Mr Fagan, a painter-decorator from London who fell down on his luck in the Eighties, hit headlines after successfully breaking into the Queen’s London residence not once, but twice. He even managed to find his way to Her Majesty’s bedroom and spoke to her for several minutes before staff were alerted and the police came to arrest him. The Crown suggests in episode five of the latest season that Mr Fagan had an in-depth conversation with the Queen about the effects of then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s policies on the country and on people like him.
In the show, Mr Fagan implores the Queen to “save us all” from Mrs Thatcher, arguing that her policies are “destroying the country.”
By the end of the conversation, the Queen comes to feel sympathetic towards the trespasser and tells him she will “bear in mind” what he said.
However, the real Mr Fagan revealed this year that he did not launch into a diatribe about the Iron Lady and in fact their conversation was too brief for that.
He added that he was not approached by The Crown writer Peter Morgan to contribute to the programme, and that they “used a lot of artistic license”.
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Michael Fagan (left), Margaret Thatcher (middle), the Queen in 1982 (right)
Olivia Coleman as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown
Describing the royal encounter, Mr Fagan told The Telegraph: “I pulled back the curtain and she said, ‘What are you doing here?’
“She talks like me and you, normal. Well, I sound a bit common so maybe not like that. But very normal.”
The Queen also did not, as the show suggests, ask Mr Fagan her go-to question when meeting members of the public: “Have you come far?”
In reality, after a short moment in which Mr Fagan sat on the bed, she told him “I’ll be back in a minute” and quickly left the room.
Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher in The Crown
He said: “She walked out on her little legs. Then a footman comes in and goes, ‘You look like you need a drink, mate.’”
However, while he claims he did not bring up Mrs Thatcher’s government in his conversation with the Queen, he did in fact harbour anti-Thatcher views.
Describing this, he said: “A lot of people thought like that.
“She did a lot of damage to children. She was like Trump.”
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The Crown portrays the Michael Fagan break-in as a direct consequence of Thatcherism
Mr Fagan said that at the time of the break-in, he was frustrated by his unemployment and the break up of his marriage.
However, in 2012 he admitted that drug use had also affected his thinking.
He told The Independent: “I went back because I thought, ‘that’s naughty, that’s naughty that I can walk round there’…
“I forgot you’re only supposed to take a little handful [of magic mushrooms].
“Two years later I was still coming down. I was high on mushrooms for a long, long time.”
Since it was only a civil wrong rather than a criminal offence at the time, Mr Fagan was not charged for trespassing in the Queen’s bedroom.
He was charged with theft of some wine, but the charges were dropped and he instead spent the next six months in a psychiatric hospital.
Mr Fagan got into trouble with the law a couple more times in his life.
Olivia Coleman as Queen Elizabeth II and Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip in The Crown
He was given a three-month suspended sentence for attacking a policeman at a cafe two in Fishguard, Wales two years after the break-in at Buckingham Palace.
In 1997, he was imprisoned for four years after he, his wife and their 20-year-old son were charged with conspiring to supply heroin.
Now 70, Mr Fagan lives in a flat in Islington.