Michael Fagan was a man who gained notoriety for breaking into Buckingham Palace, the residence of Queen Elizabeth II, in London, England. The incident took place on July 9, 1982, and is one of the most well-known security breaches in the history of the British monarchy.
Fagan, who was a 32-year-old unemployed painter and decorator at the time, climbed over the palace walls and made his way into the Queen’s private apartment. He was able to elude security and eventually made his way into the Queen’s bedroom, where he conversed with her for several minutes. He reportedly sat on the edge of her bed and spoke to her for several minutes, during which time the queen reportedly pressed an alarm button but it was reportedly disconnected. The incident caused widespread shock and disbelief and raised serious questions about the palace’s security and the royal family’s safety.
A footman eventually heard the commotion and was able to detain Fagan until the police arrived. Fagan was eventually arrested and charged with theft and trespassing. He was found to suffer from mental health problems and was subsequently sent to a secure hospital for treatment. He was eventually released and led a quiet life, avoiding the public eye.
The incident significantly impacted the royal family and the British government, leading to a significant review of palace security and the implementation of new measures to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. The incident remains one of the most famous security breaches in the history of the British monarchy and is often cited as a wake-up call to the need for increased security measures at the palace.
Despite the severe nature of the incident, the conversation between Fagan and the Queen has been described as friendly and relatively relaxed, with the Queen reportedly keeping her composure throughout the encounter. The Queen later said that she had not been frightened by the experience and that she had been trained to keep her calm in such situations.