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Jalmey 06-23-2003 03:26 PM

Royal Security
 
BBC News

Blunkett 'concerned' by Windsor stunt

Home Secretary David Blunkett has said he is "deeply concerned" by the security breach which allowed a comedian to gatecrash Prince William's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle.

He is to make a statement to the Commons on Tuesday after considering a six-page report on the incident by police.

Self-styled "comedy terrorist" Aaron Barschak, dressed as terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in a pink ball gown, scaled a wall at the castle and talked his way past police.

He then mingled with guests including senior royals before jumping on stage as Prince William made a speech.

Police have apologised to the Royal Family over the incident, which Scotland Yard Commissioner Sir John Stevens described as an "appalling" breach of security.

Mr Blunkett says he wants to see that "lessons are learned" from the incident.

'Heads on block'

Asked if heads would roll over the security breakdown, the home secretary said: "There is no question that after what happened, everyone in every position all the way through counter-terrorism forces and royal protection know their heads are on the block.

"I'm not at the moment looking for scapegoats, I am looking for answers to very difficult questions."

I think we deserve better from those who are employed to look after our interests

David Blunkett
Home Secretary

Despite the need to re-assess security of the Royal Family, Mr Blunkett said he was confident the Queen and other Royals were safe.

"The incident did display a real need to tighten up general security around the Royal Family, and by dint of that for the rest of those who are at risk," he said.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner David Veness said Mr Barschak had climbed a wall before convincing police at a check point that he had a genuine reason to be there.

"It's a combination of gaining access via an embankment, climbing a tree, jumping on to a wall and then reaching a terrace.

"He then appears to have approached a member of staff of the contractors, who then took him quite properly to a police point.

"He then proffered what must have appeared to be a credible story and regrettably gained access to the area where the party was taking place.

"I understand he indicated that he had reason to be present though the detail is a matter for the criminal investigation and the subsequent internal inquiry."

Asked how close Mr Barschak had been able to get to the Royal Family, Mr Veness said: "In our judgement and with our duty for royal protection there is no such thing as an acceptable proximity."

Senior Met and royal protection officers have already met to "draw out early lessons" from the security breach.

Mr Barschak was arrested inside the castle after mingling with 300 guests, including all the senior members of the Royal Family except Prince Edward, at the Africa-themed fancy dress party.

The comedian told the Sun newspaper: "It was unbelievably simple. I'm amazed I got in. Royal security is not at all what I expected."


Shadow home secretary Oliver Letwin called the incident a "pain-free wake up call".

"We need to learn a lesson from this because we're meant to be in a state of heightened alert," he told the BBC .

Mr Barschak was apparently trying to publicise his Edinburgh Fringe Festival comedy show by dressing up as Osama Bin Laden, according to his father Fred Barschak.

The comedian, from London, was questioned at a Thames Valley police station before being put into the custody of the Metropolitan Police on Sunday.

He was released on bail and is due to return to a London police station next month.

A St James's Palace spokeswoman refused to comment on how the incident had affected the Royal Family and other party guests.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/image...chak203_pa.jpg
Barschak was said to be trying to promote his comedy show

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl...3/img/laun.jpg
How did Aaron Barschak breach security at Windsor Castle?

Jalmey 06-23-2003 03:27 PM

DAILY MAIL, June 23, 2003

EVERYONE FROZE AS HE STORMED IN

RICHARD KAY

The Waterloo Chamber, heavy with the scent of exotic African blooms,
crackled with excitement as Prince William slowly got to his feet.

He had taken off his headdress and for the first time some of his
guests caught a proper glimpse of the young prince, bare-chested and
barefoot and in just a loincloth as he threaded through the tables.

All around him the warm glow of family and familiar faces as far as
he could see, and an expectant hush fell on the gathering as William
stood at a microphone to thank and toast 'my grandmother' the Queen
and 'papa', the Prince of Wales.

It was exactly 11.20pm and a princely party to celebrate a coming of
age was about to become tarnished as a night of a scandalous security
breach with potentially lethal implications.

Suddenly William, responding to a generous tribute from his father,
was interrupted by the commotion of a wild and bearded figure bearing
down on him. Dirty and perspiring heavily behind sunglasses, the man
was wearing a turban, pointy slippers, a false beard and,
extraordinarily, a salmon pink ballgown. Beneath it, most bizarrely
of all, he had on a black wig attached to a G-string.

He grabbed the microphone from William and launched into a rambling,
barely coherent monologue punctuated with the chilling words: 'I am
Osama, I am Osama.'

For a few seconds, perhaps as long as a minute, fascination froze on
the face of the Queen and almost the entire Royal Family dotted
around her. Was this some unscripted addition to the programme, a
comedy turn that would surely deliver up a suitably amusing
punchline?

Only William, who had choreographed the night's entertainment and
knew that there was no such pantomime planned, looked uneasy.
Fleetingly he thought it was a stunt of his brother Harry's making.

He looked left and right for his police bodyguard Sergeant Iuean
Jones, whose concession to the fancy-dress Out of Africa theme was to
wear a Springbok rugby shirt.

Inside palaces, royal protection officers are relaxed. And nowhere,
surely, can be more secure than Windsor Castle, a fortress of
impenetrable glacial stone bristling with the very latest
surveillance equipment.

But none of this is any good if security is lax. Alerted by William,
Sgt Jones and other police dashed forward and bundled the man away.
Within minutes he was put in handcuffs and thrust into a police Land
Rover.

With aplomb William turned to his guests and made a joke about it
being his brother in disguise and the moment was defused.

But inwardly he was seething that his party had been compromised, the
Queen was outraged that a royal home had once again been violated,
and Prince Charles was bemused and embarrassed.

At a stroke, an intruder had made a mockery of Scotland Yard, the
Home Office and all the sophisticated security at their disposal. He
had come within yards of the Queen and virtually every senior member
of the Royal Family.

Had he been carrying a gun, or a suicide bomber's belt packed with
explosive, he could have changed the face of history. The Queen, her
son, grandson and more than 30 other members of her family could have
been wiped out.

