Michael Fagan: How many times did Michael Fagan really break into Buckingham Palace?

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Michael Fagan is known as the man who broke into the Queen’s bedroom in 1982, and his story featured in the most recent season of The Crown on Netflix. The Londoner had been working as a painter and decorator, and he was married with children. Fans of The Crown are keen to find out if he really did break into Buckingham Palace twice, and Express.co.uk has all you need to know.

How many times did Michael Fagan really break into Buckingham Palace?

Michael Fagan’s story has been adapted for many TV shows as it was one of the most unusual incidents to have happened in British history.

In The Crown, Fagan (played by Tom Brooke) was living in a flat on his own, with his wife having left him, and she had taken their children with her.

He was seen collecting his benefits as he was unable to find regular work, and this combined with the family dispute had started to take its toll on his mental health.

He had been listening to prime minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) speak on the radio and was appalled at how she had allowed unemployment rates to rocket.

Wanting his voice to be heard, he attempted to speak to his local MP, who joked that he should go to Buckingham Palace and take his concerns up with the Queen (Olivia Colman).

Fagan took his MP’s advice literally and managed to climb over a fence surrounding the perimeter of the palace, before scaling a drainpipe and climbing through an open window.

However, he was spotted by a maid before he reached the Queen’s bedroom, and was able to escape before anyone could catch him.

The Queen had not been in the palace at the time, but when Fagan had heard she had returned, he went back for a second attempt.

According to the real Fagan, he did in fact attempt to enter Buckingham Palace twice – the first time being about a month previously.

On the first attempt, he managed to avoid triggering any alarms and had helped himself to some cheese and crackers while viewing portraits, and he even sat on the throne.

He then drank half a bottle of wine before taking his leave.

His second attempt took place on July 9, 1982, when he was able to climb up the drainpipe again and enter through the same window.

The time was about 7.15am when he entered the Queen’s bedroom – he had set off some alarms but they were mistaken as false alarms.

While in the palace he broke a glass ashtray and cut his hand, however in The Crown, he cut his hand by smashing the window.

When he reached the Queen’s bedroom, he touched one of the curtains, which caused the Queen to wake and it is believed she left the room straight away to call security.

A footman and two policemen arrived and took Fagan away, and he was sent to a psychiatric hospital for three months.

In a radio interview from 1993, it was revealed the Queen had apparently talked with Fagan for 10 minutes and had offered him whiskey.

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In the interview, Fagan said: “I just wanted her to know what it feels like to just be an ordinary chap trying to make ends meet.”

He was 30-years-old at the time and said he had been going through a “nervous breakdown”. He said: “I had walked around the streets of London and suddenly came across Buckingham Palace and I could see a window open.

“I just hopped over the wall, up a drainpipe and in. I walked around the palace for about an hour looking at the pictures on the wall.

“It wasn’t how I ould have imaged it, I don’t think people would imagine it the way it is, dusty with squeaky floorboards. Very ordinary, I don’t think they spend too much on decoration.

“I passed a few doors and I came across the throne room, I had a little sit on the throne, I’m walking about willy nilly actually, I’m not hiding.”

He claimed by this point he was yet to have seen any security.

During the first attempt, he said he had spotted a bottle of wine from California, and he was so thirsty he had a drink.

He said: “I was so thirsty and I couldn’t find a tap, I didn’t intend to steal anything.”

Fagan said after drinking half of the wine he came to the realisation of where he actually was, and he attempted to leave, managing to find his way out.

His mental health continued to decline as he experienced more difficulty with his wife and children, and he found himself in further trouble with the police.

By the second time he broke into the palace, he said he “knew what he was doing by this point” and he said: “nothing was going to stop me”.

He said he still did not understand how he managed to find her room amongst the vast array of other rooms in the palace.

One commented on the interview on YouTube, saying: “I have empathy for him. He’s just lost everything and wanted someone to hear him. Who hasn’t been there at some point in their life?”

The Crown season 4 is on Netflix now

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