Fantasy Assassin Targets the Queen
The name of Marcus Serjeant might have joined the infamous list whose members number Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wilkes Booth and John Bellingham, respectively the killers of Presidents Kennedy and Lincoln, and British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval . Serjeant, a youth of 17 from Folkestone , carried out what has been described as a fantasy assassination of Queen Elizabeth on June 13 1981; he seemingly had considered a real one but been frustrated in his attempts to obtain a gun licence or find ammunition for his father’s pistol.
As the Queen rode down the Mall on her way to Horse Guards Parade for the Trooping of the Colour Serjeant lay in wait, armed with a starter pistol. As she passed he fired six blanks, startling the sovereign briefly before her escort and other spectators grabbed him.
It appears Serjeant, later found guilty under the 1842 Treason Act and sentenced to five years in prison, was in part motivated by other recent attacks including the murder of John Lennon the previous December: as he was arrested he blurted out that he wanted to be famous.
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