February 21, 1994 12:00 PM


For a family that believes in dignity at all costs, it was a trying week, indeed. At 7:31 a.m. on Feb. 5, the Queen’s security force went on red alert when notorious Henderson. Nev., paraglider James Miller, in his trademark motorized parachute, landed on a parapet at Buckingham Palace, stripped and shouted, “You f—king bastards, come and get me.” Just two days later, an antimonarchist in Auckland, New Zealand, lunged at Prince Charles with a can of air freshener, saying he wanted to “remove the stink of royalty.” And while no bodily harm was done in either case, royal-watchers wondered whether these absurdist breaches of security would lead to something more serious. As Charles himself put it, “Whatever next?”

Of course, the cheeky deeds did not go unpunished. In London, Miller, 30, a computer repairman, was subdued by dozens of security officers, and he was charged with offenses including flying without a license—infractions that could cost him two years in jail. It wasn’t Miller’s first court appearance, by any means: Last November, he was charged with dangerous flying after parachuting into the ring at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas during the Riddick Bowe-Evander Holyfield fight. By some reports, he was lucky to make it to court in London. Scotland Yard sources were quoted in The Mail on Sunday as saying that if the Queen (who was at Sandringham) had been in residence, Miller would have been shot.

In New Zealand, Castislav Bracanov, 58, a well-known gadfly who got to within 10 feet of Charles, was charged with disorderly conduct. Just before that incident, the prince had said that David Kang, 23, who had fired at him with a starter’s pistol in Sydney on Jan. 26, hadn’t rattled him. “If you think about these things all the time, you can’t actually get on with life,” he said.

Perhaps not. But Scotland Yard is said to be reviewing Palace security and to be extremely concerned that Princess Diana dismissed her bodyguards in December and is now accompanied only by a chauffeur. Already, she has been mobbed by fans after a night at the ballet. “She has a very high profile and always will,” a senior police source told the News of the World. “When she goes out on her own, the risks could be enormous.”

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