A 19-year-old man with an offensive weapon has been arrested following a security breach at Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth II is spending her Christmas, the police said on Sunday. Prince Charles and wife Camilla are spending Christmas with the 95-year-old monarch at Windsor Castle in Berkshire, south-east England, after she took the decision to call off her traditional Christmas at Sandringham estate in Norfolk amidst a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Officers from Thames Valley and the Metropolitan Police said they responded to the breach on Saturday morning and arrested the man from Southampton. Members of the royal family were informed about the incident and were not in harm’s way, the police said.
An investigation is ongoing following this incident and we are working with colleagues from the Metropolitan Police, said Thames Valley Police Superintendent Rebecca Mears. The man has been arrested on suspicion of breach or trespass of a protected site and possession of an offensive weapon. He remains in custody at this time.
We can confirm security processes were triggered within moments of the man entering the grounds and he did not enter any buildings. We do not believe there is a wider danger to the public, she said. The Sunday Mirror reported that the arrest came after security controllers monitoring CCTV noticed a man carrying what appeared to be a crossbow.
Police have not confirmed what the weapon was and it is not known where exactly the man was on the grounds and how close he got to the castle itself. It was reported that he carried an offensive weapon. In her annual Christmas broadcast on Saturday, the Queen paid tribute to her beloved husband Prince Philip, who passed away aged 99 in April.
That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him, said the Queen of the late Duke of Edinburgh. “But life of course consists of final partings as well as first meetings and as much as I and my family miss him I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas. We felt his presence and we like many around the world readied ourselves for Christmas, she said.
The message was recorded earlier at Windsor Castle beside a framed photograph of the royal couple taken during their diamond wedding anniversary in 2007 when the Queen wore the same sapphire chrysanthemum brooch as in the broadcast.