London • You might forgive Britain’s royal protection unit for being a little jittery.
Two days after an intruder was discovered prowling around Buckingham Palace, police confronted Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, in the royal residence’s garden and demanded he identify himself.
London’s Metropolitan Police said in an email Sunday that they had apologized to Andrew, also known as the Duke of York, and the royal responded with a touch of humor.
"I am grateful for their apology and look forward to a safe walk in the garden in the future," he said in a statement.
Wednesday’s embarrassing mix-up with the duke followed an even more embarrassing security breach Monday, when an intruder was arrested after having scaled the fence around the palace. He and an alleged accomplice were arrested on suspicion of burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary, respectively.
The confrontation between the duke and police was first reported by Britain’s Sunday Express tabloid, which reported it under the eye-catching headline: "PRINCE ANDREW HELD AT GUNPOINT."
Although the Met’s royal protection officers do sometimes carry weapons, the force denied the paper’s assertion that Andrew had guns pointed at him, insisting that no weapons were ever drawn.
In comments to BBC television, former royal protection officer Dai Davies cautioned that, even if the story had been blown out of proportion by the press, the incident "does sound a little unusual."
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