Yesterday as the appalling realisation of what might have been began
to sink in, senior courtiers were horrified. 'It would have been the
end of the monarchy,' said one influential adviser. 'It is
unbelievable that someone could have penetrated security and
apparently unchecked get that close to the family.

'It's diabolical and disgraceful.' So how did it happen? And how was
the meticulous planning of William, Prince Charles and the Queen
allowed to be overshadowed?

As we shall see the disclosures are startling and for the police
deeply uncomfortable.

It was late afternoon when the Queen motored back to Windsor from
Ascot after the final day of the royal race meeting. Outside crowds
of excited well-wishers had already begun to gather as her car swept
up the Long Walk.

Her grandson, meanwhile, was putting the finishing touches to his
party planning. His birthday had dawned without him receiving his
longed-for high-speed motorcycle as a present. Instead, it was said,
Prince Charles had bought him a polo pony.

The first guests had begun arriving at 5pm. These were the 150 who
were being provided with accommodation. Dozens of royal staff had
been asked to vacate their rooms for the weekend to permit William's
friends to stay.

The staff were not needed anyway because party organiser Michael
Fawcett, Prince Charles's former aide, had brought in out-side
caterers. As the Mail revealed last week, catering was in the hands
of the society firm the Admirable Crichton.

All was not well, however, outside in Windsor park. A gatekeeper had
been observing a bearded man dressed in a flowing black cape stalking
up and down the Long Walk, which is the private entrance the Royal
Family use to the castle.

Police too were alerted by this figure 'acting peculiarly', as the
gatekeeper told us. Some time later he was seen to disappear in the
direction of Windsor's Two

William's party was, by royal standards, a modest affair. One company
provided the food and drink, another the crockery and Wood Brown, a
florist from Battersea, South-West London, provided authentic African
flowers.

There were no wild animals roaming the grounds but there were 12ft
high model elephants, plenty of tribal masks and an array of animal
skins. Mr Fawcett had transformed two rooms in the State apartments,
the Grand Reception Room and the Waterloo Chamber.

There were few celebrity guests. Rowan Atkinson and Emma Thompson
were invited after becoming friends with William when they helped
organise a surprise party for Prince Charles's 50th birthday.

No pop stars were there, just two bands - one African, the other
contemporary - and a DJ spinning hits from the 1970s and 1980s.

Inside the Waterloo Chamber, where the Queen celebrated her

own 60th birthday, there were 32 tables of ten.

Visitors were still milling through Lower Ward as, inside the castle
guest rooms, partygoers laid out their extravagant outfits. Prince
Charles was putting the finishing touches to one of the most
elaborate of all - he would appear as a West African king.

With her feathery red headdress there was no need to guess what
Camilla would arrive as - a queen.

On any other night it would have been the extraordinary group of
guests whose stories would be told. There was the sight of the
Spencers - Diana's brother Charles and sisters Lady Sarah and Lady
Jane under the royal roof.

There was Lady Romsey, Prince Philip's beautiful carriage-driving
companion, who entered into the spirit by hiding her face behind a
leopard mask as she and her husband swept up to the castle.

The Queen's outfit, with some feathers and beads, was described by
one guest as 'understated'. But then compared with William's
outrageous polo playing friends - the 'glossy posse' - in grass
skirts, tunics bedecked with skins and bones, perhaps it was.

A white van brought a gang from William's university with the
legend 'St Andrews on safari' down the side. Some came as Indiana
Jones, others as Cleopatra, French foreign legion soldiers and Zulu
warriors.

Eyes might also have fallen on Jessica Craig - Jecca to her friends -
the Kenyan beauty who has been linked to William. His guests included
many pretty girls, such as his university flatmate Kate Middleton.

It was at 7 .30 pm that Barschak, dressed as Osama Bin Laden,
reappeared, striding towards the pen of photographers outside the
Castle Hill Gate. As he reached the cameras he shouted out: 'Happy
Birthday. I am from Africa, I am out of this world.'

Then lifting his skirts to expose his wig, he said: 'I give you the
heir, the underbelly.' He then appeared to advertise his presence
next month at the Edinburgh Festival in a show, Osama Like It Hot.

As his sunglasses fell off he removed his slippers and shouted: 'I am
Osama, I am Osama.'

In a shoulder bag he had a book about Bin Laden. A police officer
walked up. 'There were women and children there, he had to be calmed
down,' the officer said later.

Barschak shuffled off towards Windsor town centre.

By now six special guests were also inside the castle.

William's former nannies Jessie Webb, Barbara Barnes and Olga Powell
together with Prince Charles's nanny Mabel Anderson had taken their
places alongside his two favourite police guards, Dave Sharp and
Graham Craker.

There was no cabaret and after a reception, guests sat down to
asparagus and truffle mousse and stuffed chicken breasts served on
leopard and tiger-print china.

It was after the last course was cleared away that William stood up
to speak.

His father, never before so proud of his son, smiled across at him.

The intruder was now at William's side. But as the young prince took
control, one of Princess Diana's old friends said: 'His mother would
have been very proud.

He refused to allow his party to be spoiled.'

Minutes after the incident the first guests began to drift away. The
Queen herself left shortly after midnight. For William, however, the
night was still young. It was after 5am when he finally went to bed.

Jalmey 06-23-2003 03:35 PM

Hello Magazine

Wills Laughs Off 'Comedy Attack,' but Queen Wants Answers.
23 JUNE 2003

Prince William welcomed 300 guests – and one bearded gatecrasher – to his 21st birthday bash at Windsor Castle on Saturday. Wills was giving a thank-you speech when the uninvited partygoer, dressed in a dress, turban and fake beard, seized the microphone and began ranting at the revellers.

A major review of royal security has been ordered after the incident, in which self-styled alternative comedian Aaron Barschak managed to slip past police and gain entry to the year's most exclusive party.

He was quickly bundled away by royal protection officers, and quick-witted Wills laughed off the intrusion, saying: "I didn't know my brother could do an accent like that."

But the Queen is said to have been very upset that security was breached at the celebration, which was attended by almost every senior member of the Royal Family. Prince Charles was also deeply concerned and Home Secretary David Blunkett has demanded an investigation.

