The Royal Guard is traditionally tasked with protecting the sovereign’s palaces, but according to a report out of Britain, guardsmen are said to have shown hospitality to one intruder, allowing him to spend the night near the grounds of Windsor Castle.
According to The Telegraph, the incident took place last Wednesday night, when a man posing as a priest allegedly got the royal treatment at Windsor’s Victoria Barracks, which house the Coldstream Guards, the battalion known for their iconic red coats and bearskin hats.
The Telegraph reported the intruder is believed to have gained the trust of senior guards, dining, drinking and even being provided with a bed within the barracks before things took a turn the following morning.
That’s when the alarm was raised with police, and the intruder was removed from the location. Police say no arrests have been made. The barracks are not inside the castle grounds.
“The Army takes this breach of security extremely seriously and it will be thoroughly investigated as a matter of priority," a British Army spokesperson told NBC News. “This incident is now part of an ongoing investigation and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
The Telegraph reported that a local pub landlord has alleged that the same man entered his pub “claiming to be Prince Harry’s friend from America and asking for free food.”
As for the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II was not at Windsor Castle at the time the security breach took place.
Windsor Castle has been the backdrop for many of the most important royal events in recent years, including the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the chapel of the residence in 2018, as well as last year’s funeral for the queen’s husband, Prince Philip.
The Victoria Barracks are situated to the south of the castle.
While there’s been no statement about the security breach from Buckingham Palace, it comes at a time when all eyes are on the queen. This year marks her 70th on the throne, the longest reign of any British monarch. As such, a host of celebrations are planned in honor of her Platinum Jubilee, which officially kicks off next month.