The Duke of EdinburghThe Queen

Knife-wielding man arrested outside Buckingham Palace as The Queen leaves for church service

A man wielding a knife was wrestled to the ground by at least eight police officers outside Buckingham Palace as the United Kingdom raised its security status to ‘critical’, meaning a terror attack is ‘imminent’. The event happened just as The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were leaving the Palace for a service at St Paul’s Cathedral to mark the centenary of the Order of the British Empire. Crowds cheered as the 91-year-old monarch and her 95-year-old consort passed, seemingly unaware of the situation.

The officers confiscated a large blade from the man and bundled him into a police van outside the Palace gates just as The Queen’s car was leaving for the engagement.

Scotland Yard are not treating the incident as terror related, but it comes following a meeting of the government’s emergency COBRA committee which raised the UK’s terror threat to ‘critical’, meaning an attack is ‘imminent’.

Armed soldiers have been deployed across the United Kingdom in an extremely unusual step designed to reassure the public and to prevent further attacks. This is the first time troops have been used in this situation since 2003.

Armed troops have been sent to secure Buckingham Palace and protect the monarch’s residence.

The Changing of the Guard was cancelled today to free up police officers to deal with the aftermath of the Manchester suicide bombing. In one of the UK’s worst ever terror attacks, a suicide bomber targeted children and parents leaving an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

In a statement about the incident at Buckingham Palace a Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: “A man has been arrested in The Mall, SW1, in possession of a knife.

“Patrolling officers detained and arrested the man in The Mall at about 10.40am this morning.

“A knife was recovered. The man has been taken to a central London police station.”