Palace intruder arrested

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A 21-year-old man was being questioned by police after being arrested on the first-floor landing leading to the Queen's private apartments inside Buckingham Palace yesterday.

Scotland Yard said the intruder, who was stripped to the waist, scaled a perimeter wall, crossed the grounds and entered the palace through open French windows.

At the time of the intrusion the Queen was in the palace, where there have been previous break-ins. But police sources said he did not reach the ring of extra security around the Queen's private apartments.

The man was inside the palace for 'not much more than a minute' before his arrest. In 1982, one intruder, Michael Fagan - who was later jailed - broke into the Queen's bedroom, sat on her bed and chatted with her for 30 minutes.