Royal shock: How Diana risked her life as knifeman was captured at Kensington Palace

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The beloved “People’s Princess” was one of the most famous and photographed women in the world in the Eighties and Nineties. Her fairytale wedding to Prince Charles remains to this day one of the most watched events in history. Her every mode was meticulously documented and scrutinised, particularly after she decided to open up to the world and give an insight into her state of mind during her Royal marriage.

The increasing popularity also led to difficult and potentially dangerous situations, though.

According to a throwback report by the Daily Express, in 1987, police fought an armed intruder only yards from the apartment where she, Prince Charles and their sons were asleep at Kensington Palace.

The man attacked two police guards with a knife and hammer but did not get inside, the police said.

The masked intruder was tackled and handcuffed before he could breach the wall around the 17th-Century red-brick palace near Embassy Row in southwest London’s fashionable Kensington district, Scotland Yard reported.

The two policemen suffered minor injuries.

Scotland Yard said Bela Mark Stifter, an unemployed 27-year-old from Reading in Berkshire, was charged with being equipped for theft and causing bodily harm to the two policemen from the Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Group.

Kensington Palace, on the western edge of Kensington Gardens near Hyde Park, has been the London home for princes, princesses and royal dukes and duchesses since the mid-18th Century.

Buckingham Palace said the Prince and Princess of Wales and their two sons, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were in their apartments when the incident occurred at about 1am.

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Scotland Yard said that patrolman Mark Moraviec spotted a man wearing a ski mask “in the gloom close to a garden wall” and challenged him.

The man threatened Mr Moraviec with a hammer and started walking away quickly, but the policeman chased him and called for help, Scotland Yard said.

Within seconds, Mr Moraviec and policeman Christopher Durward-Akhurst, who had rushed to the scene, tackled the man.

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Scotland Yard said: “A violent struggle took place in which both officers were hit on the head with a hammer.”

The masked man eventually was overpowered, handcuffed and taken to Kensington police station for questioning.

His lawyer later claimed that when he was found in the garden of Kensington Palace, he was only protesting Britain’s unemployment rate and never intended to harm the Royal Family.

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