Security scare at Windsor as woman walks into Prince Andrew's house

Security scare at Windsor: Woman, 44, who claimed to be engaged to Prince Andrew walks into his house after bungling guards impressed by her ‘polished appearance’ paid her cab fare then allowed her to wander around grounds for 20 minutes

  • Security forces were fooled by an intruders polished appearance in Windsor
  • A woman, 44, arrived in a yellow blouse and peach jacket at 11am Monday
  • Guards waved her through security checkpoints and helped with directions
  • She was sectioned under the 1984 Mental Health Act after police were called

A 44-year-old woman who claimed to be engaged to the Duke of York was let into his official Windsor residence by bungling security guards, it has been revealed.

Security officers were so taken in by the Spanish national’s polished appearance they even paid her cab fare before waving her into the grounds of Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park at 11am on Monday.

The woman, who has now been sectioned under the 1984 Mental Health Act, spent 20 minutes wandering the grounds before heading inside the Grade II listed building to ask a member of staff where the duke was, reported The Sun. 

Police were called and she was held in the lobby after she told the staff member she was engaged to Prince Andrew, her name was Irene Windsor and she lived there with the duke. 

Security officers were so taken in by the Spanish national’s polished appearance they even paid her cab fare before waving her into the grounds of Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park at 11am on Monday

The woman, who has now been sectioned under the 1984 Mental Health Act, spent 20 minutes wandering the grounds before heading inside the Grade II listed building to ask a member of staff where the Duke of York (pictured) was, reported The Sun 

In the woman’s handbag maps of the Royal Lodge and other Royal Family residences were found, alongside a self-defence key ring in the shape of a cat that featured two sharp prongs.  

She was originally arrested on suspicion of burglary before being sectioned and a security review has now been launched.

Prince Andrew’s police protection was scaled back last year as part of cost-cutting measures as he withdrew from Royal duties because of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

He still has Met Police personal protection but his officers are no longer routinely armed.

Private Security at the Royal Lodge, which Andrew shares with his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, is provided by the Privy Purse, The Queen’s private income.

It is understood the intruder flew into the UK from Spain on Saturday, the day of Prince Philip’s funeral three miles away at Windsor Castle. 

Despite security forces being on high alert for the funeral, the woman was allowed through the front gate to the Royal Lodge, apparently without being asked to show any proof of identification.  

She claimed to have a lunch appointment with the duke, and demanded security officers pay her cab fare.    

Police were called and she was held in the lobby after she told the staff member she was engaged to Prince Andrew, her name was Irene Windsor and she lived there with the duke. Pictured, houses on the Windsor estate

A source said: ‘She was apparently very smartly dressed, in suit trousers, a yellow blouse and peach jacket, and had her hair done up and full make-up.

‘She cut quite a glamorous figure and the guards were completely taken in by her.

‘The woman demanded they pay her cab fare as she was a close friend of Prince Andrew, and they obliged before helpfully pointing her on her way towards the Royal Lodge.’

Prince Andrew and Fergie have lived at the Royal Lodge since 2004, two years after its former occupant, the Queen Mother, died.

Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, who had their baby boy August in February, have also been living at Royal Lodge during lockdown.  

Sources said Prince Andrew was home at the time of the intrusion, but it is not known if he was aware of it at the time.      

Prince Andrew (pictured returning to Windsor Castle after Price Philip’s funeral) and Fergie have lived at the Royal Lodge since 2004, two years after its former occupant, the Queen Mother, died

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: ‘Thames Valley Police were called to the Royal Lodge at Windsor Great Park on Monday morning to reports of a female trespasser.

‘The woman, aged 44, was intercepted and arrested. She was subsequently de-arrested and has been sectioned under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

‘The investigation into the incident continues, but there was no risk to any individual on the site. Due to the female being sectioned, we will not be commenting further at this time.’

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

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