A ceremonial soldier belonging to the Queen’s Guard outside Buckingham Palace drew his bayonet-fixed rifle on a member of the public who was screaming at a police officer nearby.
The Sun reports that the man was trying to force his way into the palace, but was being blocked by an officer with the Metropolitan Police, who are usually responsible for Palace security.But after five minutes of the man shouting a creating a scene, the bear skin hat-wearing member of the British Army rushed over with his bayonet-fixed rifle and aimed it squarely at the troublemaker.
The incident is a breach of royal protocol, which dictates that the Queen’s Guard conduct themselves in a specific manner befitting their position.The man was heard to say to the soldier, “Oh you’re a big boy now,” to which the soldier is reported to have replied, “Yes, I am a big boy”.
The Sun claims that police ushered the man away and gave him “words of advice” but did not arrest him.The Queen’s Guard are not normally leave their posts unless a royal is under direct threat. The soldiers are are active members of the British Army, with most having served several tours in Afghanistan in recent years. Their duties outside Buckingham Palace last for two hours a day, and Queen’s Guard officers have the right to stamp, and shout at visitors who impede their patrols.
Palace security in general is handled by the Metropolitan Police force, who have presided over a number of embarrassing intrusions onto the Palace grounds in recent years.
In March 1982, Michael Fagan broke into the Queen’s bedroom at the palace, where she woke to find him sitting on her bed. Stephen Goulding was jailed for three months after breaking into palace grounds in 1990. In July 1992, Kevin McMahon was arrested inside the grounds for the second time in a week. In 1994, a naked paraglider landed on the roof. In 2003, an undercover reporter from the Daily Mirror got a job as a footman at the palace.
Last year, a man was found in one of the Palace state rooms in the late evening and arrested, breaching three layers of security.