With the Coronation of King Charles right around the corner, security around the Royal Family is tighter than ever.
And while an incident outside Buckingham Palace involving a suspected knifeman on Tuesday (May 2) made headlines, it's not often someone breaches the lines of defence of The Firm.
One man who did, however, was Ryan Parry, a Mirror journalist who went undercover as a footsman in 2003. The bogus servant had access to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Prince Andrew’s private apartments in the Palace, and a visiting Princess Anne.
READ MORE: Buckingham Palace 'knifeman with bullets' detained after shouting 'I'll kill the King'
Parry used bogus references to get the job and walked out of his £11,881 job at the end of his shift on the night George Bush visited, leaving his uniform on the bed in his room at the Palace.
The Mirror reported at the time that credentials were never properly checked, although a simple search on the Internet would have shown his name and picture next to another Mirror investigation he carried out into security at the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
He was able to wander freely in and out of the Palace often carrying luggage and electrical equipment. On duty he always had a camera in a pocket but was never searched.
Parry wrote at the time: "For the past eight weeks, I have enjoyed unfettered access throughout Buckingham Palace as one of the Royal Family’s key aides.
"Had I been a terrorist intent on assassinating the Queen or President George Bush, I could have done so with absolute ease.
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"Indeed, this morning I would have been serving breakfast to key members of his government, including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and US Secretary of State Colin Powell.
"Such is the shocking incompetence at the heart of the biggest security operation ever in Britain."
Parry said that on his first day he was given a full all-areas security pass and the traditional uniform of the Queen’s trusted aides that allowed him "unquestioned access to every member of the royal family."
He said he composed a CV, leaving out details of my journalistic career, with one real reference and one fake.
"At one stage the palace even accepted a character reference over the telephone from a regular at the pub where I used to work as a barman.
"Exposing my lies would have taken a simple check on the internet," he said.
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