British royal Prince Edward almost came face-to-face with an intruder at Balmoral Castle, Scotland - despite being surrounded by state of the art detection security.

Police arrested the man after he bypassed surveillance cameras and walked into a riverbank garden less than 275 metres (900 feet) from the secluded royal retreat.

However, cops soon found out the man was just an innocent hill-walker who had taken a wrong turn.

A source says, "The system clearly didn't work this time. The guy walked straight past the camera and probably came within 20 yards of Prince Edward.

"He was a walker and carrying a rucksack but it is still no excuse that he wasn't spotted earlier.

"The local police have now decided to reinstate a permanently manned sentry book at that point."

24/08/2004 13:43