A HERO constable who saved Princess Anne from an attempted armed kidnap claimed he had been forced to retire.
Sunderland-born Ivor MacGregor spoke just days after receiving the Queen’s Police Award for his lifelong services to policing at Buckingham Palace, from the Princess Royal herself.
The former Metropolitan police officer said the decision for him to retire “was made by senior officers, not me” but was unsure if the police budget cuts were behind the decision.
“It was suggested that I went quite forcefully, so I decided to go rather than stay and fight it, to make something of my life as soon as possible,” he said.
Mr MacGregor said retirement was not his choice “by any stretch of the imagination”.
He described the police budget cuts as “a Government necessity” but added that: “I hope the way it’s done won’t affect too strongly the front-line policing of the Met and the country”.
The police hero – who is married and has two sons, David, 12 and Bobby, nine – said his career was varied and that the recognition was unexpected, coming “out of the blue”.
It was first time the 64-year-old had spoken to the Princess since he rescued her.
He said: “It’s like Michael Palin’s Full Circle. I’ve gone completely around and coming here we passed the venue it took place.
“She remembered, she said: ‘This is a turnout for the books, isn’t it?’ She was very pleasant indeed.”
In 1974, the former officer was on patrol in Oxford Street when he was called to The Mall where Princess Anne’s Rolls-Royce had been blocked off by a gunman.
Four people were shot and wounded as Ian Ball, a mentally-ill man, opened fire with a revolver before Pc MacGregor grappled the gun from the man.
The police hero described the moment when he chased after the gunman.
“He pulled the trigger but he misfired and I think by then I was virtually on top of him.
“At the time with the adrenaline and what was going on, I was enraged really, this man was running away from me.
“Afterwards, I thought what have I done? I was shaking.”