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Royal bodyguard confesses to homosexual relationship

By BARRY JAMES, UPI Senior Editor

LONDON -- Queen Elizabeth's chief bodyguard has confessed to a years-long homosexual relationship with a male prostitute and resigned his post, Home Secretary William Whitelaw announced in Parliament Monday.

Commander Michael Trestrail, 52, head of the Metropolitan police's Royal Protection Department, was at the center of a security controversy after a man wandered into the queen's Buckingham Palace bedroom July 9 and chatted with her for 10 minutes before she was able to summon help.

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'Commander Trestrail has confessed to having a homosexual relationship over a number of years with a male prostitute,' Whitelaw told members of Parliament eager to find out why Trestrail resigned Saturday 'for personal reasons.'

Whitelaw declined to give details, saying he would make a fuller report Wednesday when he was to make a statement on security -- or lack of it -- at Buckingham Palace, the 56-year-old queen's London home.

Trestrail was previously the personal bodyguard of Prince Philip, the queen's husband.

Michael Fagan, the 31-year-old unemployed house painter who entered the royal bedroom, was told in court Monday that he will not be prosecuted for the July 9 intrusion.

He was ordered to stand trial on a charge of stealing a small bottle of wine during an earlier unauthorized visit to the palace. The palace scandal is one of two bombshells hanging over the government.

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Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher probably will be questioned in Parliament Tuesday on an alleged major security leak at the government's chief communications center at Cheltenham in west England. The center is closely linked with the U.S. National Security Agency. A man was arrested last week on a charge of breaching the Official Secrets Act.

The Trestrail case is the second time a senior member of the royal establishment had been linked with homosexual practices. In November 1979, Mrs. Thatcher told the House of Commons that Sir Anthony Blunt -- a self-described homosexual -- was the 'fourth man' in a spy ring including Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and Kim Philby.

Fagan, the palace intruder, appeared at Bow Street magistrates court grinning and waving to his family sitting in the public gallery.

A lawyer for the Director of Public Prosecutions said there is no evidence that Fagan intended to commit a crime when he wandered into the queen's bedroom.

He could have been charged with trespassing, but under English law that is a civil offense, which would have required the queen to bring a charge against Fagan.

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