There is only one man in the whole world who can say, with total confidence, to be the only one to defy Buckingham Palace not once but twice and get to the very same bedroom as Queen Elizabeth and even talk to her, or so we believe. His name is Michael Fagan and that is why his name will be remembered in history.
On the morning of July 9, 1982, Michael, a painter, decorator, and an amateur musician, not only trespassed the Buckingham Palace grounds but got to the Queen’s bedroom unnoticed; according to him, this was not the first time he managed to go inside the Palace but it was the first time he got to meet one of the Royals in person.
But, how he did it and, more importantly, how he managed to trespass twice the Palace? This is his story.
How Michael Fagan entered Buckingham Palace
The first time he entered the Buckingham Palace premises was on June 7, 1982, after his wife had left him, but all he managed was to enter a room where he found one of Prince Charles’ bottles of wine and drank it.
On his second attempt, he managed to get to Her Majesty’s chamber. According to reports from Scotland Yard and Fagan’s testimony, he climbed over the railings of Buckingham Palace, jumped down, and went into hiding for a brief period of time on the morning of July 9, 1982.
He first tried to enter a room on the ground floor through an unlocked window, however, the door was closed, and exited the room through the same window. He then used a drainpipe to climb to the flat roof above. He removed his sandals and socks and went through until he reached the open office of the Master of the Household, Vice Adm. Sir Peter Ashmore.
By now you probably are wondering how he managed to do so and not get noticed. Well, the key was the hour. All this happened between 6:45 AM and 7:00 AM, a time frame that aligned with the night shift, so basically, morning Palace staff was not ready yet and the night staff was already leaving their positions.
Michael Fagan’s encounter with Queen Elizabeth
Fagan has declared on several occasions that he found his way to the Queen’s bedroom only by following the portraits.
At about 7:15 A.M he entered the anteroom where he broke a glass ashtray from which he took a piece of glass to take with him.
When he entered the Queen’s bedroom he opened the curtains and Elizabeth rose up. Her Majesty pressed the alarm bell, but no one came to the call because the corridor’s police sergeant went off duty at about 6:00 A.M, the footman was outside walking the dogs and the maid was cleaning a nearby room with the door closed so the Queen wouldn’t be bothered by the noise.
After the Queen saw no action, she decided to use her bedside telephone to ask for the police to go into her bedroom. According to call logs, she asked it around 7:18 A.M. The Queen had to do another call after six minutes since no police officer had still arrived.
Fagan has said that he did not have any kind of conversation with the Queen. The only thing she asked him was “What are you doing here?” after she got out of bed and left the room. “She went past me and ran out of the room, her little bare feet running across the floor,” he told The Independent in 2012.
A maid and a footman got to the room and offered Fanagan to go to a pantry where he would be offered something to drink and some cigarettes as a way to buy them some time before the police came and arrested Fagan.
What happened to Michael Fagan after the incident?
Despite trespassing at Buckingham Palace, he was only charged with the theft of wine from his first visit, since at the time, trespassing was considered only a civil offense rather than a criminal one. Moreover, he was not charged with an attempt of harming the Queen despite having a piece of broken glass with him by the time he entered her room.
After the incident, Fagan received a psychiatric evaluation and spent three months in a mental facility.
His records showed that he committed several more crimes later on. In 1984 he attacked a Welsh police officer and three years later was found guilty of indecent exposure. In 1997 he, alongside his wife and son was charged with conspiring to sell drugs and served four years in prison.
Where is Michael Fagan now?
At 73 years old, he is still reportedly living in London and he is still not regretting his palace excursions.
“People who have done marvelous things get to kneel in front of her to be honored,” Fagan said to The Sun, “but I actually sat on her bed and almost got to talk to her.”