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Royal security blunder is probed.

Byline: By Peter Williamson

Home Secretary David Blunkett is today receiving a report on how a comedian managed to gatecrash Prince William's 21st party.

Aaron Barschak, 36, got past tight security at Windsor Castle during the Africa-themed birthday and climbed on stage as the Prince was making a speech.

He was arrested by police and has now been bailed.

The incident sparked massive concerns over Royal security and Mr Blunkett ordered an inquiry.

An initial report by police and Royal security advisers was being presented today.

Mr Blunkett said a further, more in-depth inquiry may be ordered depending on the outcome.

The Metropolitan Police, responsible for security in the Castle grounds, said the intruder was not armed when he was arrested.

"We consider any breach of security a serious matter and a thorough review is underway," a spokesman said.

The review is by an independent senior officer, Commander Frank Armstrong, from City of London Police.

Barschak's father, Fred, stressed his son would not have intended to harm anyone at the party.

Mr Barschak, 72, a property developer, said his son was probably trying to publicise his act.

Barschak was seen outside Windsor Castle on the party night parading in a pink dress, turban, sunglasses and false beard as guests arrived.

He was gently led away from onlookers by a uniformed policeman and wandered off back towards Windsor town centre.

Mr Barschak, of Kilburn, North London, said: "He would not have been trying to harm anyone. He is actually not at all anti-Royal.

"He is a professional stand-up comedian, desperate to be a serious actor."

One report says Barschak got on to the stage where William was making a speech to thank his father and the Queen for organising the party.

He was said to have grabbed the microphone before security guards and police pulled him away and took him out of the Great Hall.

The 300-plus guests were initially thought to have believed him part of the entertainment until he started shouting.

William was said to have attempted to lighten the mood by later reclaiming the microphone and joking: "I didn't know my brother could do an accent like that."

Comic's history of gatecrashing

Under his stage guise of the Comedy Terrorist, Aaron Barschak, 36, has a history of gatecrashing public events.

The growing list of targets for the controversial comedian includes Ken Livingstone, Graham Norton and Monty Python's Terry Jones.

In a further embarrassment to the security services, he dresses up as terrorist Osama bin Laden to carry out his stunts.

He is due to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival throughout August.

Breaches which put family at risk

News of the intruder in Windsor Castle at Prince William's 21st birthday party is the latest in a long line of Royal security breaches.

Experts are baffled by how the man managed to evade a tight police cordon. Although security has been improved, intruders have still been able to get close to senior members of the Royal family.

* In 1974, a deranged gunman tried to abduct the Princess Royal as she and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, were being driven along the Mall.

* In 1981, Marcus Sarjeant, 17, fired six blank shots at the Queen at Trooping the Colour.

* In 1982 Michael Fagan broke into the Queen's bedroom at Buckingham Palace. He was later jailed.

* In 1995 a student rammed the gates of Buckingham Palace with his car.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 23, 2003
Words:569
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