Season 4, Episode 5 of “The Crown” focuses on a non-Royal. We are introduced to local Michael Fagan, a down-on-his-luck man who’s separating from his wife and losing custody of his children. He’s also been hit hard by Britain’s economic crisis and is struggling to get work to pay the bills. Fagan is angry at the government in general and Margaret Thatcher in particular. This leads him to make an odd decision: he breaks into Buckingham Palace not once, but twice. The first time, he steals a bottle of wine; the second, he breaks into the Queen’s bed chambers. A scared Queen Elizabeth attempts to call for help, but is silenced by Fagan, who just wants to talk to her. He tells her about his problems regarding the political and economical climate of the UK in an attempt to motivate her to make changes. He is then taken away by security. It makes for an excellent episode to frame the unemployment problem that was rampant in the UK at the time.
However, the reality is a little less poignant. Michael Fagan did indeed illegally enter the palace on two separate occasions. According to The Independent, on the first visit, he “tried out several of the thrones and ultimately decided to leave after no one came to find him.” Ultimately, Fagan’s reasoning for the break-ins was not overtly political. On the second visit, he met the Queen in her bedroom. News reports at the time said The Queen spoke to him at length, stalling until her guards arrived, but Fagan disputes this, saying their encounter was brief, so “The Crown” may not be accurate in this regard. Further into the interview with The Independent, Fagan comments, “I don’t know why I did it, something just got into my head.” He also placed some blame on taking too many magic mushrooms a few months prior and still feeling the effects, a detail “The Crown” does not include.