Queen Elizabeth's Safety in Question After Imposter Sneaks Into Barracks Near Her Home

The U.K. Army started an investigation Tuesday after a man pretending to be a priest spent a night at the barracks housing the soldiers protecting Queen Elizabeth II near Windsor Castle last week. The man reportedly told the soldiers he was an ejector seat test pilot and received a medal for his service in the Iraq War. The man was escorted from the premises before Queen Elizabeth returned to Windsor after spending Easter at her Sandringham estate.

The man allegedly bragged to the soldiers at Victoria Barracks that he received a medal for bravery for his Iraq War service, reports The Sun. He claimed to be an ejector seat pilot who received transplants of internal organs that can withstand G-forces. He told the soldiers he was a priest and friendly with the priest for the Coldstream Guards. He made it to the barracks, located just yards from Windsor Castle, without showing anyone an ID or credentials.

Although the soldiers became suspicious, the man was allowed to spend the night of April 26 at the barracks. It was not until after he ate breakfast the next day that people realized he was an imposter. Police escorted him from the Windsor grounds before the queen returned. Sources told TalkTV police know of the man, who reportedly has mental health issues. He was not arrested.

On Tuesday, the U.K. Ministry of Defence said it was investigating the matter. "The army takes this breach of security extremely seriously and it will be thoroughly investigated as a matter of priority," a spokesperson said, reports Reuters. "This incident is now part of an ongoing investigation and would be therefore inappropriate to comment further at this time." A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the incident would be handled by the Ministry of Defence.

Before going to Windsor, the man allegedly stopped at a nearby pub called The Prince Harry, the pub landlord told The Sun. The man claimed he was a friend of Prince Harry living in the U.S. The landlord said the man hung around the pub for several days before he went to Windsor.

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"He said 'Prince Harry is a friend of mine and when I was here last year in 2021, I had to go back to the States to sort stuff out, and Prince Harry and Princess Markle said whenever I was in Windsor, I could come into The Prince Harry pub and have lunch and they'll sort it out,'" the landlord told The Sun. "Needless to say, I just said, 'No.' I knew it was a con, so I wasn't that interested."

This is not the first time the royal family's security has come under intense scrutiny after someone snuck onto Windsor Castle grounds. Just last year, an intruder carrying a crossbow was arrested at Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and other members of the family were gathered for Christmas. The most famous person to make it into the cast was Michael Fagan, who made it inside Queen Elizabeth's Buckingham Palace bedroom in 1982. The incident was seen in Netflix's The Crown Season 4.