Queen-Stalking Drunk Died Feet From The Palace

By Will Godfrey 10/05/11

A mentally-ill alcoholic who was obsessed with the Queen died in the perfect place from which to spy on Buckingham Palace—and lay undiscovered for three years.

The island and the palace Photo via

An American alcoholic who was fixated on the Queen suffered a lonely death within sight of Buckingham Palace, an inquest has heard. And amazingly, pathologists believe his body lay undisturbed on a small, tree-covered island in a lake in St. James's Park—just 300 feet from the Queen's London residence—for around three years before it was discovered. Robert James Moore, who is believed to have died aged 69, arrived in London from an unspecified part of the US in 2007, having previously been arrested for drunk driving and other alcohol-related offenses. He had a history of mental health problems and was known for his 15-year obsession with Elizabeth II, which took the form of sending her "strange and offensive" packages, weird letters of up to 600 pages, boxes falsely claiming to contain dangerous substances, and pornographic photographs. In March this year—weeks before the wedding of William and Catherine—a tree surgeon working for the Royal Parks ventured on to West Island. He discovered Moore's remains under some leaves, along with his passport, a cushion and some vodka bottles. One green bottle was attached to his belt by a piece of string—a practice of street drinkers fearful that their alcohol will be taken from them as they sleep. It's believed that Moore swam or waded to his concealed vantage point, which is usually visited by birds, although other homeless people are not unknown. Millions of tourists would have passed by as the body lay undiscovered. "He had a fixation with the Queen and the Royal family," said Detective Sergeant Mike West at the inquest. "There would not be a better place to remain undiscovered with view of the Queen’s primary residence." No cause of death could be established due to the age of the remains, and no US relatives have been found.

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of Substance.com, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.