Intruder claiming to be Prince Andrew's fiancée allowed into Royal Lodge

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Victoria Ward
·2 min read
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Prince Andrew  - Steve Parsons/PA
Prince Andrew - Steve Parsons/PA

Royal security is being reviewed after a "glamorous" intruder claiming to be "Irene Windsor" was waved into the Duke of York’s home and left to walk freely within the grounds.

The smartly dressed woman was allowed through the security gates at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park after telling officers she had a lunch date with Prince Andrew, 61, who was home at the time. The guards even paid her taxi fare, it is claimed.

The woman spent 20 minutes wandering around the gardens at around 11am on Monday morning before entering the Grade II listed building. She was only apprehended when she asked a member of staff where to find the Duke.

The Spanish national, who had flown in from Spain on Saturday, told police her name was Irene Windsor, that she was engaged to the Duke and that she lived there with him, according to the Sun.

Maps of the Royal Lodge and other royal residences were reportedly found in the woman's handbag, as well as a cat-shaped self-defence key ring with two sharp prongs.

Thames Valley Police confirmed they had been called to the property following reports of a female trespasser.

The 43-year-old was arrested on suspicion of burglary and later sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

The force said in a statement: "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."

The Duke’s police protection was scaled back in 2019 when he was forced to step back from public duties following his Newsnight interview over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. Although he still has Met Police personal protection, officers are no longer routinely armed.

Private security at the Royal Lodge, where he lives with his former wife, the Duchess of York, is funded by the Privy Purse, the Queen's private income.

A source told the Sun of the intruder: "She was apparently very smartly dressed, in suit trousers, a yellow blouse and peach jacket, and had her hair done up and make-up. She cut quite a glamorous figure and the guards were completely taken in by her.

"She demanded they pay her cab fare as she was a close friend of Andrew. They obliged before helpfully pointing her on her way.

"It would appear she spent around 20 minutes walking around the gardens and then going into the main house. She was very confident and walked around like she owned the place."

The keyring with spikes on it was said to have caused police "some concern".

The source added: "It is being dealt with as a major security breach. Someone is for the high jump over this."

Both Buckingham Palace and a spokesperson for the Duke declined to comment.