June 3, 2020 / 8:03 PM / a month ago

Fact check: A crest has not gone missing from Buckingham Palace 

Social media users have been sharing a video showing the Royal Coat of Arms missing from the gate of Queen Elizabeth’s residence, suggesting something strange is going on at the palace.

A man jogs outside Buckingham Palace as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, March 29, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

The video, examples of which can be seen here and here , has been viewed more than half a million times. 

The crest referred to in the video has not gone missing. It was damaged by a lorry in October 2019, the Palace confirmed to Reuters, adding that repair works were underway. The incidence was reported by local media at the time (here).

In the post shared on social, the user comments: “Where are the ‘Royals’?”

The queen is currently living in Windsor Castle, where she takes up residence for a month over Easter and for a week in June, according to the Royal Household (here). She usually returns to Buckingham Palace in May. However, she will remain in Windsor indefinitely this year due to the threat of the coronavirus, the British media reported in May (here).

In the video, a man is heard suggesting that other unusual activities can be seen from outside the palace. He points out that the windows are “boarded up” and the royal guards have been replaced by Gurkhas. 

A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace told Reuters in an email that a protective film has been put on the windows to protect the interior fabric of the building from ultraviolet light damage during reservicing works. They added that the move is not unusual in a historic building.

The spokesperson also said it was routine for service personnel from other units to guard the royal residences.

This year the palace is shut to visitors due to safety concerns during the coronavirus pandemic (here).

VERDICT: 

Partly false. A crest has not gone missing from the gates of Buckingham Palace. It was damaged in October 2019, and is being restored. The palace is guarded by different regiments, not just by the royal guards. The windows have been covered with a protective film while the building is being reserviced.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work  here  .

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