Armed Intruder Breaks Into Windsor Castle Grounds Ahead of Queen’s Christmas Message

Police are directed to positions at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 15, 2021 as preparations commence for the funeral of Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. - (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

An armed intruder has been arrested after breaking into the grounds of Windsor Castle with a weapon on Christmas day.

Ahead of the annual Christmas message from Queen Elizabeth II, officers from the Thames Valley and Metropolitan Police forces were called to Windsor Castle after a 19-year-old man broke through into the grounds with a weapon.

While the Queen typically celebrates Christmas at her estate in Sandringham, concerns over the Chinese coronavirus forced her to celebrate at Windsor Castle this year, instead.

Commenting on the security breach, Superintendent Rebecca Mears of Thames Valley Police, said per Sky News: “An investigation is ongoing following this incident and we are working with colleagues from the Metropolitan police.

“The man has been arrested on suspicion of breach or trespass of a protected site and possession of an offensive weapon. He remains in custody at this time.”

“We can confirm security processes were triggered within moments of the man entering the grounds and he did not enter any buildings.

“Members of the Royal Family have been informed about the incident,” Mears said, adding: “We do not believe there is a wider danger to the public.”

At the time of this reporting, there has been no indication about the background or the motivation behind the 19-year-old breaking onto the castle grounds.

The incident is particularly concerning as members of the Royal Family, including Prince Charles and Camilla, alongside the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, were all pictured on the grounds of Windsor Castle earlier in the day as they were preparing to attend a Christmas service as St George’s Chapel.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton were not present during the time of the security breach, as they are spending Christmas in Norfolk, where they will celebrate the holiday with members of the Middleton family.

The Queen, herself, did not attend the Christmas service at St George’s this year, acting out of caution after several health scares over the past six months.

Queen Elizabeth did still address the nation for her annual Christmas message, however.

In her speech, the 95-year-old monarch mourned the death of her late husband, Prince Phillip, but cast an optimistic vision for the future, saying that the birth of Christ gives hope for a “new dawn with endless potential”.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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