MICHAEL Fagan spent 10 minutes of 1982 talking to the Queen, who was in bed, after he climbed Buckingham Palace walls and up a drainpipe. It was the second time he’d broken into the Palace in a month.
Michael Fagan said of the latest incident of intruders in the Palace:
“I am really quite shocked after all that’s gone on, terrorist wise, that he could get in that easily. Security must have been pretty lax. I think there’s got to be some questions asked. It’s ridiculous. I think this time the Home Secretary should resign, no doubt about it, because he didn’t resign for me when I did it. But this time it’s deathly. Bombs going off everywhere and someone got that far, come on! We were told security was tightened after I got in.”
He told us:
“It was a double bed but a single room, definitely – she was sleeping in there on her own,” he giggles. “Her nightie was one of those Liberty prints and it was down to her knees.”
Of his first nocturnal visit, he said:
“I found rooms saying ‘Diana’s room’, ‘Charles’s room’; they all had names on them. But I couldn’t find a door which said ‘WC’. All I found were some bins with ‘corgi food’ written on them. I was breaking my neck to go to the toilet. What do I do? Pee on the carpet? So I had to pee on the corgi food. I got into Charles’s room and took the wine off the shelf and drunk it. It was cheap Californian.
“I was loving it… It was like Goldilocks and the Three Bears; I tried one throne and was like ‘this one’s too soft’. I was having a laugh to myself because there was one right next to it, so I tried another. He demonstrates how he reclined on a chair to view the Queen’s art, putting his feet up on the pub table. I was sitting like this – see. I liked the picture and thought I’d look at it till someone comes, but nobody came.
“It was harder to get out than get in. I eventually found a door and walked out into the back gardens, climbed over the wall and walked down the Mall, looking back and thinking ‘ooh’. I hadn’t thought about going in there until that last second when it came into my head to do it, so I was shocked.”
He became a minor celeb and recorded a version of God Save The Queen:
1983: Michael Fagan, famous for breaking into Queen Elizabeth II’s bedroom, leaves court after being placed on probation for three years for assaulting three policemen and using threatening behaviour
Michael Fagan’s wife with her then 12 month old daughter Samantha (r). Fagan is appearing at the Old Bailey accused of stealing wine from Buckingham Palace during his dramatic break-in
The footman Paul Whybrew (left) who tackled the intruder, Michael Fagan, who managed to get into the Queen’s Bedroom.
The life of Michael Fagan:
1950 Born in Clerkenwell, London.
1972 Marries Christine, with whom he has four children.
1982 Breaks into Buckingham Palace twice in a month. Home Secretary Willie Whitelaw offers his resignation over the security breach; the Queen refuses. Fagan is sent to Brixton Prison and Park Lane secure mental institution on unrelated offences of taking a car and assault.
1983 Releases God Save the Queen
1984 Attacks a policeman in a café in Fishguard, Wales, and is given a three-month suspended jail sentence.
1987 Found guilty of indecent exposure after a woman motorist saw him running around with no trousers on at a waste ground in Chingford, Essex.
1997 Fagan, his wife and their son Arran, 20, are charged with conspiring to supply heroin. Fagan goes to prison for four years.
Would you like to support Flashbak?
Please consider making a donation to our site. We don't want to rely on ads to bring you the best of visual culture. You can also support us by signing up to our Mailing List. And you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For great art and culture delivered to your door, visit our shop.