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FA prepares to honour 150 grassroots volunteers

The Football Association is preparing to honour over 150 grassroots volunteers in recognition of their dedication to the sport at a special event at Buckingham Palace today.

The event, organised as part of the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations, is being hosted by the Duke of Cambridge while former players including Michael Owen will also attend.

Seats reserved for the Duke of Cambridge and former England striker Michael Owen. Credit: FA/Twitter

The recipients were chosen for their outstanding contribution to football, including helping to develop the women's game, providing opportunities for disabled players and refereeing.

Buckingham Palace will also host its first ever football match today between two of England's oldest amateur clubs as part of the celebrations.

Buckingham Palace due to host first football match

Buckingham Palace will host its first ever football match today between two of England's oldest amateur clubs.

The Duke of Cambridge, the president of the FA, has helped organise the event as part of the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations.

Karl Standley, a groundsman at Wembley Stadium, marks out the the lines of a football pitch in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC, both based in Chiswick, west London, will play a competitive Southern Amateur League fixture in the gardens of the famous landmark.

The Queen gave her permission for the match and Wembley groundsman Tony Stones and his team have worked with the royal household gardeners to create a pitch in the 39-acre garden.

Prince William will host the event and present medals to 150 grassroots volunteers in recognition of their dedication to the sport.

Read: Football pitch marked in grounds of Buckingham Palace

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87-year-old referee to be honoured by Prince William

An 87-year-old man is being recognised as Britain’s longest-serving referee today, in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Prince William at the opening of St George's Park in Staffordshire Credit: Anwar Hussein/Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment

Harry Hardy, from Derbyshire, will be given a medal by Prince William, who is the President of the Football Association.

The Ilkeston-born man will get the award alongside 149 others sportsmen, for his commitment to grassroots sport. 150 were selected to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the FA.

'We are grateful to the Duke for his understanding'

The Metropolitan Police has said the force is grateful to the Duke of York for his understanding after he was challenged by officers in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

Prince Andrew was asked to confirm his identity after a break-in at the Palace 48 hours earlier.

In light of media reports we can confirm that the man spoken to by officers was the Duke of York. We are making this public with HRH's permission.

We are grateful to the Duke for his understanding and have apologised for any inconvenience caused.

– Metropolitan Police statement

An earlier statement had only confirmed a man was ordered to verify his identity by two officers in the palace's gardens at around 6pm on Wednesday.

Duke of York 'grateful' for police apology

Prince Andrew looks forward to a "safe walk" in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. Credit: Alastair Grant/PA Wire

The Duke of York has said he is "grateful" for an apology from police after officers challenged him in the gardens of Buckingham Palace less than 48 hours after a break-in at the Queen's home.

The Met Police confirmed that a man was ordered to verify his identity by two officers at around 6pm on Wednesday.

Prince Andrew said in a statement today: "The police have a difficult job to do balancing security for the Royal Family and deterring intruders, and sometimes they get it wrong."I am grateful for their apology and look forward to a safe walk in the garden in the future."

Police deny Prince Andrew held at gunpoint at Palace

The Metropolitan Police have denied a report that claimed Prince Andrew was held at gunpoint by armed police while being challenged by officers at Buckingham Palace.

The Sunday Express has reported the 53-year-old was ordered "put your hands up and get on the ground" during a brief stand-off.

But a statement from the Met fails to corroborate the account, instead saying:

On Wednesday, 4 September at approximately 1800hrs two uniformed officers approached a man in the gardens of Buckingham Palace to verify his identity.

The man was satisfactorily identified. No weapons were drawn and no force was used.

– Spokesman for the Metropolitan Police

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Duke of York challenged by police after Palace break-in

The Duke of York had earlier attended an engagement in central London, supporting new business ventures. Credit: Alastair Grant/PA Wire

The Duke of York was challenged by police at Buckingham Palace less than 48 hours after a break-in at the Queen's London residence.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed a man was ordered to verify his identity by two officers in the palace's gardens at around 6pm on Wednesday.

The confrontation came after an intruder had scaled a fence and got inside the palace on Monday night, before being arrested by police.

Palace breach recalls memory of 1982's shock break-in

Michael Fagan broke into the Queen's bedroom at Buckingham Palace in 1982. Credit: PA Archive

Buckingham Palace has not commented on the break-in, which is one of the most serious security breaches at the Queen's London residence in more than 30 years.

The most notorious came in 1982 when father-of-four Michael Fagan evaded guards to reach the Queen in her bedroom.

Her Majesty talked to the 31-year-old for around 10 minutes after he climbed over the palace walls and up a drainpipe.

She then managed to alert a footman, who held him down until police arrived.

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