A man has died after setting himself on fire outside one of London’s Royal Palaces early on Tuesday morning, police have said.
The man, believed to have been in his 40s, was found alight next to the walls of Kensington Palace, situated in the center of the capital. It is home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Paramedics and firefighters were called to the palace at around 03:00 GMT. They attempted to extinguish the flames and give the man first aid. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police have not identified the man, but revealed that hours before self-immolating he had left a hospital in London. He had been admitted over concerns about his mental health.
Tourists and walkers in the park were met with the scene on Tuesday morning, where a tent had been erected and a police cordon sealed off the area by the palace orangerie.
“It’s such a perfect park and to think that this has happened outside the palace is horrible. I love the royals and I am so sorry this has happened on their doorstep,” Australian tourist Naomi Bridges, 30, said.
A police spokesperson said they intended to tell the man’s family on Tuesday.
“Officers in Westminster were called by a central London hospital at 12:06am today after a man in their care had failed to return,” the spokesperson said.
“Police carried out inquiries to trace this missing man at his home address and two associated addresses but the man, aged in his forties, was not present.
“Subsequently, police in Kensington and Chelsea were called to an area near the locked parks of Kensington Palace, W8 at 3:06am following reports of a man behaving suspiciously. Officers attended and found a man ablaze.
“At this early stage, no other persons are believed to be involved. This incident is not being treated as suspicious,” the spokesperson added.
Police will also examine whether enough was done to trace the man after he left the hospital on Monday evening.