On Christmas Day 2021, 20-year-old Jaswant Singh Chail entered the grounds of Windsor Castle wearing a hood and mask and carrying a loaded crossbow.
“I am here to kill the Queen,” he told a police officer.
According to prosecutors during a court hearing Wednesday, the former supermarket worker was handcuffed and arrested on the scene.
Chail has since been charged under the Treason Act with intending to “injure the person of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, or to alarm her Majesty.” He was also charged with threats to kill and possession of an offensive weapon.
Prosecutor Kathryn Selby states that the Supersonic X-Bow Chail carried had the potential to cause “serious or fatal injuries.” The allegations, however, are not being treated as a “terrorism offense.”
Prosecution lawyers maintain Chail was seeking revenge on the British establishment for its treatment of Indians, citing as evidence a video Chail sent to about 20 people claiming he was going to assassinate the queen.
He also attempted to bring himself closer to the royals by trying to join the British Army and the Ministry of Defense Police.
Chail appeared remotely for Wednesday’s hearing at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court from Broadmoor, a high-security psychiatric hospital.
He has not yet been asked to enter a plea and will next appear in court on September 14th.
Per ABC News, charges under the Treason Act of 1842 are rare. In 1981, Marcus Sarjeant was charged after firing blank shots at the queen as she rode on horseback in London’s Trooping the Color parade. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison.
The last person to be convicted under another, more serious treason act, the Treason Act of 1351, was William “Lord Haw-Haw” Joyce, a World War II Nazi propaganda broadcaster who was hanged for high treason in 1946.