Newsweek published this story under the headline ‘Britain: Her Majesty’s Moment of Fear’ on June 22, 1981. In light of recent events involving the queen, The Royal UK is republishing the story.
Many followers of The Royal Family did not know that our Queen was once planned to be killed and assassinated.
That young man stepped out of the crowd, took aim at the Queen of England, Elizabeth and just fired. To a world stunned by assassination attempts on President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul, the next few moments were said to be painfully familiar. Some people in the crowd screamed. The UK police scuffle with the shooter and the onlookers turn to one another in a traumatized state not knowing what to do.
But by god’s grace that time there was no bloodshed. The Queen of Great Britain was riding on horseback through London to ceremonies marking her 55th birthday. Queen Elizabeth suffered nothing more than a few moments of shock and fright.
This all came as a shock for the nation.
As this attempt was made to kill The Queen of England, the UK Police did not take the incident lightly. They immediately arrested the 17-year-old Marcus Sargeant. It was said that he was reportedly waiting for hours for the monarch to appear. He was charged under the Treason Act of 1842. A provision that carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.
Sarjeant, the shooter was also scheduled to appear in magistrates court. There has been particular concern about the safety of The Royal Family since a bomb exploded at that time while Queen Elizabeth was touring an oil terminal in the Shetland Islands.
Also read: On This Day In 2012: The Queen And James Bond Jumped From A Helicopter.
Although Queen Elizabeth recovered quickly from that one episode which may have changed lives of many. The witnesses also stated that The Queen looked badly shaken at first.
“Her Majesty seemed very, very scared”, said a woman in the crowd. I saw a look of fear pass over her face. After the blanks were fired, the Queen’s horse reared and darted ahead”. Queen Elizabeth, who was wearing a scarlet military tunic and black riding skirt, soon brought him under control.
In a few minutes, the procession continued down the Mall. A tree-lined thorough fare leading from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square in central London.
Queen Elizabeth looked at the crowd all around her and just smiled.