Man 'armed with crossbow' breaks into Queen's castle on Christmas Day

·2-min read

An armed man has been arrested after breaking into the grounds of Windsor Castle on Christmas Day.

Officers from Thames Valley Police (TVP) and the Metropolitan Police responded to a security breach about 8.30am (7.30pm AEDT) on Christmas Day within the grounds of the castle in Berkshire where the Queen is in residence.

Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas broadcast in the White Drawing Room in Windsor Castle, Berkshire. Issue date: Saturday December 25, 2021. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II celebrated Christmas Day at Windsor Castle, where the intruder was apprehended. Photo: Getty Images.

Intruder 'armed with crossbow'

TVP said a 19-year-old man from Southampton was arrested on suspicion of breach or trespass of a protected site and possession of an offensive weapon.

The Sunday Mirror said the arrest came after security controllers monitoring CCTV spotted a man carrying what appeared to be a crossbow.

The Mail on Sunday said sources suggested the man was armed with a crossbow and used a rope ladder to scale a metal fence.

Police did not confirm what the weapon was and it is not known where exactly the man was on the grounds and how close he got to the castle itself.

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Police officers patrol along the Long Walk at Windsor Castle on April 15, 2021 in Windsor, England
There was a heavy police presence outside Windsor Castle for Prince Philip's funeral in April. Photo: Getty Images.

The man, who is in custody, was not in any buildings on the estate and "security processes were triggered within moments of the man entering the grounds", police said.

The Queen spent Christmas Day at Windsor Castle and was expected to have lunch with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Charles, Camilla, Edward and Sophie, along with their children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, attended a church service in St George's Chapel, in the castle grounds, at 10.45am on Christmas morning.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex arrives to attend a morning service on Christmas Day at St Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle on December 25, 2021 in Windsor, England
Sophie, Countess of Wessex attended a morning service on Christmas Day at St Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle. Photo: Getty Images.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on December 25, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles and Camilla were also at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, for the Christmas Day service. Photo: Getty Images.

"An investigation is ongoing following this incident and we are working with colleagues from the Metropolitan police," TVP Superintendent Rebecca Mears said.

"The man has been arrested on suspicion of breach or trespass of a protected site and possession of an offensive weapon. He remains in custody at this time.

"We can confirm security processes were triggered within moments of the man entering the grounds and he did not enter any buildings.

"Members of the royal family have been informed about the incident. We do not believe there is a wider danger to the public."

A Buckingham Palace spokesman declined to comment.

With reporting by AAP.

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