The fact that the intruder described himself as a "comedy terrorist" only served to emphasise Her Majesty's concerns. The 36-year-old comic apparently meant no harm, and was simply seeking publicity as he wants to become a serious actor, but the question of how he managed to get so close to the future Kings will have to be answered.

Apparently he had been spotted earlier in the day near the private entrance to the castle, but police ordered him to move on. He then approached a works entrance, and managed to talk his way past the officer who was standing guard.

"Someone loosely connected to the castle helped him to get in," said a source at Scotland Yard. "He talked to the royalty protection officer and persuaded him that Barschak should be allowed in. It may seem hard to believe but the security system was let down by one of our own people who didn't do their job properly."

The Out Of Africa-themed celebration soon got back into full swing, however, and many guests stayed until dawn. Barschak, meanwhile, has been released on bail and the police officer who granted him entry may face disciplinary action.

http://www.hellomagazine.com/2003/06...ills-dop2b.jpg
William rehearsing with a group of percussionists before the revelry got underway

http://www.hellomagazine.com/2003/06...ills-dop1b.jpg
Aaron Barshack strutting around in front of the assembled press before gatecrashing the party

Binny 11-19-2003 03:37 AM

Royal Security
 
From Sky News - (oh dear)..

Wednesday November 19, 05:07 AM

Reporter Breaches Palace Security

A serious breach of royal security has been exposed after a newspaper reporter posed undercover for two months as a footman at Buckingham Palace.The Daily Mirror's Ryan Parry used bogus references to get a job while the police and royal staff were preparing for the visit of President George Bush.Parry was due to serve breakfast to President Bush's top aides this morning, the newspaper said.

The shocking investigation covered 15 pages in today's edition of the newspaper and raises questions over royal security.

'Incompetence'

The story includes pictures by photographer Phil Harris from inside the palace of the president and his wife's bedroom, The Belgian Suite, the Queen's breakfast table and the Duke of York's room, complete with soft toys.

Parry wrote: "Had I been a terrorist intent on assassinating the Queen or American president George Bush, I could have done so with absolute ease.

"Indeed, this morning I would have been serving breakfast to key members of his government, including National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice and US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

"Such is the shocking incompetence at the heart of the biggest security operation ever in Britain."

The White House press office and Buckingham Palace made no comment about the story.

Fake CV

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman also said she had no response at the moment.

In August, Parry responded to a job advertisement on a recruitment page of the Buckingham Palace official website.

On his CV, he excluded details of his journalistic career and included one fake reference and a real one, the newspaper claims.

Parry, who was pictured in red livery riding in a gilded horse-drawn carriage yesterday, claimed no rigorous security checks were done on his background.

Despite this, he claimed he was given a full all-areas security pass on his first day and had direct access to the Queen's food, which he said he could have easily poisoned.

He added that just days ago, in the midst of the security ahead of the president's visit, he was able to walk through rooms he and his wife would use, taking photographs of the bedroom.

Parry left the Palace at midnight after the arrival of President Bush and his wife, the newspaper said.

Binny 11-19-2003 05:10 AM

From the (UK) Daily Mirror

A RIGHT ROYAL FIASCO

Nov 19 2003

By Ryan Parry


FOR the past eight weeks, I have enjoyed unfettered access throughout Buckingham Palace as one of the Royal Family’s key aides.

Had I been a terrorist intent on assassinating the Queen or President George Bush, I could have done so with absolute ease.

Indeed, this morning I would have been serving breakfast to key members of his government, including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Such is the shocking incompetence at the heart of the biggest security operation ever in Britain.

Not once, from the moment I applied for my job as a footman to my walking out of the palace last night, did anyone ever perform anything close to a rigorous security check on my background.

Not once during the entire three- month operation did anyone ever search me or my bags as I came and went at Buckingham Palace.

On my first day I was given a full all-areas security pass and the traditional uniform of the Queen’s trusted aides that allowed me unquestioned access to every member of the royal family.

And within days of starting my job, I was even shown the secret hiding places for keys that will open the royal apartments.

From my small bedroom on the palace’s second floor, directly above the famous Picture Gallery and just yards from the Queen’s bedroom, plotting a devastating terrorist attack would have been simple.

Because I frequently had direct contact with the Queen’s food – delivering her tray was one of my tasks – I could have easily poisoned the monarch. And just days ago, as the supposedly impenetrable security was prepared for George Bush, I was able to wander at will through the rooms he and his wife will use during their stay, taking snaps of the bedroom they slept in last night.

I was also able to wander unchecked through Prince Andrew’s private apartment and those of the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne. But most remarkable is the sheer ease by which I managed to win myself a job living and working in direct contact with the Queen – on the eve of the biggest security operation in British history.

IT began last August when I applied for a job as a royal footman advertised on a recruitment page of the Buckingham Palace official website.

I composed a CV – leaving out details of my journalistic career – with one real reference and one fake.

At one stage the palace even accepted a character reference over the telephone from a regular at the pub where I used to work as a barman.

Exposing my lies would have taken a simple check on the internet.

During my time at the palace I worked on a daily basis as a personal servant to the royals and served VIP guests and A-list celebrities. I was even invited to join the police gym.

Our investigation makes a mockery of the £10million security operation set up to protect the President.

I spent the early part of yesterday in a royal carriage with the Portuguese ambassador and other VIPs.

I left last night at 9.45pm, loading my gear into two holdalls. I walked out past two British armed guards, my heart pounding.

Then I stepped out into Buckingham Palace Road, unchecked and unchallenged for the last time.

Binny 11-19-2003 05:15 AM

From the same source -

OUR MAN IN THE PALACE: MY LIFE AS A FOOTMAN Nov 19 2003

By Ryan Parry


THE horse-drawn carriage came to a halt outside the Grand Entrance to Buckingham Palace. I jumped off, opened the heavy carriage door and lowered the blue-carpeted steps.

It was a grand occasion for the occupants - they were about to have an audience with Her Majesty the Queen.

Moments earlier I had stood proudly on the rear of the black and gold carriage as hundreds of tourists and royal watchers saw our convoy clatter up The Mall.

