Big scare at Windsor Castle, gunman arrested on Christmas day


An armed man was arrested after breaking into the grounds of Windsor Castle on the outskirts of London on Saturday, where Elizabeth II was spending Christmas.

A gunman was arrested after breaking into the grounds of Windsor Castle on the outskirts of London on Saturday, where Elizabeth II was spending Christmas, police said, with media reporting on Sunday that the suspect had a crossbow. The Thames Valley Police said it intervened around 8:30 a.m. local time and GMT following a security alert. A 19-year-old man from Southampton, southern England, was « arrested on suspicion of trespassing on a protected site and possessing a weapon, » police said.

« We can confirm that the security procedures were triggered moments after the man entered the site and that he did not enter any building, » she continued. « Members of the royal family have been informed of the incident, » added the police.

Queen Elizabeth II, 95, is spending the end of the year in Windsor, now her main residence, after giving up her usual visit to Sandringham, in eastern England, in due to the resurgence of Covid-19 in the UK due to the Omicron variant.

Spotted on surveillance cameras carrying a crossbow

The sovereign, on her first Christmas since the death of her husband Philip in April at the age of 99, was joined on Saturday by several family members including her sons Charles and Edward and the wives of the latter. According to the Daily Mirror, the suspect was spotted on surveillance cameras carrying a crossbow. « The security agents could not believe their eyes, » said a security source to the tabloid, adding that an important security device had been deployed « to ensure the safety of the queen who was in her personal quarters » . According to the newspaper, « a major reassessment of security procedures » is to be expected after the incident. The Mail on Sunday claims that in addition to the crossbow, the suspect was fitted with a rope ladder used to cross metal barriers.

He clarified that while crossbows are considered lethal weapons in the UK, wearing them does not require any license or registration. In a very personal Christmas greetings this year, recorded in Windsor and broadcast on Saturday, Elizabeth II paid tribute to the late Prince Philip, confident she misses him. The queen has reduced the number of her engagements since a night of hospitalization in October for a reason never specified.

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