Friday, December 10, 2010
The 7.15pm, December 9th, 2010 attack at the Regent Street, London on Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles, by students protesting a hike in university tuition fees was among the most serious ever reported in the history of the Royal Family.
36 years ago to this day, on 20th March 1974, Princess Anne, and her then husband Captain Mark Phillips had escaped an apparent kidnap attempt in which four people were wounded.
Princess Anne is the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
During the shocking incident, Princess Anne was only 24 years old.
The royal couple were returning to Buckingham Palace along Pall Mall when their chauffer-driven Rolls-Royce was forced to halt by another car, a Ford Ecsort driven by an armed man, Ian Ball which blocked their route.
Ian Ball fired six shots, all of which it is said were not directed at the royal couple, but left four people in hospital.
The Princess' private detective Inspector James Beaton fired at Ball before he was wounded and the chauffer Alex Callender, one of the Queen's senior drivers, was also injured.
A police officer who heard the shots and attended was hit in the stomach and a man passing in a taxi was also wounded.
Rowena Brassey, the Princess's Lady-in-waiting, was also present when Ball jumped out and opened fire before trying to jump into the Princess' vehicle.
A police officer chased Ball and brought him to the ground before arresting him.
The Princess was said to be shocked but not injured in any way.
During the incident that shook the world, Ball was reported to have directed Princess Anne to get out of the car, to which she replied: "Not bloody likely!", and briefly considered hitting Ball.!!!!!
The incident raised concerns as to how the precise whereabouts of two members of the Royal Family would be known to a member of the public.
Ball pleaded guilty to attempted murder and kidnapping, and was detained under the Mental Health Act.
Well.. even Queen Elizabeth II herself experienced two scary moments in 1981 and 1982.
On 13th June 1981, During the 1981 Trooping the Colour ceremony, and only 6 weeks before the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer, 6 shots were fired at the Queen from close range as she rode down The Mall on her horse, Burmese.
Later, it was discovered that the shots fired, were blanks.
The Queen's composure, and skill in controlling her stunned mount, were widely praised.
The 17-year-old assailant, Marcus Sarjeant, was sentenced to five years in prison for "firing with intent to alarm the queen".
Serjeant was released in October 1984 at the age of 20. He changed his name and began a new life.
Serjeant said he did that because he "wanted to be famous and he wanted to be a somebody."
His crazed act was inspired by the December 8th, 1980 murder of Beatles's frontman John Lennon by David Chapman, and also the attempted assassination of then US President Ronald Reagan on March 31, 1981 by John Hinckley and also the attempted assasination of Pope John Paul II on 13 May 1981 by Mehmet Ali Agca.
Serjeant had said "I would like to be the first one to take a pot shot at the Queen".
The police found that Serjeant had written "I am going to stun and mystify the world. I will become the most famous teenager in the world." Crazy..
The following year, on 9th July 1982, the Queen found herself in another precarious situation when she awoke in her bedroom at Buckingham Palace to find an intruder, Michael Fagan, in the room with her.
Remaining calm, and through 2 calls to the palace police switchboard, Queen Elizabeth II spoke to Fagan while he sat at the foot of her bed until assistance arrived 7 minutes later.
The embarassing incident happened as the armed police officer outside the royal bedroom came off duty before his replacement arrived. He had been out walking the Queen's dogs. Poor Buckingham Palace security.!!
It was reported that apart from breaking in and wandering around inside one of the world's tightly guarded buildings, Fagan even had the canny and guts to sat on the Queen's official throne, ate cheese chedar and even drank half a bottle of California White Wine.
Even funnier and strange, Michael Fagan was not charged for trespassing in the Queen's bedroom and endangering the live of the Queen, but he was only charged with theft of the half bottle of wine.
However, the charges were dropped when he was committed for psychiatric evaluation.
Fagan spent the next 6 months in a mental hospital before being released on 21 January 1983.
I wonder where is Fagan now??
God save the Queen..
Below is a rare footage showing an interview with the Queen and her daily chores, including meeting with the Prime Ministers of Britain since Winston Churchill to John Major, doing the ironing herself and checking letters...