Prince Andrew was almost in danger of being shot to death by the group of people who have sworn to protect his life. The Duke of York found himself being mistaken for an intruder at the Buckingham Palace, which prompted armed police to point their guns at him on Wednesday.
One would think that the guards patrolling the palace would know what the Duke looks like. After all, he was born in one of the suites in the premises more than five decades ago.
However, as it happened, there's a high turnover of police on duty at the Palace, which perhaps would explain why the Duke suddenly found himself held at gunpoint when he went out into the gardens to relax on Wednesday.
"It was only in the early evening and so was light," a Palace insider told the Sunday Express. "When he got to a far corner away from the Palace, he was suddenly pounced upon by an officer, and another was not far behind.
"They shouted all the usual, put your hands up and get on the ground, and both pointed their guns straight at him."
Nevertheless, after a few tense seconds of stand-off, the Duke was able to convince the guards that he was really the Queen Elizabeth's second son, and the guards had put their guns away.
"From what we've all heard the Duke was absolutely livid and tore them off a strip," the insider continued to the UK paper. "Whether they will be disciplined is another matter, but it can't have done their careers much good."
The police were apparently jittery because an intruder was found in the Palace's state rooms two days before the incident with the Duke. A suspected accomplice was also apprehended on a street outside the Palace. Both men were bailed.
However, the police denied that there were weapons involved in the incident.
"In light of media reports we can confirm that the man spoken to by officers was the Duke of York. We are making this public with HRH's permission," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement obtained by the BBC.
"We are grateful to the duke for his understanding and have apologised for any inconveniences caused."
Prince Andrew, meanwhile, has also issued a statement, understanding that the police can sometimes "get it wrong."
"The police have a difficult job to do balancing security for the Royal Family and deterring intruders, and sometimes they get it wrong," the Duke said in a statement.
"I am grateful for their apology and look forward to a safe walk in the garden in the future."
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