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Prince Andrew mistaken for intruder by police at Buckingham Palace

The 53-year-old prince and son of Queen Elizabeth was briefly questioned by police officers at Buckingham Palace who thought he was an intruder.
Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Sept. 9, 2013 at 3:11 AM   |   Comments

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Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Is this what happens when you're fifth -- and not first -- in line to the throne?

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, was strolling through the gardens of his mum's house -- Buckingham Palace -- last Wednesday, when police officers stopped him and asked for identification.

Andrew, 53, was actually born at Buckingham Palace and has offices there.

By way of response, the Metropolitan Police first issued an unnecessarily vague statement about "a man" who was "approached" by officers in the palace's gardens.

On Wednesday, 4 September at approximately 1800hrs two uniformed officers approached a man in the gardens of Buckingham Palace to verify his identity. The man was satisfactorily identified.

After the story attracted considerable media attention, the police department elaborated:

In light of media reports we can confirm that the man spoken to by officers was the Duke of York. We are making this public with HRH's permission. We are grateful to the duke for his understanding and have apologized for any inconvenience caused.

Scotland Yard denied reports that officers drew their guns.

Fortunately for the police, there were no hard feelings. Prince Andrew said Monday in a statement that he was "grateful" for the apology and was "looking forward to a safe walk in the garden in the future."

"The police have a difficult job to do balancing security for the Royal Family and deterring intruders, and sometimes they get it wrong," he said.

Officers were said to be "jittery" after a worrisome incident two days earlier, in which a man was able to scale the palace's security fence and enter the palace. He was detained inside and arrested on burglary and trespassing charges.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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