What The Crown Gets Wrong About the Time Michael Fagan Broke Into the Queen's Bedroom

Lauren Hubbard
·2 min read
Photo credit: R. Brigden - Getty Images
Photo credit: R. Brigden - Getty Images

From Town & Country

It's no secret that The Crown, Netflix's hit series about the British royal family, isn't 100% factual—after all, it includes conversations and intimate details about the lives of the famously private royals, the kinds of details the public will likely never know for certain. Other times, the show chooses to tweak historical fact to create a more satisfying, complete narrative for its audience. In the case of Michael Fagan, the man who became infamous after breaking into Buckingham Palace in 1982 and finding his way to the Queen's bedroom, the answer to the show's treatment of his saga may be a bit of both.

The show, "used a lot of artistic licence," Fagan told The Telegraph ahead of the fourth season's debut. He also told the publication that the show's writer, Peter Morgan, never approached him about the incident. While the show depicts Fagan having a conversation with the Queen on that fateful night of the break in, in reality the exchange was brief. "I pulled back the curtain and she said, ‘What are you doing here?’" Fagan said in the interview. After a moment of Fagan sitting on the bed, he reported that she added, "I’ll be back in a minute," and quickly left the room.

Fagan was then taken down the hall and given a whiskey by a footman, and was arrested shortly thereafter.

In the show, Fagan speaks with the Queen about Margaret Thatcher, detailing his problems with her leadership. But in actuality, Fagan, who has given a number of different accounts of his encounter with the British monarch over the years, said that was not the case, according to The Telegraph. “A lot of people thought like that," he said, admitting that he had not been a supporter of Thatcher at the time. "She did a lot of damage to children." Nonetheless, he said, he had no explanation for why he broke into the palace.

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