Investigation Underway After Intruder Posing as a Priest Spent the Night in Windsor Barracks

Queen Elizabeth was visiting her Sandringham estate when the security breach happened last week

Queen's Platinum Jewels
Queen Elizabeth. Photo: Getty

An intruder pretending to be a priest spent a night in the barracks housing the soldiers who protect Queen Elizabeth in Windsor last week.

An investigation into the security breach is underway after police removed the intruder, who talked his way into the Victoria Barracks.

On April 26, while the monarch was away from nearby Windsor Castle celebrating her 96th birthday at her Sandringham estate, a man dressed as a priest claimed to be a friend of the Coldstream Guards' military chaplain. He was allowed inside without showing identification, where he reportedly spent the evening eating and drinking with senior officers.

"Within a couple of hours, he was drinking with the officers in the bar and telling them stories of how he had served in Iraq," a source told TalkTV. "He was telling lots of tall stories and the lads were enjoying his banter and having a few drinks. It was only later when he started talking about how he had worked as an ejector-seat test pilot and had some organs replaced that the chaps started to get suspicious."

Cambridge Gate of Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle. Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty

A Thames Valley Police spokesperson said they received a report of an intruder at Victoria Barracks at 9:20 a.m. the following day. The man was removed and "no further action was required," they said.

Queen Elizabeth returned from her visit to Sandringham just hours later. A source notes that there was no breach of security at Windsor Castle and there was no breach of royal security.

A spokesperson for the British Army tells PEOPLE: "The Army takes this breach of security extremely seriously and it will be thoroughly investigated as a matter of priority. This incident is now part of an ongoing investigation and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

This isn't the first time an unwelcome guest made their way onto royal residence grounds. In 2021, an intruder with a crossbow was arrested on the grounds of Windsor Castle as Queen Elizabeth and members of the royal family, including Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, celebrated Christmas at the castle.

"We can confirm security processes were triggered within moments of the man entering the grounds and he did not enter any buildings," Thames Valley Police Superintendent Rebecca Mears said in a statement.

Queen Elizabeth II attends an audience with the President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis (Not pictured) at Windsor Castle on April 28, 2022 in Windsor, England.
Queen Elizabeth. Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty

But perhaps the most famous intruder — so much so that the storyline was featured in season 4 of Netflix's The Crown — was Michael Fagan, who entered Queen Elizabeth's Buckingham Palace bedroom in 1982.

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In a 2012 interview with The Independent on Sunday, Fagan recalled being in the monarch's bedroom. "I was scareder than I'd ever been in my life," he said. "Then she speaks and it's like the finest glass you can imagine breaking: 'Wawrt are you doing here?!' "

While it was reported that the two had a long conversation, Fagan said: "Nah! She went past me and ran out of the room; her little bare feet running across the floor."

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