke’s residence and insisted she was there to have lunch with the royal who she also claimed was her fiance.
In 2017, Uber driver Mohiussunnath Chowdhury attempted to stage an attack on the castle but somehow managed to find himself at a pub called Windsor Castle instead. In 2020, he was convicted for another terrorist attempt and jailed for life.
Back in 2002, comedian Aaron Barschak gatecrashed Prince William’s 21st birthday celebrations by climbing over the castle walls. Though triggering several alarms there was no police response.
A review of these incidents has led to a tightening of security around the royal family.