British police on Wednesday morning continued to investigate the unusual event that took place last night in London, in which a man approached the gates of Buckingham Palace and threw objects into the palace courtyard - apparently gun cartridges. Police carried out a controlled explosion of the case. The incident comes less than four days before the official coronation ceremony of King Charles III as the kingdom gears up for the massive event.
The Metropolitan Police said that the man was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon and that a knife defined as "suspicious" was in his possession. Investigators reportedly are not treating it as a terrorist incident but as a case of a mentally disturbed person. No shots were fired and there were no casualties – neither among the security forces nor among civilians; King Charles and Queen-consort Camilla were not in the palace at the time of the incident.
The drama at the palace gates unfolded Tuesday night around 9:00 p.m. Israel time, while rehearsals were being held there for the coronation ceremony of King Charles. Eyewitnesses said that the man, whose name has not been released, placed the bag he held on the ground, causing police officers to jump at him.
"They shouted at him, 'Get down on the ground,'" a witness told the British tabloid The Sun. The newspaper reported that the bag later was discovered to contain two passports, a phone, a wallet, keys, credit cards, a laptop bag, a photo of a child and a large brown letter. A copy of the book "The Happiness Advantage" by Sean Ichor also was in it.
An eyewitness told The Sun that the detainee had stationed himself near the palace for the past few nights, one of many royals fans who have done head of the coronation ceremony and that his behavior was strange. According to his testimony, at some point in recent days, the suspect was heard shouting: "I'm going to kill the king."
Although King Charles took office in September following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, his official coronation ceremony will only be held on Saturday. The event will take place in Westminster Abbey, and senior figures from all over the world will come to participate, including Israel's President Isaac Herzog and his wife. Britain's security forces are making frantic preparations for the event, and a massive crowd is expected to gather in the streets of the capital.
In recent days, there has been a lively atmosphere around Buckingham Palace with the arrival of tourists and reporters from around the world for the coronation ceremony, which will be the first that Britain has seen since 1953, when Queen Elizabeth was crowned.
Saturday's ceremony will include a carriage ride by King Charles and Queen-consort Camilla from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, after which the two will return to the palace, receiving a parade of honor attended by thousands of soldiers. Later they will go out on the balcony of the palace and wave to those gathered in the streets below.
In recent years there have been several cases in which people tried to break into Buckingham Palace and other royal residences, but most of them turned out to be nothing. However, a particularly unusual event took place on Christmas morning 2021, when Jaswant Singh Chail, 19, was caught inside Windsor Castle where the queen was staying at the time, and confessed that he had come there to murder her.
Cheil was caught dressed in black, wearing gloves and a mask, and armed with a bow and arrow. He managed to jump over the castle walls at 6 a.m. with the help of a rope ladder, and was able to get very close to where the queen and her family were at the time. Some 24 minutes before breaking into the castle, he published a video on the Internet in which he announced: "I will try to assassinate Elizabeth, this is revenge for the massacre carried out by the British in India in 1999." In February, he pleaded guilty at his trial to three charges.