Man pleads guilty to treason in plot to kill Queen

STORY: A man who was caught carrying a loaded crossbow at late Queen Elizabeth’s Windsor Castle home has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill the monarch and to an offence under the Treason Act.

21-year-old Jaswant Singh Chail from southern England said, "I am here to kill the queen," when he was arrested.

He was found dressed in black clothing and wearing a hood, metal mask and gloves in the grounds of the castle to the west of London at about 8 a.m. on Christmas Day in 2021.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth, who died last September, was at the castle on the day of the incident, along with her son and now King Charles and other close family members.

Prosecutors said that Chail had spent months planning the attack.

Once inside the castle's grounds, he was confronted by a protection officer in an area where the intruder would have access to the private quarters.

The recovered crossbow had the potential to cause serious or fatal injuries.

Chail recorded a video before he entered the castle grounds, which he sent to his phone contacts before his arrest.

In that video, he said, "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."

"This is revenge for those who died in the 1919 massacre," Chail added - a reference to when British colonial troops shot nearly 400 Sikhs dead in their holy city of Amritsar in northwestern India.

Indians have long demanded a formal apology from Britain for the massacre.

Prosecutors said electronic devices were also recovered that showed Chail had previously applied to jobs that would bring him closer to the royals.

Appearing on videolink at London's Old Bailey on Friday (February 3), Chail spoke only to confirm his name and enter his guilty pleas.

Chail is the first person in 40 years to be convicted under the 1842 Treason Act.

The judge said he would sentence him on March 31.