Prince Andrew: tense clash with cops or friendly mix-up?
Duke of York 'furious' but later joked about police mistaking him for intruder at Buckingham Palace
CONFLICTING reports have emerged about Prince Andrew's run-in with police officers who mistook him for an intruder in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
A dramatic story appeared to unfold yesterday as the Sunday Express exclusively reported that the Duke of York had been "held at gunpoint" as he walked in broad daylight last Wednesday.
One royal insider claimed police shouted at him to "put your hands up and get on the ground" with both officers pointing their guns straight at him.
"For a tense half a minute the Queen's 53-year-old son was in danger of being shot dead by officers paid to protect him and his family," reported the newspaper.
Today the Daily Mail claims the duke "tore into gun-toting officers". In the piece entitled "Prince Andrew's rage at bungling Palace police", the newspaper claimed the Duke had "erupted in fury". An unnamed royal source said: "He was incredibly, incredibly angry. It was very much a case of guns being pointed at him and 'halt who goes there'."
But Scotland Yard has denied that weapons were drawn or that any force was used to verify the Prince's identity.
A spokesman added that the Met Police were "grateful to the Duke for his understanding and have apologised for any inconvenience caused".
Today The Guardian described a much more sanguine Prince, who even joked about the experience. "The police have a difficult job to do balancing security for the royal family and deterring intruders, and sometimes they get it wrong," he said in a statement. "I am grateful for their apology and look forward to a safe walk in the garden in the future."
The incident occurred two days after a 37-year-old man, DJ Victor Miller, was detained under the Mental Health Act after he allegedly scaled a 12ft fence and kicked open a door to get into the Palace. ·