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Police Challenge Prince Andrew During Walk At Palace

For Prince Andrew, a stroll in the garden of Buckingham Palace turned into a confrontation with police, after officers ordered the prince to show ID. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is the son of Queen Elizabeth II; Buckingham is her most famous residence.

"We are grateful to the duke for his understanding and have apologized for any inconvenience caused," Scotland Yard says.

The incident occurred Wednesday, two days after a man scaled a fence at Buckingham Palace; he was arrested along with another man who police say was an accomplice.

"The police have a difficult job to do balancing security for the Royal Family and deterring intruders, and sometimes they get it wrong," the duke said. "I am grateful for their apology and look forward to a safe walk in the garden in the future."

Police say no guns were drawn during the encounter, refuting a detail in a report earlier today in Britain's Sunday Express. The paper's Royal Editor, Camilla Tominey, relayed the observations of a "royal insider" about the two lapses in security:

"The fact that this guy was able to wander off unchallenged and not be spotted by anyone is bad enough. But then to mistake the Duke for another intruder is almost incomprehensible.

"There is a high turnover of the police on duty at the Palace, but you'd think anyone would know what Prince Andrew looks like.

"It's fair to say that to describe the Duke as unhappy and the two officers as highly embarrassed is the biggest understatement of the century."

Prince Andrew has an apartment at Buckingham, the BBC reports, which was likely fairly quiet before the run-in with police. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have been on a summer visit to Balmoral Estate in Scotland.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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