Behind the scenes

How fake priest conned his way into staying at Windsor barracks

The intruder joked with officers in their mess before being offered a bed for the night

An intruder was welcomed into an army barracks close to Windsor Castle in an “extraordinary breach of security” last week.

A man pretending to be a priest was reportedly allowed into the Coldstream Guards’ barracks without showing any identification after claiming to be a friend of the base’s padre, or military chaplain, in what the Daily Mail called “one of the most shocking security blunders at a UK military base in years”.

The fake priest spent the evening of 26 April eating and drinking with officers in their mess before reportedly being offered a bed for the night. He “was not rumbled even after telling officers he had trained as an ejector seat test pilot” or that he had received transplants of internal organs “resistant to G-forces”, The Sun reported.

The intruder also “bragged of having received a medal for bravery in the Iraq War”, said the paper. 

Speaking to TalkTV, a source called the incident an “extraordinary breach of security” and said that the man “turned up at the gate in the evening and said his name was Father Cruise and claimed to be a friend of the battalion’s Padre Rev Matt Coles”.

The intruder, who the source said was known to local police, was said to have enjoyed “banter” with the officers in the bar as he regaled them with made-up tales of serving in Iraq. 

The Coldstream Guards are “recognised by their red jackets and black bearskin hats and have a ceremonial role as protectors of Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace”, explained Sky News.

The Queen, who spent Easter at her Norfolk residence of Sandringham, is thought to have returned to Windsor just hours after Thames Valley Police were called to escort the man from the barracks. The breach comes as the police and military gear up for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which will be celebrated next month. 

A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said they received a report of an intruder at Victoria Barracks in Sheet Street, Windsor, on Wednesday morning. They confirmed that “officers attended and removed the intruder from the barracks” and that “no further action was required”. The Ministry of Defence also said it has launched an urgent investigation into the security breach.

An Army spokesperson said: “The Army takes this breach of security extremely seriously and it will be thoroughly investigated as a matter of priority.”

The Coldstream Guards is the “oldest continuously serving regiment” in the British Army, said the Daily Mail, and has a “hard-won reputation” as an “elite fighting force” that is tasked with defending the Queen. But on this occasion, it seems that “their guard was down”, said the paper.

Recommended

Inside the first public US hearing on UFOs in half a century
Scott Bray
Why we’re talking about . . .

Inside the first public US hearing on UFOs in half a century

Is Rishi Sunak ‘plotting’ emergency tax cut?
Rishi Sunak in Stoke
Business Briefing

Is Rishi Sunak ‘plotting’ emergency tax cut?

‘Not all Britons are gearing up for the jubilee’
Queen Elizabeth II at Paddington Station on May 17, 2022
Instant Opinion

‘Not all Britons are gearing up for the jubilee’

Does Tory MP rape arrest herald more Pestminster claims?
Houses of Parliament
Today’s big question

Does Tory MP rape arrest herald more Pestminster claims?

Popular articles

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths
Vladimir Putin has previously deployed ‘extreme measures’ to crush opposition
Why we’re talking about . . .

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

Nato vs. Russia: who would win?
Nato troops
In Depth

Nato vs. Russia: who would win?

The Week Footer Banner