In an embarrassing security gaffe The Queen was locked outside Windsor Castle as staff inside appeared not to be expecting her.
One of her personal protection officers hopped out of the chauffeur-driven range Rover and gave the castle’s Nelson Gate a hefty kick in the hope of waking up the gatekeepers inside.
One local said they had “never seen anything like it in 30 years”.
“I'm not sure if someone was sleeping on the job or simply that they were not expecting her, but it's unheard of,” they told the Daily Mail.
“And it's not often you get to see a queen locked out of her own castle.”
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Her Majesty’s two Range Rovers had driven up to the gate in the pouring rain, but had to brake sharply as the gates remained shut.
The mini-motorcade remained at the gates for a minute or so, before the decision was taken to turn around and try a different entrance.
Just as they did that, however, the gates finally opened. Then two vehicles made a second U-turn and her Majesty finally gained admittance to her Berkshire residence.
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The Queen, wearing a headscarf and sitting in the back of one of the black armoured SUVs, had a distinctly sour expression on her face throughout the brief but embarrassing interlude.
The Queen, who will turn 94 next month, generally arrives at Windsor on Thursdays, if she intends to spend the weekend there, and returns to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
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Her Majesty's grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are currently staying in Frogmore Cottage on her Windsor Estate.
They will be taking part in the Commonwealth Day Service on Monday, which is expected to be their last official engagement as full-time royals.
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