StoryCast '21: 'I drank a bottle of Lucozade from the Queen's fridge' - the day Batman broke into the grounds of Buckingham Palace

·3-min read

On 13 September 2004, Jason Hatch put on his Batman costume and scaled the fence outside Buckingham Palace.

The Queen's home is protected by some of the tightest security measures in the world - but they weren't tight enough for this caped crusader, who climbed partway up the iconic building before shimmying across a ledge towards the main balcony.

A casual observer would be forgiven for thinking Batman was swinging by to save Her Majesty from the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler or Mr Freeze.

But in reality, Mr Hatch was risking his life because he hadn't seen his children for more than eight years - and he wasn't coming down until he was allowed to see them.

"Batman was the last film I had watched with my son," the superhero dad says during a new Sky News podcast about the stunt.

"When I told people what I was planning to do, a few of them said I would get shot by armed police. They said 'you'll never get away with it'. I said 'look, I haven't got access to my children, so I've lost my point in living anyway'."

The Queen was staying in Balmoral during Batman's visit to the palace, and looking back, the caped campaigner feels he may well have been gunned down if the monarch had been in her London residence.

Mr Hatch, who was born and raised in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was representing a growing organisation called Fathers 4 Justice - which fights for fathers to have equal access to their children.

The painter and decorator had already been arrested 49 times during stunts and protests for the group. But none of his past efforts compared to the embarrassing security breach that was now being broadcast live on news channels all over the world.

"I'd climbed up the palace at about midday, and eventually a member of the security team said 'we can see you're dehydrated, we need to get you a drink'. He came out with a bottle of Lucozade and said it was from the Queen's fridge. So I drank a bottle of Lucozade from the Queen's fridge."

After five hours on the side of the palace, Mr Hatch was beginning to feel tired and agreed to come down. A cherry picker came and lowered him to the ground.

Batman was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage for breaking some bird wire as he made his way towards the main balcony. However, he was later told he wouldn't face charges.

Around a week after the stunt, Mr Hatch attended a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice where he agreed to stop protesting if he was allowed to see his children.

"The outcome of the protest was me getting to see my children again and being a dad, doing what dads do," Mr Hatch says 17 year later. "My children do talk about the stunt but not very often."

You can listen to Jason Hatch talk about his stunt in Batman Raids Buckingham Palace - episode 17 of StoryCast '21, a Sky News podcast series telling 21 personal stories from some of the biggest news events of the century.

Subscribe to StoryCast 21 now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Spreaker

Click the link below to explore the series and listen to all of the episodes released so far.

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