A beer-loving Brit who broke into the Queen’s bedroom at Buckingham Palace has come clean about a ‘saucy’ detail – more than 30 years after seeing Her Majesty in ‘nothing but a nightie’.
Michael Fagan, then 33, was nursing a broken heart when he decided to scale the walls of the Palace – twice – sparking one of the worst royal security breaches in the 20th Century.
The "happy-go-lucky" father of four, from Islington, London, wandered barefoot along the corridors, helped himself to Prince Charles’s wine and urinated in corgi food.
And he reportedly even sat on the startled Queen’s bed.
He went undetected on the first occasion, even saying ‘good morning’ to staff members, before being caught the second time weeks later when the Queen fled for help.
He now believes he did the Royal Family a favour by proving their security wasn’t up to scratch – and he didn’t think much of the decor either.
"I don’t know how the hell I found her," Fagan said in a 1993 BBC radio interview, adding that he sat on the corner of the Queen’s bed.
Amid the media frenzy after the break-in, the dad also told reporters that Her Majesty was wearing a Liberty-print nightie down to her knees.
But now, 36 years after his encounter, he has finally come clean.
“I tried to keep it sterile and said she was wearing a liberty print nightie down to her knees even though I didn’t notice what it was,” the now-68-year-old admitted to the Islington Gazette.
In a radio interview, he also recalled that he didn’t think much of the Palace, saying it was "dusty" with "squeaky floorboards".
He added: "It was very ordinary. I don’t think they spent too much on decoration. Maybe it was due a redec?"
At the time of the security breach, Fagan was an unemployed painter and decorator – later admitting his wife leaving him caused him to have a breakdown.
Feeling down and out, he began wandering the streets of London when his travels brought him to the Palace.
Unfazed by the 14ft barbed-wire-topped walls, he climbed up one before shinning a drainpipe to the roof and making a beeline for an open window.
Once inside, he claims he was able to wander "willy-nilly" around the corridors at 7am on July 9, 1982, before waking the Queen up.
He said he followed paintings on the walls before entering the bedroom, peeling back the curtains to reveal the snoozing Monarch.
Fagan admits he was "shaking" and just as shocked as she was.
"Wawrt are you doing here?" a then 56-year-old Queen is said to have asked him before running out of the room.
"I was dumbstruck to be honest," Fagan previously told the BBC.
"[I] walk past her bed and it looks too small to be the Queen. So I go over and draw the curtain back, just to make sure, and suddenly she sat up.
"I was thinking what to say and she said ‘Get out, get out’ and she jumped out of bed."
Fagan said a footman then came, took him into a pantry and poured him some Famous Grouse whisky before police arrived.
He added: "The footman came and said, ‘Cor, f***ing hell mate, you look like you need a drink’".
Weeks earlier, during his first Palace break-in, Fagan had once again scaled the walls and got in through an unlocked window, this time to a maid’s bedroom.
The maid ran straight to security during the incident on the night of June 7, 1982, but when they found nobody in the room they thought she had imagined it.
Fagan, wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, then leisurely strolled around for about an hour and is even said to have helped himself to cheese and crackers.
He was barefoot, having lost his shoes on the roof, which were returned to him two years later.
His break-in came just two weeks after Princess Diana had given birth to Prince William.
And Fagan found himself slinking down the corridors unnoticed, including into a room full of gifts for the newborn, such as teddy bears and cups.
On this occasion, Fagan didn’t make it as far as the Queen’s bedroom, however he claims he saw rooms saying ‘Diana’s room’ and ‘Charles’s room’.
Although he was, in fact, hoping to find one with a ‘WC’ sign on.
"I was breaking my neck to go to the toilet," he previously told the Independent, adding that where he was were only bins with ‘corgi food’ written on them.
"What do I do? Pee on the carpet? So I had to pee on the corgi food."
Fagan said he then came to a "throne room" and felt like "Goldilocks" trying to find the one that was just right as he gazed at the Queen’s art.
He told newspapers he left after becoming tired from drinking half a bottle of white wine – a "cheap Californian" from Charles’s room.
He said: "I couldn’t find a corkscrew. I was sitting on the desk with my feet up, pushed the cork into the bottle and drank it out the bottle. And then all of a sudden I thought ‘My God, where am I?’"
He also blamed "too many magic mushrooms" in his soup five months earlier for his motive in breaking into the Palace.
He said: "I forgot you’re only supposed to take a little handful. Two years later I was still coming down. I was high on mushrooms for a long, long time."
Fagan also described the Queen’s bedroom decor as "alright" and "quite plain", with the room smaller than he thought it would be.
The now 92-year-old great-grandmother-of-seven has her own bedroom separate to husband Prince Philip, 97, and Fagan said it was filled with the usual blankets and duvets.
The security breach saw intervention from MPs, with Home Secretary Willie Whitelaw offering his resignation, but the Queen refused.
It emerged an alarm sensor had detected Fagan’s prior movements inside the Palace, but police thought the alarm was faulty and silenced it.
Fagan was later charged over stealing the wine but charges were dropped and he was sent to a mental health institution.
He went on to make a record – a version of the Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen.
Asked whether he regretted the incident, Fagan said he did because his father suffered a heart attack over the stress of it all.
His father also previously told the media his son was a "royal fanatic," and went to the Palace "just to prove how easy it was to get in".
"He would not harm a hair on her head," he added.
"He was a very happy-go-lucky person and I think he would have put the Queen at ease straight away. He could smooth-talk anyone."
Two years after entering Buckingham Palace, Fagan attacked a policeman at a café in Fishguard, Wales, and was given a three-month suspended jail sentence.
He was found guilty of indecent exposure in 1987 after he was spotted running around wearing no trousers on waste ground in Chingford, London.
And in 1997, he was imprisoned for four years after he was charged with conspiring to supply heroin.
The Royal family
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