Royal security scare after controlled explosion outside Buckingham Palace

A man suspected of throwing shotgun cartridges into the grounds of Buckingham Palace just days before the King’s coronation is being questioned by police.

The suspect was detained at about 7pm on Tuesday after he approached the palace gates and threw a number of items, the Metropolitan Police said.

He is being held on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon after a knife was found.

Police carried out a precautionary controlled explosion while cordons were put up in the area.

Scotland Yard say they are not treating the incident as terror-related.

It is understood it is being treated as an isolated mental health incident.

The arrest comes as a massive security presence is expected in the capital for Charles’s coronation at Westminster Abbey on Saturday.

Neither the King nor the Queen Consort were at Buckingham Palace at the time of the incident, although Charles hosted Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during an audience at the palace earlier on Tuesday.

The items thrown into the palace grounds “have been recovered and will be taken for specialist examination”, the Met Police said.

The man was also found with a “suspicious bag”, the force added.

Footage from the scene in the aftermath of the incident showed police cars parked outside the palace, with officers and sniffer dogs patrolling near the gates.

Officers could also be seen examining a number of items strewn across the floor just outside the gates.

Chief Superintendent Joseph McDonald said: “Officers worked immediately to detain the man and he has been taken into police custody.

“There have been no reports of any shots fired, or any injuries to officers or members of the public.

“Officers remain at the scene and further inquiries are ongoing.”

Buckingham Palace declined to comment and said the incident was a matter for the Met Police.

Policing minister Chris Philp described the coronation as a “huge policing operation”, with hundreds of heads of state and royal family members from around the world set to travel to the UK for the ceremony on Saturday.