• Duke of York was mistaken for an intruder while walking in Palace garden
• He reacted with fury when heavily armed police told him to prove identity
• But Metropolitan Police says no weapons were drawn and no force was used
• Encounter came after man was found wandering around Buckingham Palace
• DJ Victor Miller has now been detained until the Mental Health Act

An infuriated Prince Andrew tore a strip off gun-wielding officers who mistook him for an intruder at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen’s son erupted in fury when two heavily-armed policemen shouted at him to ‘verify his identity’ as he walked in broad daylight, sources revealed last night.

The fifth-in-line to the throne stood his ground and was said to have ‘made his thoughts plain’ during the highly-charged confrontation that followed.

A royal source said: ‘He was incredibly, incredibly angry. It was very much a case of guns being pointed at him and “halt who goes there”.’

Yesterday police issued a humiliating apology to the Duke of York over the extraordinary error.

It was the second police fiasco within three days at what should be one of the most secure estates in Britain. Just 48 hours earlier officers discovered a mentally ill man attempting to smash down a door with a fire extinguisher after he scaled a 12ft wall and broke in.

Yesterday Scotland Yard revealed senior officers had personally apologised to Prince Andrew in a bid to draw a line under the latest matter.

In an unprecedented statement, a spokesman said: ‘We are grateful to the Duke for his understanding and have apologised for any inconvenience caused.’

Scotland Yard declined to comment on reports that the officers shouted at the 53-year-old royal, telling him to ‘put your hands up’ and ‘get on the ground’.

A source said it would not be ‘uncommon’ for police to shout when challenging someone, but added that they did not know if he was ordered to lie down.

In return, Prince Andrew issued a conciliatory statement, saying: ‘The police have a difficult job to do balancing security for the royal family and deterring intruders, and sometimes they get it wrong.’

But hinting at his anger over the confrontation, he added: ‘I am grateful for their apology and look forward to a safe walk in the garden in the future.’

Royal sources said Andrew had been ‘infuriated’ by the fiasco. They continued to insist that weapons had been drawn by police, who were in a state of high tension following the previous security breach.

One source said: ‘[Andrew] has calmed down now but it wasn’t a pleasant experience at all, and he was furious at the time.’

Another palace aide told the Mail: ‘The police have acknowledged the incident and apologised and he is happy to move on. He knows they have a difficult job to do and is supportive of them.’

However, senior palace sources also made clear that the prince had not been willing to make a public statement until he had received a full apology from the Met.

Royal staff are said to be incredulous that those involved failed to recognise the prince, although officially police chiefs are saying they did nothing wrong.

Last night, former royal protection chief Dai Davies said of the Prince Andrew incident: ‘[The officers] were alert and that was good, but saying that, they should know who His Royal Highness is.

‘It is a very big garden and we don’t know where he was and who he told, but you would expect officers to be aware if he had gone out.

‘Why wasn’t anybody aware that he was having a walk about?

‘They are right to challenge anybody they don’t know, quite obviously if they don’t and something happens … they are criticised.’

A Metropolitan Police said: ‘Uniformed officers approached a man in the gardens of Buckingham Palace to verify his identity. The man was satisfactorily identified.
‘No weapons were drawn and no force was used.

‘We can confirm that the man spoken to by officers was the Duke of York. We are making this public with His Royal Highness’s permission.

Surely in any residential security assignment the basics are ‘who is in residence or on the premises?’ and ‘make sure the team are aware of who is on the premises’. The Team Leader on this one seems not to have briefed his team properly….. if at all!