Special Escort Group police motorcycles carved a safe route through London and all security measures were taken - the royal parks managers were even asked to ensure covers were placed over waste paper bins.

Yet, dressed in the royal footman's livery of a long scarlet wrap doubled up over the shoulders and a gold-lined top hat, I once again had direct access to the royals and their VIP guests from Prime Ministers and foreign leaders to international celebrities.

The Queen's Equerry, Major James Duckworth-Chad, will be waiting on President Bush this week. One of my duties was to wait on the major, placing me one person away from the president himself.

I had previously waited on the Equerry on Remembrance Day, watching him on TV accompanying the Queen to the Cenotaph in all his ceremonial glory, knowing I had spit-polished his boots.

I spent the previous weeks working within the Master of the Household's department - what royal insiders refer to as the G-branch, general household staff comprising valets, butlers, footmen and drivers. Other footmen work for F-branch - food and drinks - and H-branch - housekeeping and cleaning.

My duties, on a £11,881 salary, cut to £9,338 after living costs, included manning the Grand Entrance and receiving and escorting guests.

EACH day began at 7.30am in the footman's room in the basement where we got our instructions. Were I a terrorist I would have found useful a card on the noticeboard with the Queen's schedule for the day - handwritten by Major Duckworth-Chad.

Working for G-branch was like stepping back into another era where royal pomp and ceremony - down to the tiniest detail of where to place the Queen's marmalade - have changed little since Edwardian times.

One weekend I joined another footman, two kitchen porters, two chefs, two silver pantry under-butlers, a page and a coffee-room maid - just to tend to the Queen.

The maid waited two-and-a-half hours to pick up a pot of coffee from a hot plate and pour it into a silver jug.

She then handed it to me. My role was to take the tray 20 metres to the page's vestibule and hand it to the page, who then carried it another eight metres to the Queen in her dining room.

One of the staff said to me: "It's incredible, isn't it?" At official events such as investitures and receptions, footmen show distinguished guests into the ballroom and serve drinks and canapes. At one reception held for British pioneers, I served Sir Cliff Richard a gin and tonic. Dignitaries including David Trimble, Lord Attenborough and Sir Trevor McDonald accepted drinks from me as they mingled with the Queen.

I also learned how to lay out the grandly titled Prime Minister's Drinks Tray with its choice of whisky, soda, clarets and beer.

Footmen also ride the Queen's carriages at the State opening of Parliament and Royal Ascot. We serve at State banquets and diplomatic receptions. But all this is secondary to attending royals - serving , delivering mail and being at their beck and call.

The myriad of personal instructions for each member of the household would be invaluable to anyone who meant them harm. Tea trays for each royal have their own precise map, indicating where condiments, teapots and milk jugs must be placed. Philip's always includes oat cakes next to the honey. Sophie Wessex eats breakfast in private from 7.30am to 8.10am, and prefers white wine at dinner.

Prince Andrew does not drink alcohol but will often have wine on the table for guests. We were told: "Do not dither around, be positive in his presence."

As part of the working rota, footmen come into contact with the royals, speaking to them personally in the mornings to find out their movements and their daily needs.

Some are easy to attend to. Princess Anne gets on with her work without fuss. But she's also quite particular. Her fruit bowl must contain a very black banana and ripe kiwi fruit.

The Wessexes are known for being laid back and pleasant with footmen but Andrew is known for his abrasive and demanding attitude.

When he flies through the main gates in his Aston Martin, even the police stand well back. And he is well known for dressing down staff.

Some often talk about what kind of mood the Duke is in because it can mean the difference between an easy and a nightmarish day. Each morning at 7.30 a footman wakes him up with his "calling tray" - a pot of tea with a china cup and saucer. The response can as easily be "f**k off" as "good morning". My senior footman Robert Ferris told me: "You get used to it." Ferris, who has been at the Palace for three years, told me that after he made a mistake over a task, Princess Anne once blurted out "You f*****g incompetent tw*t."

New footmen start on a three-year programme spending time in the glass and silver pantries and receive a certificate highly regarded in the hospitality industry.

One of three new recruits, I shadowed a senior footman for six weeks. Once, when I dropped a cup, Ferris laughed: "Just ensure you don't do that with the Queen's Georgian china."

AT THE end of my six-week trial period, he told me: "Next week, you're on your own. Good luck and don't f**k up." Now, I had the complete run of the Palace without a shadow.

Master of the Household Tom Arnold summoned me for a 15-minute introduction. He said: "You never know what is going to happen. Consider security a high priority but your safety is also extremely important. You need to know ways of getting out quick."

There are bizarre rules and protocol to follow. It's frowned upon for junior staff to walk along the middle of the carpets. Footmen keep to the edges on what is described as "the slow lane".

I was given Day Livery of a black tailcoat and red waistcoat, Scarlet Livery for ceremonial events and State Livery for the state opening of Parliament and coronations.

In contrast to the Royals' luxurious surroundings, I lived on the footman's floor in a section known as London Bridge. The small room was basic with a bed, wardrobe, desk and sink. Toilets and showers are communal.

Live-in staff have three meals a day. Dishes like roast pork and banoffi pie - served to royals the previous day - often popped up.

I was told many of the footmen's secrets. One said: "When the Tories are in power, there are always two footmen at the door to welcome the Prime Minister and another to serve the tea tray, but there are no footmen on hand when Tony Blair comes for his fortnightly meetings every other Tuesday. They don't think it looks good having liveried staff everywhere for the socialists."

A footman's hours are often long, especially if there is a dinner or a reception. But every day is different. Valeting is a big part of the job. I often steam ironed the Equerry's shirts. Major Duckworth-Chad's boots have to be spit polished to a "glass finish" and his sword and belt buffed before being laid out in his room.

ONE worker said of senior household members: "They think they're more royal than royalty. They fire orders around and some don't bother to say please, thank you or even hello.

"I've seen Duckworth-Chad on shooting days at Sandringham. He drags picnic baskets around and the Queen has him doing all kinds of jobs. He's just like us at the end of the day."

There are 13 footmen at the Palace but G-branch are always looking to recruit more as there is a high turnover of staff.

