Man armed with crossbow arrested at Windsor Castle as the Queen celebrated Christmas nearby

A man armed with a crossbow who was arrested after attempting to break into Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating Christmas, is being held under the UK's Mental Health Act.

Key points:

  • The 19-year-old was sectioned after a mental health assessment
  • He did not get into any of the castle's buildings
  • The Queen has spent much of the pandemic at Windsor Castle

London police said the 19-year-old, from Southampton in southern England, was stopped within moments of entering the grounds of the castle on Christmas morning and did not break into any buildings.

"The man was taken into custody and has undergone a mental health assessment — he has since been sectioned under the Mental Health Act and remains in the care of medical professionals," the police said.

"Following a search of the man, a crossbow was recovered."

The Queen, who has spent much of the COVID-19 pandemic at Windsor Castle, is spending Christmas there with her son, Prince Charles, his wife, Camilla, and other close family.

The arrested teenager used a rope ladder to scale a metal fence, according to the Mail on Sunday.

The armed intruder did not enter any buildings at Windsor Castle.(ABC News: Andrew Greaves)

Security breaches at royal residences are rare.

The most serious incident during the Queen's reign happened in 1982, when an intruder climbed a wall to enter Buckingham Palace, her London home, and wandered into a room where she was in bed.

The Queen made no public appearance on Saturday.

In a pre-recorded Christmas message to the nation, she spoke of the loss of her husband, Prince Philip, who died in April aged 99.

The couple were married for 73 years.



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