A man armed with a crossbow at Windsor Castle has been charged with a treason offence and making threats to kill the Queen.

Jaswant Singh Chail, 20, from Southampton, was arrested at the official royal residence on Christmas Day when the 95-year-old monarch was residing at the castle with family. The Met said he was stopped “within moments” of entering the grounds and he did not enter any buildings.

Chail has now been charged with making threats to kill, possession of an offensive weapon, and an offence under the 1842 Treason Act, following an investigation launched by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command. He is accused of “being near to the person of the Queen, wilfully producing a loaded crossbow with intent to use the same to injure the person of her majesty” and is currently being held in custody. 

Back in 1981, a man was jailed for five years under the same treason law after pleading guilty to firing blank shots at Queen Elizabeth as she rode a horse down The Mall during the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

Nick Price, head of the CPS’s special crime and counter-terrorism division, said: “The CPS has authorised the Metropolitan Police to charge Jaswant Singh Chail with offences after he was arrested in the grounds of Windsor Castle on 25 December 2021 carrying a crossbow. The CPS reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Chail are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.”

Jaswant Singh Chail will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 17.