Escapades of Michael fa*gan during TWO Buckingham Palace break-ins (2024)

They were the biggest security breaches in royal history.

In July 1982, schizophrenic Michael fa*gan twice broke in to Buckingham Palace in the space of a few days.

On the first occasion, he had a foray into the throne room and drank from a bottle of wine that was among presents sent to Prince Charles and Princess Diana following the birth of Prince William.

Having left undetected because alarms that he tripped were turned off by hapless police it was on July 9 - nearly 42 years ago - that he returned.

After wandering into the Queen's bedroom at around 7.15am, he spoke to Her Majesty for several minutes, allegedly while sitting on her bed.

She was rescued by the arrival of her devoted footman Paul Whybrew.

Mr Whybrew, who served the Queen until her death in 2022, gave fa*gan a glass of whisky to calm him down before police arrived.

Michael fa*gan infamously broke into the Queen's bedroom in July 1982 and woke her up, before allegedly speaking to her for ten minutes

On July 9, 1982, fa*gan broke into the Palace early in the morning and wandered into the Queen's bedroom

fa*gan got into the Palace on the first occasion byshimmying up a drainpipe and climbing in through an unlocked window on the roof.

He spent half an hour wandering around while eating cheese and crackers.

After looking at royal portraits, entering the throne room and drinking from the bottle of wine sent to Charles and Diana, he became tired and so left without being caught.

A few nights later, he returned. He again got in by climbing a drainpipe.

fa*gan initially went into an anteroom, where he cut his hand after breaking a glass ashtray.

Then, carrying a piece of the ashtray, he wandered into the Queen's bedroom.

The Queen quickly pressed an alarm bell, but the policeman who had been on guard outside her room had finished his shift.

Another alarm that fa*gan had tripped before he entered the Queen's bedroom was turned off by police, who again thought it was faulty.

Mr Whybrew, then aged just 20, was outside walking the dogs and her maid was cleaning in another room, so no one came.

The Queen was rescued from her predicament with fa*gan by the arrival of her devoted footman Paul Whybrew. He was made famous by his performance alongside the Queen and Daniel Craig in the sketch filmed for the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony

fa*gan (pictured above around the time of his break-in and right in 2006) was sent for psychiatric treatment at a secure mental hospital later in 1982

Michael fa*gan was portrayed by Tom Brooke in the fourth season of Netflix series The Crown

Emma Thompson (above) portrayed the Queen in 2012 TV drama 'Walking the Dogs'

A sketch of fa*gan speaking to the Queen in her bedroom on the morning of July 9, 1982

The Queen is said to have kept talking to fa*gan to keep him calm, while she waited for someone to come to her aid.

When a maid did return, the pair ushered him into a pantry.

Mr Whybrew then returned from walking the dogs and came across the situation. fa*gan allegedly kept saying to him: 'I want to talk to the Queen, My Queen.'

The footman said: 'All right, but let her get dressed first.'

fa*gan allegedly then kept trying to walk past the footman, but Mr Whybrew stood in his way.

He then offered him a drink to calm him down. Mr Whybrew said in his police statement at the time: 'The man still seemed very tense and I said: "Would you like a drink?"

'Immediately he became more affable and replied, "Yes please. I will have a Scotch.'

After he gave him a glass of whisky, a policeman arrived and fa*gan was arrested.

When asked his name, he told officers: 'Rudolph Hess from Spandau.'

The then Home Secretary, Willie Whitelaw, offered his resignation following the enormous security lapse, but Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher refused to accept it.

fa*gan was not charged with trespassing in the Queen's bedroom because, at the time, such an action was a civil wrong rather than a criminal offence.

He was however charged with the theft of the wine during his first visit but was found not guilty in a trial at the Old Bailey.

The jury decided that he did not enter the Palace with any dishonest intention. He had insisted that he drank the wine because he was thirsty.

fa*gan also issued a 'sincere apology' to the Queen'.

He said via his solicitor: 'Along with everyone else in the world, I love Her Majesty the Queen, I have the deepest respect, the deepest respect for her.

'I would do nothing to embarrass her. I know she likes to help people and I thought she would like to help me.

'Your Majesty, please excuse my intrusion into your privacy - I didn't realise it would become a world topic.

'All I wanted to do was to discuss my personal problems, but the way I went about it has embarrassed Your Majesty's family.

'You were wonderfully understanding with me and I know you will understand that this apology is written in all sincerity.'

Mr Whybrew gained a public profile when he appeared alongside his boss and Daniel Craig on film for a sketch shown at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012.

fa*gan was sent for psychiatric treatment at a secure mental hospital later in 1982 after pleading guilty in court to taking a car without the owner's consent.

The Daily Mail's coverage of fa*gan's break-in and the security blunders that allowed it to happen

He was freed in January 1983. In 1984 he attacked a policemen in a cafe in Fishguard, Wales, and was given a three-month suspended prison sentence.

fa*gan was then found guilty of indecent exposure in 1987 after a female motorist saw him running around with no trousers on at a waste ground in Chingford, Essex.

In 1997, fa*gan, his wife and their son Arran were charged with conspiring to supply heroin. He went to prison for four years.

He claimed in an interview in 2012 that the Queen was wearing a nightie with 'Liberty prints' that went 'down to her knees'.

Speaking to the Independent, he also refuted the claim that the Queen kept him talking to keep him calm.

'Nah! She went past me and ran out of the room; her little bare feet running across the floor,' he said.

He added that Her Majesty's accent was 'like the finest glass you can imagine breaking' as she allegedly said: 'Wawrt are you doing here?!'

fa*gan (pictured in 1987) has a string of convictions to his name. He is now 75

fa*gan's break-in was depicted in the fourth season of The Crown. The criminal was depicted by Tom Brooke speaking to Olivia Coleman's Queen while sat on her bed.

The saga was also depicted in 2012 drama Walking the Dogs, where Eddie Marsan depicted fa*gan and the Queen was portrayed by Emma Thompson.

fa*gan slammed Brooke's portrayal, saying the star looked 'too ugly' and claiming he had 'no charisma.'

After the Queen's death in September 2022, fa*gan said that he was 'sad she is gone'.

He said: 'I have no plans to go to the funeral but I have been to church to light a candle for her and hopefully it is all behind me.

'I think Charles will do a good job and look after the planet. He will be very good at that.

'There is also too much division between the rich and poor in society and I think Charles will help heal that.'

Escapades of Michael fa*gan during TWO Buckingham Palace break-ins (2024)
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