A unicorn representing Scotland at the entrance to Buckingham Palace has been severely damaged after being knocked down by a lorry.
Making up the Royal Coat of Arms on the palace's North Centre Gate, the large unicorn symbol came crashing down on Tuesday morning.
It is understood a vehicle was conducting early morning deliveries when it collided with the gates at the iconic royal residence.
Photographs have emerged showing the fallen unicorn on the ground, with decorative chains and garlands in pieces on the setts outside the palace.
The mythical beast's counterpart, the lion, which represents England, is pictured alone on the gates and a telling gap where the unicorn would normally be situated.
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace confirmed the Royal Coat of Arms had been damaged following a collision with a lorry.
They said: “We can confirm an incident took place yesterday morning where a lorry damaged the North Centre Gate at Buckingham Palace.
“The matter is currently being investigated.”
The North Centre Gate is used as the main vehicle access to Buckingham Palace, with the adjacent Central Gate reserved primarily for state and ceremonial occasions.
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Twitter users have joked that the incident is timely, coming in the same week Prime Minister Boris Johnson sets out his final Brexit offer to Brussels.
Others have quipped that the unicorn's parting from the coat of arms could have prophetic significance for Scotland's prospects of becoming an independent nation.
One person wrote: "I'm no UK constitutional expert, but I *think* that makes us legally independent."
Another tweeted: "So the Unicorn has been knocked off Buckingham palace's gate. If that's not an omen I don't know what is."
There were no injuries in the incident and there is no security risk to the palace.
London's Metropolitan Police stated the unicorn was not damaged intentionally in an act of vandalism and there is no criminal investigation into the matter.
The Royal Coat of Arms fixtures adorning the gates of the palace were designed by Walter Gilbert and Louis Weingarten of the Bromsgrove Guild of Applied Arts and date back to 1911.
Featured on the historic coat of arms is a lion to represent England and a unicorn representing Scotland. The two animals flank a central shield decorated with national emblems for England, Scotland and Ireland.