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The Story of the Man Who Broke Into the Queen’s Home Twice

Over her 69-year rule, Queen Elizabeth II has witnessed numerous scandals, but in 1982, she became involved in one of the most shocking and bizarre incidents of her reign. This event would become remembered as one of the biggest royal security failures of the twentieth century.

This story fueled the imagination of the Bright Side editorial team, so we decided to dig deeper and find out exactly what happened.

Meet Michael Fagan, the man who snuck into Buckingham Palace.

In the early morning of July 9, 1982, an unemployed 32-year old painter-decorator from London managed to bypass security at the palace and get to the Queen’s bedroom, totally undetected. The man climbed a 14-foot wall, jumped over the barbed-wire top, and made his way across the yard to the palace. He pulled himself up a drainpipe and entered through an open window, which was quite an achievement in itself, given that he was a bit tipsy.

We can only imagine the Queen’s reaction.

The fact that this lucky intruder was able to locate the Queen’s room without much effort out of 775 rooms in Buckingham Palace is almost unbelievable. Based on some reports at that time, the Queen and the intruder had a 10-minute conversation, which Fagan denies, saying “Nah! She went past me and ran out of the room; her little bare feet running across the floor.”

Before sneaking into the Queen’s bedroom, he walked around the palace, triggering the security alarm twice. However, both times the police turned it off, assuming it was an error. What takes this story to the next level of ’’incredible’’ is the fact that this was not Fagan’s first break-in.

One month earlier, he climbed through an open window into Buckingham Palace. As he was crawling up a drainpipe, a housemaid spotted him and alerted security. However, when the guards arrived, Fagan had disappeared.

Locating the Queen’s room was quite an achievement.

After entering the palace, the intruder made himself at home, looking at the art, munching on cheddar cheese and crackers, and exploring the place like a tourist.

He even wandered around the throne room and made himself comfortable on the Queen’s throne. ’’I was loving it... It was like Goldilocks and the Three Bears; I tried one throne and was like, ’This one’s too soft,’’’ he recalled in a later interview.

Fagan then continued his ’’free tour’’ by snooping around in search of a restroom. “I found rooms saying ‘Diana’s Room,’ ‘Charles’ Room,’ — they all had names on them. But I couldn’t find a door which said ‘WC,’” he claimed. Instead, he casually wandered around the room where baby shower gifts for the newborn Prince William were being stored.

While he was sipping on wine, Fagan waited to be arrested, but to his surprise, nobody disturbed him. He eventually grew so bored that he decided to leave. Once again, he was able to sneak out, completely unnoticed.

This lack of security was precisely what encouraged Fagan to break in for a second time. When interviewed after the incident, he said: ’’The security was so bad, it was lax. I wanted to show as an example that I could get in. I got into the palace. I wanted to show the Queen isn’t safe in that position.’’

Fagan was spotted by a chambermaid, not by guards.

On his next visit, he managed to spend about 10 minutes in the Queen’s bedroom before he was noticed by a chambermaid. It took another 8 minutes for police to arrive and escort him out of the palace. When asked how he was able to find his way to the private apartments inside the palace, he explained that he was just ’’following the pictures."

The Queen was scared but remained poised.

The uninvited guest entered the Queen’s bedroom at 7:15 A.M. He later admitted he was trembling with fear as he was opening the curtain near Her Majesty’s bed. When she noticed the disheveled stranger, the startled monarch asked, ’’What are you doing here?’’ before pressing her night alarm bell.

The first alarm went unanswered because the night police’s shift had ended at 6 A.M. Her Majesty then called for help using her bedside telephone. When the police failed to arrive 6 minutes later, she made another call.

In the meantime, she managed to attract the attention of the chambermaid. The 2 of them then lured the intruder to the pantry where he was kept until the police arrived. Most people struggled to understand the lack of security measures back in 1982, including the intruder himself. ‘’I walked straight in, I was surprised I wasn’t captured straight away,’’ Fagan said.

After the break-in, at the peak of his newfound fame, Fagan recorded a version of the Sex Pistols song, “God Save The Queen,” with British band The Bollock Brothers.

What do you think of Fagan’s act? Do you think it was crazy or brave? And if you had a chance to chat with the Queen, what would you ask her?

Got some cool photos or stories and want to be featured on Bright Side? Send them all right HERE and right now. Meanwhile, we’re waiting!

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