A man who entered the grounds of Windsor Castle, where Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is spending Christmas, has been arrested and is being held on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, police said.
The 19-year-old from Southampton in southern England did not enter any buildings and security processes were triggered within moments, Thames Valley Police said.
The 95-year-old monarch, who has spent much of the COVID-19 pandemic at Windsor Castle, was celebrating Christmas there with her son, Prince Charles, his wife, Camilla, and other close family.
“The man has been arrested on suspicion of breach or trespass of a protected site and possession of an offensive weapon,” said Thames Valley Police Superintendent Rebecca Mears.
She added that members of the royal family had been informed about the incident and that police did not believe there was a wider danger to the public.
Charles, Camilla and other royal family members were pictured later in the morning arriving for a Christmas church service at St George’s Chapel within the Windsor Castle complex.
There was no suggestion that any of the royal family’s plans had been disrupted by the incident. Security breaches at royal residences are rare. The most serious one in the queen’s reign happened in 1982, when an intruder climbed a wall to enter Buckingham Palace, her London home, and wandered into a room where she was in bed.
In 2016 a man with a previous murder conviction pleaded guilty to trespass after scaling a perimeter wall at Buckingham Palace and asking if the monarch was at home.