Watch: Prince Andrew's security staff too 'terrified' to question female intruder's identity
A woman who pretended to be Prince Andrew's fiancée was able to trick her way past security because staff were too "terrified" to check with the royal, it has been claimed.
The Spanish female in her 40s arrived at the security gate of Royal Lodge in Windsor last April, claiming she was Irene Windsor and was there to have dinner with her fiancé, the Duke of York, and was allowed in with no identification or checks made.
Security officers even paid the woman's cab fare and she walked around the grounds for up to 40 minutes before entering the building, where a suspicious staff member alerted police.
And now Philip Grindell, the founder of VIP security firm Defuse and a former Met Police specialist detective - who was responsible for planning and running protective security measures for royal, military, government and other high-profile events - has claimed Andrew's reputation meant staff were reluctant to check the woman's story with him.
Speaking at the International Security Expo in London over the weekend, he said: “Prince Andrew is a pain in the a*** and if you have ever worked with him, is an unpleasant character and the security were terrified of asking him ‘is anyone turning up?’
“And because they did not want to upset him, no one asked and they assumed he must have an appointment and let her in.
“The security were terrified of asking him.”
And a former Met Police royal protection officer, Paul Page, shared a similar account about working with Andrew.
Speaking separately at the event, he said: “When I heard this it became blatantly obvious that the security involved were in the same position with Prince Andrew as I was 20 years ago, in that they were too frightened to question unidentified female visitors as it would always end in him abusing us for stopping them.
“This is a classic example of what we feared would happen one day."
At the time, the woman - who was found with maps of Royal Lodge and other royal residences in her bag, along with a self-defence key ring featuring two sharp prongs - was arrested on suspicion of burglary and later sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
She was released without charge and no further action was taken.