Windsor Castle: Gunman arrested as Queen celebrates Christmas

A gunman has been arrested after breaking into the grounds of Windsor Castle on Christmas Day, police said.

The Queen was celebrating in Windsor after canceling traditional plans to go to Sandringham.

Thames Valley and Metropolitan Police officers were called to a security breach around 8.30am in the park, as Sky News reports.

A 19-year-old man from Southampton has been arrested and is in police custody.

The Queen is spending Christmas Day at Windsor Castle and was due to have lunch with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, as well as the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Charles, Camilla, Edward and Sophie, along with their children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, attended a church service in St George’s Chapel in the castle grounds at 10.45am on Christmas morning.

Superintendent Rebecca Mears, of Thames Valley Police, said: “An investigation is ongoing following this incident and we are working with colleagues from the Metropolitan Police.

“The man has been arrested on suspicion of breaching or trespassing at a secure site and possession of an offensive weapon. He remains in custody at this time.

“We can confirm that security processes were triggered moments after the man entered the grounds and did not enter any buildings.

“Members of the Royal Family have been informed of the incident.

“We don’t believe there is a wider danger to the public.”

Queen pays poignant tribute to ‘beloved Philip’ in personal Christmas speech

Earlier, the Queen poignantly reflected on a year of personal grief in a moving Christmas Day post, saying it lacked ‘a familiar laugh’ as ​​she acknowledged her husband’s death amid the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The monarch, in what is likely to be seen as her most comprehensive public tribute to her “beloved Philip” since his death, remarked on how his “mischievous and curious twinkle was as brilliant at the end as when I first laid eyes on him.” as she sympathized with the families who had lost loved ones this year.

She also spoke fondly of her eldest son, the Prince of Wales, his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, for their interest in climate change.

But there was no reference – either on screen or by name during the nine-minute broadcast – to his second son, Prince Andrew, or the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the trio said. being removed from his royal duties.

There was, however, an unspoken mention of Lilibet, the Sussexes’ daughter, as one of four great-grandchildren born in 2021.

But it was the Queen’s longtime wife, who died in April aged 99, who took center stage for the festive message.

Sitting behind a desk adorned with a solitary photograph of the Queen and Duke in 2007 to mark their 60th wedding anniversary, the monarch said: “Although this is a time of great happiness and high spirits for many, Christmas can be difficult for those with lost loved ones.

“This year, especially, I understand why.”

The personal message – written, as always, by the Queen alone – is particularly relevant given the upheaval many families have experienced in another year affected by the coronavirus.

The head of state, with a sapphire chrysanthemum brooch worn on her honeymoon in 1947 pinned to her red Angela Kelly Christmas dress, said of Philip: ‘His sense of service, his intellectual curiosity and his ability to derive pleasure from any situation were all irrepressible.

“That mischievous, questioning spark was as bright at the end as when I first saw it.

“But life, of course, is about final partings as well as first encounters.

“And even though my family and I miss him, I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas.”

The Queen has also acknowledged the impact of the Omicron variant, having canceled her regular trip to Sandringham in order to spend Christmas in Windsor.

She was joined the same day by Charles and Camilla, Clarence House announced.

The Queen, whose speech was recorded in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, said: “Although Covid means again that we cannot celebrate quite as we would have liked, we can still enjoy the many happy traditions.”

She added: “I’m sure someone somewhere today will notice that Christmas is a time for children. It’s an engaging truth, but only half the story.

“Perhaps it’s truer to say that Christmas can speak to the child in all of us.

“Adults, when weighed down with worries, sometimes don’t see the joy in the simple things where children don’t.

“And for me and my family, even with a familiar laugh missing this year, there will be joy at Christmas, as we get a chance to reminisce and see the wonder of the holiday season through eyes again. of our young children, of whom we were delighted to welcome four more this year.

The Queen, 95, also hinted at the prospect of reuniting with loved ones in the New Year.

She said: “February, just six weeks away, will see the start of my platinum jubilee year, which I hope will be a time for people all over the world to enjoy a sense of togetherness… and also to look to the future with confidence.”

The Queen concluded: “Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.”