Four weeks into my training another recruit was sacked. I was told his work wasn't up to standard and the personnel office had discovered a problem when they checked his references. Yet they hadn't checked mine.

It is a demanding job with long periods away. The atmosphere can be tense with staff rowing over trivialities like whose duty it is to clear away the cheese, biscuits and butter dishes.

Page Richard McCue, who runs the Palace social club, orders junior staff around and does his utmost to catch them out.

"Nice tram-lines, get them sorted," he would shout pointing at my badly ironed trousers.

I soon realised life as a footman is not my cup of tea. With long hours and pitiful pay, no wonder the novelty of working for the Queen soon wears thin.

Binny 11-19-2003 05:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Ryan Parry - the reporter/footman..

Dennism 11-19-2003 09:52 AM

I love the footman's story. That is hilarious and so bad at the same time. Just a question; How did the photographer get in to take photos of the Belgian suite? That part I'm missing.

Binny 11-20-2003 03:29 PM

On a lighter note - :flower:


Some Britons Shocked at Queen's Decor

By ROBERT BARR, Associated Press Writer

LONDON - A tabloid reporter's tale of working undercover as a Buckingham Palace footman has deeply shocked British commentators.

That wallpaper!

That Tupperware and plastic yoghurt pot on Her Majesty's breakfast table!

That "eat, drink and remarry" pillow in Prince Andrew's sitting room!

Thursday's newspapers had plenty of comment on the style — or lack of it — inside the palace. Never mind the security implications of servants being hired despite giving false references.

The Daily Mirror's scoop in having reporter Ryan Parry work undercover as a royal footman for two months won the ultimate tribute from rival newspapers, which quoted at length and reprinted several of the pictures that Parry snapped while on duty.

"Have you seen that wallpaper?" Andrew Anthony wrote in The Guardian.

"To gaze at the red and pink flock paper that adorns the walls of Prince Andrew's bedroom is to be transported back to 1973 in the unused upstairs room of your local pub where tuneless rock bands used to practice," Anthony wrote.

Walter Bagehot, a 19th-century political commentator, had warned against this kind of scrutiny.

"Above all things our royalty is to be reverenced, and if you begin to poke about it you cannot reverence it," he wrote. " ... Its mystery is its life. We must not let in daylight upon magic."

Buckingham Palace went to court Thursday, winning an injunction to stop the Daily Mirror from printing any more of Parry's discoveries pending a full hearing.

This week's stories weren't as damaging as years of coverage of the Charles and Diana marriage, or the photos of a topless Duchess of York, or the recent kerfuffle over the unpublished rumor so firmly denied by Prince Charles.

But as the nation contemplated the wallpaper, the mystique of the monarchy died a little bit more. It was all so suburban, so yesterday.

"'Footman' exposes Tupperware secret of the queen's table," said a headline on The Daily Telegraph's front page.

"Chief among the victims were the Earl and Countess of Wessex (Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie), who — it is now known — share their bedroom at the palace with a wooden wall unit and like to adorn their bed with furry bears and dogs," The Daily Telegraph said.

The Daily Mail annotated a photo of a royal breakfast table, noting the adjustable lamp ("circa 1975"), the plastic containers of cereal, the pot of yoghurt, the portable radio and the "old-fashioned telephone."

"These are constant reminders of bygone years when the lives of the royals were so much gentler and less troubled," the Daily Mail's report said.

"The poor dear queen can't win," Lucia van der Post wrote in The Times. Either she redecorates, and is criticized for extravagance, or does nothing and is derided as a fuddy-duddy.

"But the real trouble with the little bits we see is not that they're out of date, it's that most of us have trouble understanding how anybody in her right mind could have chosen them in the first place," van der Post wrote.

"The real importance of the story is nothing to do with security," The Independent said in an editorial. "It is that it is yet another example of the Brits' unerring ability to focus on what really matters: in this case, the queen's breakfast habits."

Binny 11-20-2003 10:07 PM

Queen Wins Order Against 'Footman' Reporter

By Jeremy Lovell

LONDON (Reuters) - Queen Elizabeth won a bid on Thursday to temporarily gag a journalist and his paper after a security scare in which the reporter got a job as a royal servant ahead of President Bush's visit to London.

For the past two days, the Daily Mirror has been printing tidbits about life in the royal household as told by its man "below stairs," reporter Ryan Parry.

But on Thursday judge Kim Lewison granted the Queen a temporary injunction banning further publication of any details of Parry's time as a Buckingham Palace footman.

During the hearing at the High Court, David Pannick, counsel for the Queen, described Parry as "not so much a footman as a foot-in-the-door man."

The Daily Mirror indicated that it would return to court on Monday, when the temporary injunction expires, to reargue its case.

Earlier a palace spokeswoman said the Queen was seeking to preserve her right to privacy on the grounds that Parry had breached the duty of confidence he owed to his former employer.

The palace spokeswoman said the court action applied only to any further revelations.

"This is about privacy. Everybody has a right to privacy in their own home," she said.

In a coup for the tabloid, Parry worked as a footman in Buckingham Palace for two months after getting the job using bogus references.

The Mirror printed articles by Parry describing intimate details of the daily lives of members of the royal household, including snippets on how the Queen takes breakfast and her taste in television soap operas.

In an embarrassing blow for the security forces mounting the capital's biggest ever police operation, Parry said he had access to the suite of rooms being used by Bush during his stay at the palace at the invitation of the Queen.

Cartoonists have had a field day with Parry's scoop.

The Times showed two footmen carrying the ermine-lined train of the monarch as she swept along in her royal robes.

One footman asks the other: "Which newspaper do you work for?"

Dennism 11-21-2003 01:36 AM

AP

A tabloid reporter's tale of working undercover as a Buckingham Palace footman has deeply shocked British commentators.

That wallpaper!

That Tupperware and plastic yoghurt pot on Her Majesty's breakfast table!

That ``eat, drink and remarry'' pillow in Prince Andrew's sitting room!

Thursday's newspapers had plenty of comment on the style - or lack of it - inside the palace. Never mind the security implications of servants being hired despite giving false references.

