Mr Fagan, a painter-decorator from London who was struggling to make ends meet, hit headlines after successfully breaking into the Queen‘s London residence twice. The second time he even managed to find his way to Her Majesty’s bedroom and spoke to her for several minutes before staff were alerted and the police came to arrest him. Mr Fagan would later say that he wanted the Queen to “know what it feels like to just be an ordinary chap trying to make ends meet”.
This is reflected in the Netflix drama, in which Mr Fagan, played by Tom Brooke, said he thought it would be “good for you to meet someone normal”.
However, The Crown embellished this somewhat, adding a plea for the Queen to “save us all” from Margaret Thatcher, which reportedly never happened.
By the end of the conversation, the Queen is shown to feel sympathy for the trespasser, telling him she will “bear in mind” what he said.
However, the programme left out one heartbreaking detail which is that Mr Fagan was apparently planning to hurt himself in front of the Queen.
The Crown depicts Michael Fagan’s Palace break-in in 1982
Olivia Colman as the Queen in The Crown
Before meeting her, he entered an anteroom first where he broke an ashtray.
Then, he entered her room at 7:15am carrying a piece of the broken ashtray with him.
According to Scotland Yard’s reports, Mr Fagan told the police that he planned to harm himself in the Queen’s presence.
While this is not shown in The Crown, the Queen does notice that he is “bleeding” and directs him to the bathroom where he can clean himself up.
Michael Fagan in 1985
Because breaking into Buckingham Palace was a civil wrong at the time, not a criminal offence, Mr Fagan could not be charged for it.
Instead, he was charged with theft for drinking a bottle of wine, but was acquitted.
However, after a psychiatric assessment he spent three months in top-security Park Lane psychiatric hospital in Liverpool.
At the time, Mr Fagan had been struggling with unemployment and the break-down of his marriage.
Meghan and Harry faced ‘logistical challenges’ with Frogmore Cottage [REVEALED]
Prince Andrew controversy: No sign of Duke speaking to FBI [INSIGHT]
Prince Charles’ astonishing similarity to Henry VIII unveiled [HISTORY]
Michael Fagan managed to break into Buckingham Palace on two separate occasions
He also admitted in a 2012 interview with The Independent that psychedelic drugs may have had an impact.
He said: “I went back because I thought, ‘that’s naughty, that’s naughty that I can walk round there’…
“I forgot you’re only supposed to take a little handle [of magic mushrooms].
“Two years later I was still coming down. I was high on mushrooms for a long, long time.”
It is also believed that alcohol may have played into it as well.
After three months in hospital, Mr Fagan had a seven-hour mental health tribunal in January 1983 and walked free.
However, he later came into trouble with the law on the further two occasions.
Two years after the Palace break-in, he attacked a police officer at a cafe in Fishguard Wales and was given a three month suspended sentence.
In 1997, he was imprisoned for four years after he, his wife and their 20-year-old son were charged with conspiring to supply heroin.
Mr Fagan, who still lives in London, said he was not approached by The Crown’s creators to contribute to episode five, adding that they used “a lot of artistic license”.
For help or guidance related to mental health difficulties please call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email [email protected]