The British royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II and heir to the throne Prince Charles, have had several close brushes with death over the years.
From the Queen to Sarah Ferguson, here are some of the worst near-death experiences of the British royal family.
Princess Anne had come close to being abducted and losing her life back in 1974. She had been on her way to Buckingham Palace after attending a charity event when her chauffeur-driven limousine pulled to a stop. Ian Ball, 26, had pulled his Ford Escort right in front of the princess’ car and opened fire.
According to Princess Anne, Ball had ordered her to get out of the car, and she complied. Former boxer Ron Russel managed to hit the kidnapper, who shot a policeman before he was finally apprehended by authorities.
Among his victims were Princess Anne’s driver, a passing tabloid journalist and royal protection officer James Beaton, who was shot three times, according to BBC.
The royal family had increased its security following Princess Anne’s near-kidnapping.
Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II has had her fair share of near-death experiences, including one harrowing shooting back in 1981. At the time, she had been riding down The Mall to the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony when Marcus Sarjeant started shooting at her. Sarjeant fired six blank shots before he was apprehended.
Sarjeant was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment after being prosecuted under the Treason Act 1984.
In the same year, Queen Elizabeth had been the target of another assassination while she was in the middle of a tour of New Zealand. A 17-year-old teen hiding in an abandoned toilet cubicle in Dunedin shot at the monarch from five stories above.
A year later, the Queen was involved in another dangerous situation, but this time, it happened in her own home. Michael Fagan, 33, broke into Buckingham Palace in July 1982 by scaling a wall and climbing up a drainpipe. The 33-year-old then entered Queen Elizabeth’s bedroom at around 7 p.m. in the evening.
After being caught, Fagan revealed that this had not been the first time that he had trespassed into Buckingham Palace. He explained that a month prior, he broke into the Queen’s residence, ate cheddar cheese on crackers and wandered around the palace.
In 1988, Prince Charles never thought that he would come close to dying when he went on a skiing trip with his pals. Unfortunately, the Prince of Wales’ skiing group was hit by an avalanche, resulting in the tragic death of his friend, Major Hugh Lindsay.
Lindsay was the Queen’s Equerry and had also been a close friend of Princess Diana. He was survived by his wife Sarah Lindsay, a staff member of Buckingham Palace’s press office who had been pregnant with their first child when he passed away.
Following their friend’s death, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana did their best to be there for Sarah and their daughter.
“The Princess was fantastic. She used to ring me every Sunday evening,” Sarah told The Telegraph in 2008. “She was a dear friend -someone I could ring at midnight and say: ‘Life is pretty grim.’ The Princess of Wales instinctively knew when I might be feeling down – the school holidays and so on. She always had nice ideas about how to cheer me up.”
In 2018, Sarah Ferguson revealed in an interview with Hello! magazine that she had nearly been one of the victims of the 9/11 Twin Towers terror attack. Back in 2001, she had an office on the 101st floor of the North Tower of the Twin Towers in New York due to her work in her charity Chances for Children.
She was supposed to go to the office on Sept. 11, 2001, but she had been held up by traffic for 20 minutes.