The Daily Mirror's scoop in having reporter Ryan Parry work undercover as a royal footman for two months won the ultimate tribute from rival newspapers, which quoted at length and reprinted several of the pictures that Parry snapped while on duty.

``Have you seen that wallpaper?'' Andrew Anthony wrote in The Guardian.

``To gaze at the red and pink flock paper that adorns the walls of Prince Andrew's bedroom is to be transported back to 1973 in the unused upstairs room of your local pub where tuneless rock bands used to practice,'' Anthony wrote.

Walter Bagehot, a 19th-century political commentator, had warned against this kind of scrutiny.

``Above all things our royalty is to be reverenced, and if you begin to poke about it you cannot reverence it,'' he wrote. `

Its mystery is its life. We must not let in daylight upon magic.''

Buckingham Palace went to court Thursday, winning an injunction to stop the Daily Mirror from printing any more of Parry's discoveries pending a full hearing.

This week's stories weren't as damaging as years of coverage of the Charles and Diana marriage, or the photos of a topless Duchess of York, or the recent kerfuffle over the unpublished rumor so firmly denied by Prince Charles.

But as the nation contemplated the wallpaper, the mystique of the monarchy died a little bit more. It was all so suburban, so yesterday.

``'Footman' exposes Tupperware secret of the queen's table,'' said a headline on The Daily Telegraph's front page.

``Chief among the victims were the Earl and Countess of Wessex (Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie), who - it is now known - share their bedroom at the palace with a wooden wall unit and like to adorn their bed with furry bears and dogs,'' The Daily Telegraph said.

The Daily Mail annotated a photo of a royal breakfast table, noting the adjustable lamp (``circa 1975''), the plastic containers of cereal, the pot of yoghurt, the portable radio and the ``old-fashioned telephone.''

``These are constant reminders of bygone years when the lives of the royals were so much gentler and less troubled,'' the Daily Mail's report said.

``The poor dear queen can't win,'' Lucia van der Post wrote in The Times. Either she redecorates, and is criticized for extravagance, or does nothing and is derided as a fuddy-duddy.

``But the real trouble with the little bits we see is not that they're out of date, it's that most of us have trouble understanding how anybody in her right mind could have chosen them in the first place,'' van der Post wrote.

``The real importance of the story is nothing to do with security,'' The Independent said in an editorial. ``It is that it is yet another example of the Brits' unerring ability to focus on what really matters: in this case, the queen's breakfast habits.''

Dennism 04-16-2004 10:19 AM

BBC

Vetting for jobs working with the Royal Family is expected to be stepped up following a reporter's infiltration of Buckingham Palace.

The Independent Security Commission was asked to investigate after the incident.

Its report is thought to recommend "positive vetting" for royal jobs with every aspect of an applicant's life is looked into.

MI5 could take a lead role in checking people's backgrounds.

The Security Service also do this for sensitive jobs in Downing Street, the Ministry of Defence and elsewhere.

The commission was headed by senior judge Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and is now being examined by the Home Office.

The prime minister ordered the investigation after Daily Mirror journalist Ryan Parry was able to get a job as a footman and work for two months with only cursory efforts to check his background.

Mr Parry had worked close to the Royal Family and had access to royal sites in the run-up to a visit by President George W Bush, with security supposedly stepped up.

Concerns had been raised earlier in the year by comedian Aaron Barschak's gatecrashing of Prince William's party at Windsor Castle.

BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the actual physical protection of the royals - enhanced in the current climate of fear over possible terrorist attacks - was unlikely to see major changes.

Dennism 05-17-2004 10:25 PM

BBC


A man has been arrested for allegedly impersonating a police officer in a public area of Windsor Castle, said Scotland Yard.

A woman in her 30s was also arrested on suspicion of deception on Monday after 1600 BST.

No members of the Royal Family were at the castle and police say the incident did not represent a security breach.

The man, who is also in his 30s, and the woman are being questioned at a London police station.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "At this stage it is not believed that security was breached but we are reviewing all the circumstances of the arrest.

"No members of the Royal Family were in residence at the time."

Security adviser informed

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said it was believed the man, posing as a plains clothes officer, entered the public area of Windsor Castle.

An overhaul of royal security was ordered last year after stand-up comedian Aaron Barschak gatecrashed Prince William's 21st birthday party at the castle.

He set off seven alarms and was visible on CCTV cameras but was not stopped by police.

Earlier this month the Buckingham Palace announced the appointment of a new director of security, Brigadier Jeffrey Cook, to oversee the co-ordination and royal protection and vetting of staff.

As to the latest incident, a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "It is a police matter.

"However, our security adviser, Brigadier Jeffrey Cook, has been informed."

Shadow home secretary David Davis said: "It beggars belief that within a year, we have a third major breach of palace security, which comes almost immediately after the appointment of Brigadier Jeffrey Cook as head of royal security and after an extensive and expensive security review.

"The home secretary must take responsibility for this and must now recognise that the case for a separate minister for homeland security in unarguable.

"If David Blunkett cannot protect our head of state, how can he be expected to provide protection for the whole of the British public against terrorism threats."

Scotland Yard refused to comment on reports the man had passed through a security check at the castle by using the name of a senior detective currently heading a high profile investigation.

GrandDuchess 04-07-2005 08:49 AM

From BBC News:
 
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/image...camilla203.jpg

Fake bomb 'reaches castle area'

Metropolitan Police chief Sir Ian Blair has ordered an inquiry into claims journalists drove a van carrying a fake bomb into Windsor Castle's grounds.

The Sun said the van passed St George's Chapel, where the marriage of Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles will be blessed this Saturday.

The "apparent security breach" raised serious concern, Scotland Yard said.

The report comes after it emerged that on Sunday two tourists scaled a fence and entered a private castle area.

'Not searched'

Scotland Yard said Sir Ian wanted to establish the facts surrounding the latest report in Thursday's Sun.

The newspaper claimed it breached the castle's £5m security barrier with "breathtaking ease" and got to within a "stone's throw" of the Queen's apartments.

One of its reporters and a photographer say they drove up in a hire van with no security passes and no pre-arranged delivery time.

On board was a brown box marked "bomb" and the reporter says he had a fake delivery note.

