Moment Queen shot by ‘fantasy assassin’ who dreamed of ‘world fame’

There is a photo of Marcus Sarjeant, an anti-king fanatic, pointing a gun at the Queen at a Trooping the Color in 1981, but luckily she was unharmed after he fired six times

A tourist photographed the moment Sarjeant pointed his gun at the Queen
A tourist photographed the moment Sarjeant pointed his gun at the Queen

An anti-royal fanatic raised a gun into the crowd at Trooping the Color in 1981, sparking a stampede by shooting six times at the unharmed Queen.

A picture shows Marcus Sarjeant, 17, with his gun raised and pointing at the Queen, who was unharmed after the incident and was celebrating her 70th anniversary over the Bank Holiday weekend.

But the events of Trooping the Color in 1981, in which the Queen rode a horse during the parade down the Mall, could have changed the course of history forever, the reported Daily Star.

The heavily guarded event took a dark turn when Sarjeant suddenly fired six shots at the Queen.

Luckily she was unharmed and he was arrested before being sentenced to five years in prison under the Treason Act 1848.

The Queen on horseback Trooping the Colour


Hulton Archive)

A picture of the young man, described as a shy loner who is “haunted by failure,” was taken by American tourist Georg P. Uebel right behind Sarjeant when he was taking the pictures.

Inspired to attempt assassination by attempts on the lives of former US Presidents Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy, as well as John Lennon and the Pope, he is clearly seen aiming his gun directly at them.

It was later revealed in court that just three days before the event, Sarjeant had written a chilling letter to Buckingham Palace setting out his intentions.

He wrote: “Your Majesty. Do not go to the Trooping the Color ceremony because there is an assassin waiting to kill you right outside the palace.”

The letter arrived at the palace three days after the event, on June 16.

Marcus Simon Sarjeant, 17, was charged under the Treason Act



Sarjeant’s past played a role in the shock events.

Born outside Folkestone, he joined the Air Training Corps in 1978 before enlisting in the Royal Marines.

But he stayed there just three months after claiming he was bullied by officers.

He then enlisted in the army, resigning after just two days before briefly seeking a job in the police and fire departments.

In 1980 he joined the anti-royalist movement and went on to buy two Colt Python imitation revolvers for £66.90 in the mail, a court heard after the assassination attempt failed.

The actual weapon used by Sarjeant, aimed at the Queen


mirror image)

Unable to get hold of a real gun, he bought two toy guns that made realistic sounds that could fire real bullets – and the intention of what he was about to do was enough for the court to convict him.

When arrested, Sarjeant told a Scottish guard: “I wanted to be famous. I wanted to be someone.”

And in his own diary, he admitted his intentions: “I will stun and mystify the world. I’m going to be the most famous teenager in the world.”

Sarjeant spent three years with HMP Grendon Underwood and was released in October 1984 at the age of 20.

He changed his name and started a new life, but wrote to the Queen to apologize.

There was no reply and the current whereabouts of the now 58-year-old is not known to the public.

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