An imposter who claimed to be a priest managed to talk his way into the military barracks of Windsor Castle and spent the night drinking and dining with soldiers who protect Queen Elizabeth at the royal residence, authorities said.
The clever cleric claimed his name was Father Cruise and that he was a Coldstream Guards military chaplain. According to media reports, he was allowed into the Victoria Barracks without any identification. He spent hours eating and drinking with military personnel.
He boasted that he was a test pilot for military aircraft ejection seats and had received several organ transplants. It wasn’t until then that soldiers began to be suspicious.
“Within a couple of hours, he was drinking with the officers in the bar and telling them stories of how he had served in Iraq,” TalkTV reported. “He was telling lots of tall stories and the lads were enjoying his banter and having a few drinks. It was only later when he started talking about how he had worked as an ejector-seat test pilot and had some organs replaced that the chaps started to get suspicious.”
This week, the British military said it was investigating the security breach that occurred on April 26th while Queen Elizabeth was celebrating her 95th birthday at Sandringham.
“The army takes this breach of security extremely seriously and it will be thoroughly investigated as a matter of priority,” a Ministry of Defense spokesperson said in a statement. “This incident is currently being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment.”
The fake priest was arrested the next morning, after spending the night at the barracks, police said. A reason for his foray into the fortress was not given.
The Coldstream Guards are a regiment of the British Army, tasked with protecting the monarchy and its soldiers are regularly seen at ceremonial services wearing their trademark red tunics and tall bearskin hats.
It is not the first time security has been breached at a royal residence.
Last year, a man was held under Britain’s Mental Health Act after he was arrested on the Windsor Castle grounds while carrying a cross bow. In 1982, Michael Fagan famously broke into Buckingham Palace twice, the last time getting into Queen Elizabeth’s bedroom and waking the sleeping monarch.
The British tabloids had a field day with that break-in, and it was recreated in season four of “The Crown” Netfix series.