That awkward moment when you almost shoot the woman you’re sworn to protect.
Queen Elizabeth II’s occasional late night stroll almost took a turn for the worse after she was mistaken for an intruder, a former royal guard told The Times. The incident occurred at a time where intruders entering Buckingham Palace was not uncommon.
The monarch, now 90, suffers bouts with insomnia from time to time and often goes for late evening walks on those occasions, said the ex-guardsman. Late one night, the guard was patrolling the perimeter by the palace walls when he spotted a figure lurking in the shadows: “Who’s that?,” he shouted at 3 a.m. in the morning.
But to his surprise, the shadowy figure was actually the Queen: “Bloody hell, Your Majesty, I nearly shot you,” he reportedly yelled on impulse.
He quickly realized his tone was inappropriate in the presence of his Queen, but she apparently took responsibility for the situation. “That’s quite alright,” she replied. “Next time I’ll ring through beforehand so you don’t have to shoot me.”
This isn’t the first time such an incident has happened with the royal family. In 2013, Prince Andrew was mistaken for an intruder and confronted by armed police. The police reportedly issued an apology to the prince, despite no weapons being drawn.
A number of security breaches have occurred at Buckingham Palace in the past. Intruders have been caught scaling the fence, roaming the palace grounds and even entering the building.