UK man pleads guilty to treason over plot to kill Queen Elizabeth II with crossbow

Britain Queen Crossbow
This court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook shows Jaswant Singh Chail, 21, from Southampton, in the dock at the Old Bailey in London during a hearing at the court, Friday, Feb., 3, 2023. Chail who was arrested on the grounds of Windsor Castle with a loaded crossbow pleaded guilty to treason on Friday for planning to attack Queen Elizabeth II. (Elizabeth Cook/PA via AP) Elizabeth Cook/AP

UK man pleads guilty to treason over plot to kill Queen Elizabeth II with crossbow

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A U.K. man pleaded guilty to treason over a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II with a crossbow.

Jaswant Chail, 21, was arrested on the grounds of Windsor Castle on Christmas 2021. He was wearing a metal mask reminiscent of an ancient Spartan helmet and carrying a loaded crossbow, according to the Associated Press.

He told a police officer he was there “to kill the queen” when confronted, then he immediately surrendered.

He pleaded guilty to a charge related to the 1842 Treason Act. Chail is the first Brit to be charged with treason since 1981, according to the BBC.


Police said that the ethnic Indian was motivated to commit violence against the queen over a desire for revenge over the British Empire’s past mistreatment of Indians. He reportedly expressed his reasoning in video messages posted on Snapchat minutes before he entered the castle grounds.

“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,” he said in the video.

“This is revenge for those who have died in the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre. It is also revenge for those who have been killed, humiliated, and discriminated on because of their race,” he added.

He then made an apparent reference to Star Wars.

“I’m an Indian Sikh, a Sith. My name was Jaswant Singh Chail. My name is Darth Jones,” he said.

The videos were found to have been recorded four days earlier. They had been sent to about 20 people in his contacts list. He also had a handwritten note on him. It 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.”

Despite the extensive planning he apparently undertook, he surrendered immediately after stating his intentions to a police officer who aimed a taser at him.

Chail appeared in court from Broadmoor Hospital, where he is undergoing psychiatric treatment. He is due to be sentenced on March 31.

The officer who detained Chail was praised by Commander Richard Smith, the head of the Met Police’s counterterrorism unit.

“This was an extremely serious incident, but one which the patrolling officers who apprehended Chail managed with great composure and professionalism,” he said. “They showed tremendous bravery to confront a masked man who was armed with a loaded crossbow, and then detain him without anyone coming to harm.”


The last time a man was charged with treason in the United Kingdom, over 40 years ago, it was also over an apparent threat to Elizabeth’s life. Marcus Sarjeant fired blank rounds at the queen at a parade in London. He served five years in prison.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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