Last Christmas, a 20-year-old man entered the grounds of Windsor Castle with a crossbow while Queen Elizabeth celebrated the holiday with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Though he was captured by the Thames Valley Police quickly, the event raised concerns about security. Reuters reports that the intruder, a supermarket worker named Jaswant Singh Chail, appeared via video Wednesday for a Western Magistrate Court hearing about charges related to the incident, and the prosecution offered a few more chilling details about the day’s events.
According to the prosecutors, Chail entered the grounds of Windsor Castle at 8:10 a.m., armed with a Supersonic X-bow crossbow and wearing a hood and a mask, He was spotted by a protection officer after he breached an area of the castle with immediate access to the queen’s private apartments. The court heard that upon the officer’s approach, Chail said, “I am here to kill the queen.”
Chail, who is being held at the Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital, was charged with an offense under the UK’s 1842 Treason Act, which criminalizes possession of a weapon with intent “to injure or alarm Her Majesty.” He spoke via video, only to confirm his personal details, and did not enter a pleas. The court also heard that a search of his home uncovered electronic devices that showed he applied for jobs with the Ministry of Defense in order to make contact with the royal family, along with rope and a gas mask.
Chail recorded a video where he explained his motivations and planning for the attack. “I am sorry for what I have done and what I will do. I am going to attempt to assassinate Elizabeth, queen of the royal family,” he said. In the video, he mentioned a historical event usually known as the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, where British troops shot about 400 Sikhs in a holy city in northwestern India.
The December 2021 incident is only one of several high profile breaches of palace security over the last year. In May 2022, an intruder dressed as a priest tricked the Windsor Castle guards and wound up staying in the castle overnight.
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