LONDON : British police on Monday arrested a man carrying a knife as he attempted to enter Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of Queen Elizabeth II.

“A 44-year-old man attempted to enter Buckingham Palace via the north centre gate but was apprehended immediately by police,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

“The man was searched and found to be in possession of a knife, which was seized.”

The incident happened at around 11:30 am (1030 GMT), it said.

The man remains in custody on suspicion of trespassing on a protected site and possession of an offensive weapon, the police said. A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman told AFP: “I can confirm that the queen was not in residence when the incident happened but other than that we are not commenting.”

The incident comes just over a month after a man who scaled a fence to get into the palace was arrested.

It was one of the most serious security breaches at the palace since 1982 when unemployed man Michael Fagan got inside the queen’s private chambers while she was in bed.

Fagan spent 10 minutes talking to the sovereign after climbing over the palace walls and up a drainpipe, and she raised the alarm when Fagan asked for a cigarette.