After an attempt to check up on them failed, they were allowed to drive into the grounds - past the chapel where the royal couple will be blessed - and they were not searched, the paper said.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: "It's only right the facts are established before any action is taken against any person who may be culpable."

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: "Security is a matter for the police who have been asked to investigate."

Windsor Castle staff are already investigating how two men were able to enter one of its private areas last weekend.

Scotland Yard said the tourists were detected immediately and taken back to the public area but not arrested.

"The secure area of the castle was not breached at any stage", a spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, police said they hoped Buckingham Palace would contribute to costs caused by the change in the royal wedding date.

The switch, from Friday to Saturday because Prince Charles will be attending the Pope's funeral, may result in a big rise in security costs as extra police are drafted in on their days off.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles is preparing for his last official UK engagement before the wedding.

He is a patron of Breast Cancer Haven and will visit the charity's centre in Fulham, London, on Thursday.

The new wedding date and time - 1230 BST on Saturday - has also affected the Grand National at Aintree, with a change in start time from 1545 BST to 1610 BST.

Weathermen say it is set to rain on Saturday, with Windsor having quite chilly temperatures of 6C (43F), which is lower than the seasonal average of 12C (54F).

WINDSOR SECURITY BREACHES
Feb 2005: Conman Michael Hammond, who posed as a senior police officer to get into Windsor Castle, is jailed
June 2003: Intruder Aaron Barschak jumps on stage dressed as Osama bin Laden at Prince William's 21st birthday
Nov 2003: Reporter Ryan Parry, who got a job at Buckingham Palace, claims security at Windsor is worse
1994: Security review launched after a ceremonial sword is stolen from the castle museum
1994: A pair of Eton schoolboys scale the castle walls and trigger alarms

marezdote 06-16-2005 08:47 AM

from msnbc.com

Another royal security breach
Journalist builds fake bomb, films prince at his military academy
The Associated Press
Updated: 8:18 a.m. ET June 16, 2005

LONDON - Britain’s defense minister on Thursday ordered an investigation into security at the army’s Sandhurst officers’ academy, where Prince Harry is training, after a newspaper reported that one of its journalists gained access and filmed the prince.




The incident is the latest in a string of breaches that have focused attention on the royal family’s security in the past couple for years.
The popular daily newspaper The Sun said its reporter posed as a student to get permission to use the library at the elite Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Surrey, southern England, where Prince Charles’ younger son is an officer cadet.

The journalist spent some eight hours wandering the grounds at Sandhurst and took video footage of Prince Harry, stills from which were published in the newspaper. He also built what The Sun called a fake bomb, with wires, plasticine, a battery and clock in his car while at the academy, the daily said.

A Ministry of Defense spokesman confirmed that The Sun’s report was accurate.

Defense Secretary John Reid said he had ordered “an immediate investigation into this serious security breach.

“I have instructed Sandhurst to change their procedures to prevent a recurrence,” Reid said in a statement released by the ministry. Reid didn’t specify what the changes would be.

Prince Harry, 20, began his training at Sandhurst last month.

The Sun’s stunt follows several recent lapses in royal security. In September, a protester disguised as Batman climbed onto a ledge on the front of Buckingham Palace and remained there for several hours.

A comedian dressed as Osama bin Laden gatecrashed Prince William’s 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle in 2003. Later that year a reporter from the Daily Mirror got a job as a servant at Buckingham Palace and took pictures of the royals’ living quarters.

sara1981 06-16-2005 02:15 PM

KANSAS MORNING SUN NEWSPAPER

Security at Prince Harry's military academy to be investigated after journalist gained access

The Associated Press http://images.morris.com/images/ap/o...pe/7956914.jpg The front page of British newspaper The Sun, which has led to the Sandhurst military academy - where Britain's Prince Harry is training to be an officer - launching a security review after a reporter walked around the grounds carrying a fake explosive device. Prince Harry is seen at centre of the front page circled in red and the photo of the journalist named only as the investigator at bottom of the page was manipulated was by the publishers of the newspaper. (AP Photo/The Sun, PA)
LONDON — Britain's defense minister ordered an investigation Thursday into security at the military school where Prince Harry is training, after a newspaper said one of its journalists, who had a camera and a fake bomb, gained access.

It was the latest security breach involving the royal family in recent years.

The Sun tabloid said one of its reporters posed as a student to get permission to use the library at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Surrey, where Prince Charles' younger son is an officer cadet.

The journalist spent some eight hours wandering the grounds and took video of Prince Harry, stills from which were published in the newspaper. He also built what The Sun called a fake bomb, with wires, plasticine, a battery and clock in his car while at the academy, the newspaper said.

But Clarence House, the office of Prince Harry's father, Prince Charles, said the cadet shown in the video was not Prince Harry.

"Having reviewed the footage and spoken to people with Prince Harry, it's our opinion that it's not him," a Clarence House spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity.

The Sun insisted the video showed the prince and said it stood by its report.

A Ministry of Defense spokesman confirmed that The Sun's report was accurate.

Defense Secretary John Reid said he had ordered "an immediate investigation into this serious security breach."

"I have instructed Sandhurst to change their procedures to prevent a recurrence," Reid said in a statement. Reid didn't specify what the changes would be.

Prince Harry, 20, began his training at Sandhurst last month.

The Sun's stunt follows several recent lapses in royal security. In September, a protester disguised as Batman climbed onto a ledge on the front of Buckingham Palace and remained there for several hours.

A comedian dressed as Osama bin Laden crashed Prince William's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle in 2003. Later that year, a reporter from the Daily Mirror got a job as a servant at Buckingham Palace and took pictures of the royals' living quarters.

sara1981 06-16-2005 02:24 PM

CNN NEWS

Harry 'faced fake bomb thread'
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/eu...rst/index.html

Sara Boyce

sara1981 06-16-2005 03:54 PM

ITV NEWS

http://www.itv.com/news/story2118016.160x120.jpg"I have demanded an immediate investigation into this serious security breach" - Defence Secretary John Reid
Row breaks out over 'Harry bomb' pics
4.48PM, Thu Jun 16 2005


A row has broken out between the Sun newspaper and Prince Charles's office over undercover pictures allegedly showing a reporter holding a fake bomb just metres from Prince Harry.

