17-Year-Old Shoots Blanks at the Queen…..
June 13, 1981…..
17-year-old Marcus Sarjeant ran up to Queen Elizabeth II and fired 6 blanks from a starting pistol at her as she rode horseback along The Mall to the Trooping the Colour ceremony marking her official birthday. The Queen’s horse Burmese was startled, but neither were harmed. Sarjeant had tried, but failed, to get ammo for his father’s pistol. He had sent a letter to Buckingham Palace which read “Your Majesty. Don’t go to the Trooping the Colour ceremony because there is an assassin set up to kill you, waiting just outside the palace”. However, the letter didn’t arrive until three days after the ceremony. Sarjeant said he had been inspired by the assassination of John Lennon by Mark David Chapman, and the attempts on the lives of Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, noting how easily Chapman had become famous. Sarjeant had written “I am going to stun and mystify the world. I will become the most famous teenager in the world.” Sarjeant was convicted of treason and sentenced to 5 years on prison.