Greatest Mysteries: Buckingham Palace

Frank Whitney
Host Don Wildman explores the principal residence and workplace of the British monarch: Buckingham Palace. He delves into the salacious tale of a beloved monarch’s forbidden romance, examines the methods of a brazen intruder who pulled off one of the biggest royal security breaches of all time, and examines treasonous acts of an advisor to the Queen.

From This Episode

Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

Leading up to Buckingham Palace is a magnificent, red-brick ceremonial road known as “The Mall,” specifically designed for parades and celebrations. But on March 20, 1974, this celebratory site was the scene of a terrifying crime, when a man attempted to kidnap Princess Anne and hold her for ransom. 960 1280

VisitBritain/Britain on View  

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard

The iconic changing of the guard is a well-known example of royal pomp and circumstance, but it’s also a reminder of one notorious king and his decision to forgo time-honored regal traditions in favor of controversial alliances. 960 1280

Adina Tovy/Getty Images  

King Edward VIII

King Edward VIII

One of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in order to marry the love of his life: a twice-divorced American woman named Wallis Simpson. The year they were married, the couple made an unsanctioned, but highly public trip to Germany -- angering the new British monarchy. 960 1280

National Archives and Records Administration  

A walk along the barbed-wire-topped walls of Buckingham Palace may lead visitors to conclude this fortress is impenetrable, but in 1982, a brazen prankster chose to take on this stronghold and managed to pull off one of the biggest royal security breaches of all time. 960 1280

POOL/ Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images  

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

In fact, Michael Fagan managed to make his way into the royal palace twice -- and the second time, he ended up in Queen Elizabeth’s bedroom. 960 1280


Queen Victoria's Statue

Queen Victoria's Statue

Located just outside the gates of Buckingham Palace is a grand memorial that pays tribute to Queen Victoria -- a legendary sovereign who ignited one of the most sensational royal scandals of all time. 960 1280


After the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, Queen Victoria became suspiciously close to a Scottish manservant named John Brown. The nature of their relationship is still the subject of much debate today. 960 1280

Gift of Mrs. Riddell in memory of Peter Fletcher Riddell 1985 via Wikimedia Commons  

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace requires a veritable army to maintain, but in 1994, a rogue staff member named Duncan Gray chose to defy his entrusted position and orchestrate an alarming offense that rocked the hallowed institution to its core. Frustrated with the small salary he was making, he took a valuable painting right off the palace wall and sold it to an art dealer. 960 1280

Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

The Queen’s Gallery

The Queen’s Gallery

Around the corner from the Palace’s iconic main façade is The Queen’s Gallery -- a museum that’s become a patriotic point of pride -- but it was once central to a treasonous tale of secrecy, lies and espionage. 960 1280

Andreas Praefcke via Wikimedia Commons  

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