Queen’s amusing response to crossbow intruder who threatened to kill her

Queen’s amusing response to crossbow intruder who threatened to kill her

Queen Elizabeth II joked that a crossbow-wielding intruder to Windsor Castle who threatened to kill her might have “put a dampner on Christmas”, according to a new book.

The shocking encounter is recounted in a new biography, Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait by the author and family friend to the royals, Gyles Brandreth.

Former supermarket worker, Jaswant Singh Chail, who was 19-years-old at the time, was arrested after attempting to break into the royal property around 8.30am on Christmas Day in 2021.

When apprehended by security, Chail is said to have declared: “I am here to kill the Queen,” before being handcuffed and arrested.

The Queen, who was 95 at the time, was at the castle at the time of the incident, along with King Charles, Camilla and other family members.

Upon learning of the attempt on her life, the late monarch commented to a member of staff: “Yes, well, that would have put a dampner on Christmas, wouldn’t it?”

In an excerpt from the book published in the Daily Mail, Brandreth noted how the Queen was always able to take “the possibility of being in the firing line in her stride”.

He added that it was her “wry, dry, humorous way of looking at things” that made a particular impression on him, writing: “The fun of spending time with the Queen was both finding out how much fun she was and discovering unexpected things about her”.

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Elsewhere, he revealed the Queen’s “spot on impressions” which included an “alarmingly accurate” vocal imitation of a Concorde aeroplane coming in to land above Windsor Castle.

“She really could sing ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ and the other songs George Formby sang to his banjolele when she was growing up during the war – and with Formby’s authentic Lancashire accent, too. (She was the Duke of Lancaster, after all),” he recalled.

Chail was charged with making threats to kill and with carrying a loaded crossbow in the grounds of Windsor Castle “without lawful authority or reasonable excuse”.

He was also charged, under section two of the Treason Act 1842, with “wilfully producing or having a loaded crossbow with intent to use the same to injure the person of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, or to alarm her Majesty”.

After hearings in August and October 2022, Mr Justice Sweeney set a trial date of 20 March 2023, with a further hearing set to take place in December.

The taking of pleas was adjourned for further evidence to be obtained.

Chai remains in custody at Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital in Berkshire.