The man caught stalking the grounds of Windsor Castle armed with a crossbow who told authorities he was there to murder Queen Elizabeth II pleaded guilty to treason on Friday.
Jaswant Singh Chail, 21, was arrested on Christmas Day in 2021 while the late monarch was living at Windsor Castle in southeast England during the COVID pandemic. As well as admitting a treason charge of intending to injure or alarm the queen, Chail pled guilty to possession of an offensive weapon and making threats to kill while speaking at London’s Old Bailey via video link from a high-security psychiatric hospital.
Before carrying out his plan, Chail had reportedly attempted to join the U.K. Ministry of Defence in the hope of getting near to the royals. On the day he was detained, Chail climbed up the castle walls with a rope ladder and was able to wander around the castle grounds for around two hours.
A royal protection officer spotted Chail wearing a hood and a mask that was described as looking “like something out of a vigilante movie” at around 8:10 AM near a gate close to the queen’s private apartment. The officer pulled out his taser and said: “Morning, can I help, mate?” Chail answered: “I am here to kill the queen.”
The officer immediately ordered Chail to drop the crossbow, which was found to be loaded with a bolt and had its safety catch off. Chail was also told to get on his knees and put his hands on his head—he then repeated his intention to murder the monarch.
A search of his person found that Chail was carrying a handwritten note which read: “Please don’t remove my clothes, shoes and gloves, masks etc, don’t want post-mortem, don’t want embalming, thank you and I‘m sorry.”
In a video posted on Snapchat shortly before he entered the castle, Chail said: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry for what I‘ve done and what I will do. I will attempt to assassinate Elizabeth, queen of the royal family.” Chail added: “This is revenge for those who have died in the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre,” referring to the mass killing of unarmed Indian protesters by British troops. “It is also revenge for those who have been killed, humiliated and discriminated on because of their race,” Chail said.
Chail is the first person to be sentenced under Britain’s 1842 Treason Act since 1981, when Marcus Sarjeant was jailed for five years for firing six blank rounds at the queen as she was riding a horse down the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.
Britain has not prosecuted anyone under it’s more serious 1351 Treason Act since the end of World War II. William Joyce, nicknamed Lord Haw-Haw, was hanged in 1946 for high treason after making Nazi propaganda radio broadcasts during the conflict.
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