The man who threatened to kill the Queen with a crossbow petitioned the Grenadier Guards to get closer to the royals

Jaswant Singh Chail

A man who admitted treason after being caught in the grounds of Windsor Castle with a crossbow had previously applied to join the Grenadier Guards in a bid to get closer to the royal family.

Jaswant Singh Chail, who was armed and wearing a mask and hood, was detained by royal protection officers near the Queen’s private apartment shortly after 8am on Christmas Day 2021.

When questioned by a police officer and asked what he was doing, the 21-year-old replied: “I’m here to kill the Queen.”

In a video recorded four days before the incident, Chail, who is of Sikh origin, claimed his actions were in revenge for the 1919 Amritsar massacre in which the British killed nearly 400 Indian men, women and children.

Chail, a former supermarket employee, had previously tried to join the Grenadier Guards and had applied for a position with the Ministry of Defence.

In a diary found by police, he claimed he had done so in an attempt to “come into close contact with members of the royal family.”

The mask Chail was wearing when he was arrested

The mask Chail was wearing when he was arrested

During a hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday, Chail, who appeared via video link from the high-security Broadmoor hospital, pleaded guilty to one charge of attempting to injure or alarm the Queen under Section 2. of the Treason Act of 1842.

He also admitted to threatening to kill the monarch and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

The incident prompted a major royal security review after it was revealed that Chail had a clear line of sight to the Queen’s apartment when he was taken into custody.

The Supersonic X-Bow weapon he was carrying, which prosecutors said had the potential to cause “serious or fatal injury,” was primed and ready to fire.

In 2021, the late Queen had spent Christmas in Windsor instead of Sandringham, as was traditional, due to concerns about the spread of the new variant of Covid.

Chail is believed to have traveled from his home in Hampshire on December 23 and stayed at a hotel in Windsor, where police later discovered crossbow bolts and a metal file.

On Christmas morning 2021, he scaled the walls of Windsor Castle using a nylon rope ladder, before spending time wandering the grounds undetected.

Shortly after 8 am, he was seen in the private part of the castle grounds near the apartment where the Queen was staying and enjoying breakfast.

The crossbow Chail carried was ready to fire.

The crossbow Chail carried was ready to fire.

One of the uniformed officers from the Royal and Specialist Protection Command saw Chail walking slowly towards him wearing a face mask and hood.

When asked what he was doing, Chail replied, “I’m here to kill the Queen.”

The officer pulled out his Taser and told Chail to get on the ground, which he did, putting his hands behind his head.

He was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and when searched, officers discovered a handwritten note that read: “Please don’t take my clothes, shoes, gloves, masks, etc., I don’t want to autopsy, I don’t want embalming, thank you and I’m sorry”.

When detectives searched his home they also discovered a pre-recorded video in which he said: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry for what I’ve done and what I’m going to do. I am going to try to assassinate Elizabeth, queen of the royal family.

“Revenge for those who died in the 1919 massacre. I am an Indian Sikh. My name was Jaswant Singh Chail. My name is Darth Jones.”

This video had been distributed to at least 20 other people on his contact list about ten minutes before his arrest.

Chail grew up in Hampshire and at the time of his arrest was living with his parents, who are directors of an IT company, and his twin sister in a house on private property in the village of North Baddesley.

The investigation was initially carried out by Thames Valley Police but was later handed over to Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command due to the seriousness of the case.

Chail is the first person in more than 40 years to be convicted of treason.

The last person convicted under the 1842 Treason Act was Marcus Sarjaent, who was sentenced to five years in prison in 1981 after pleading guilty to firing blanks at the Queen during the Trooping of the Colour.

He is due to be sentenced on March 31.

Nick Price, head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Crimes and Counter Terrorism Division, said: “Chail entered the protected areas inside Windsor Castle after threatening to kill Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Thankfully , police officers intervened and no one was injured.”

“This was a serious but fortunately rare incident. We are grateful to everyone who participated in the investigation.”

Commander Richard Smith, who heads the Met’s Counter-Terrorism Command, said: “This was an extremely serious incident, but the patrol officers who arrested Chail handled it with great composure and professionalism.

“They showed tremendous bravery by taking on a masked man who was armed with a loaded crossbow, and then stopping him without getting hurt.

“Our Royal and Specialist Protection Command works with the Royal Household and local police forces at various Royal Residences across the country to ensure the safety of those who live, work or visit.”

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