The pictures were taken inside Sandhurst Military Academy, where the young Prince is undergoing army training.

An undercover reporter claims that he filmed footage of the young Royal and wandered through the sleeping quarters of Sandhurst after gaining access by posing as a "warfare student".

However, following a statement from Clarence House that the cadet in the pictures is not Prince Harry, the Sun has said it stands by its original story and that the denial by Prince Charles's office is "absurd".

Many observers claim that, in the long term, who is pictured is irrelevant. Security at the military academy - where Prince Harry is undergoing training - suffered a serious breach nonetheless.

And the MoD has already launched a major review of security levels at Sandhurst. Defence Secretary John Reid has now demanded a full investigation. He said: "I have demanded an immediate investigation into this serious security breach.

"I have instructed Sandhurst to change their procedures to prevent a recurrence."

An MoD spokesman said: "We treat any kind of breach of security extremely seriously. Sandhurst is now conducting a review of its procedures and changes will be made."

sara1981 06-16-2005 04:21 PM

BBC NEWS



Sun stunt sparks Sandhurst review

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/image...4_royal2tr.jpg
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/...ashed_line.gif

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/videonews.gifWatch the footage

A security review has been launched after a newspaper reporter gained access to Sandhurst military academy, where Prince Harry trains.

The Sun said its journalist walked in the grounds of the academy for seven hours after posing as a student.

Once inside, the reporter constructed a fake bomb in his car and took grainy video footage of the prince.

Defence Secretary John Reid demanded a "quick investigation" into what he termed a "serious security breach".

"There are no excuses," Mr Reid told BBC News.

"We ought to expect a reasonable degree of security when it comes to our armed forces.

"And we ought to expect a pretty good degree of security when it comes to the Royal Family, so when you put them both together things like this shouldn't happen."

'Public interest'

The Ministry of Defence said it was taking the breach "extremely seriously".

An MoD spokesman confirmed Sandhurst was conducting a security review.

"We will be implementing any changes we feel are necessary," he said.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/...t_quote_rb.gif Everything about the reporter was suspect but it wasn't picked up http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/...d_quote_rb.gif


Graham Dudman
The Sun

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/...ashed_line.gif

Do newspaper stunts work?



The Sun said it had acted after being tipped off by a "concerned insider" worried about the state of security at the academy.



The paper's managing editor, Graham Dudman, told BBC News its actions were intended to "expose, for the public interest, gaps in security".

"What would have happened if that hadn't been the Sun that the source had called, what if he'd called somebody far more sinister?" he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"You would have a completely different news agenda today - you wouldn't be trying to talk down the Sun on a fantastic piece of journalism, you'd be talking about something a whole lot more serious and dangerous.

"Everything about the reporter was suspect but it wasn't picked up," he added.

Fake bomb

The newspaper said its reporter posed as a "warfare student", arranging an appointment at the military college to carry out research on the causes of the Gulf War.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/image...ope_203_pa.jpg Prince Harry was accepted into Sandhurst last September



He was waved through security and strolled into the library before wandering off, the paper said.

He later went back to his car where he constructed a fake bomb with wires, modelling clay, a battery and clock.

A policeman challenged him soon afterwards but allowed him to stay on the base, it was reported.

Security review

On its front page, the Sun printed a picture of the prince with fellow cadets, taken from video footage from their reporter.

Harry is an officer cadet at Sandhurst.

Former Sandhurst cadet and instructor Rory Clayton said the academy was designed in a university campus style to "give free movement to cadets" and was "not supposed to be a fortress".

"I'm sure security immediately around Prince Harry, as it is around all the royals, is very tight indeed," he told BBC News.

"I think the last thing the Sun's antics are going to trigger are a revelation of just how tight that security is."



In the past two years the royal family's security has been breached by a stand-up comedian dressed as a female Osama Bin Laden; a Mirror reporter posing as a footman; and a campaigner wearing a Batman outfit. A review of royal security, last year, concluded the most likely source of "insider threat" was from the media and individuals. It said any weaknesses which could be exploited by them could also be exploited by terrorists.


sara1981 06-16-2005 04:30 PM

YAHOO NEWS

Breach at Prince Harry's School Probed
Thu Jun 16,12:47 PM ET



LONDON - Britain's defense minister ordered an investigation Thursday into security at the military school where Prince Harry is training, after a newspaper said one of its journalists, who had a camera and a fake bomb, gained access.

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It was the latest security breach involving the royal family in recent years.

The Sun tabloid said one of its reporters posed as a student to get permission to use the library at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Surrey, where Prince Charles' younger son is an officer cadet.

The journalist spent some eight hours wandering the grounds and took video of Prince Harry, stills from which were published in the newspaper. He also built what The Sun called a fake bomb, with wires, plasticine, a battery and clock in his car while at the academy, the newspaper said.

But Clarence House, the office of Prince Harry's father, Prince Charles, said the cadet shown in the video was not Prince Harry.

"Having reviewed the footage and spoken to people with Prince Harry, it's our opinion that it's not him," a Clarence House spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity.

The Sun insisted the video showed the prince and said it stood by its report.

A Ministry of Defense spokesman confirmed that The Sun's report was accurate.

Defense Secretary John Reid said he had ordered "an immediate investigation into this serious security breach."

"I have instructed Sandhurst to change their procedures to prevent a recurrence," Reid said in a statement. Reid didn't specify what the changes would be.

Prince Harry, 20, began his training at Sandhurst last month.

The Sun's stunt follows several recent lapses in royal security. In September, a protester disguised as Batman climbed onto a ledge on the front of Buckingham Palace and remained there for several hours.

A comedian dressed as Osama bin Laden crashed Prince William's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle in 2003. Later that year, a reporter from the Daily Mirror got a job as a servant at Buckingham Palace and took pictures of the royals' living quarters.



http://us.news3.yimg.com/us.i2.yimg....b5WHCGJlRrGw--
AP Photo: The front page of British newspaper The Sun, which has led to the Sandhurst military...


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