Queen’s would-be assassin at Trooping the Colour cried ‘I wanted to be famous’

A man who tried to kill the Late Her Majesty The Queen at the Trooping of the Colour screamed about wanting to be famous.

The event occurred in 1981, some 33 years before today’s (June 17) honouring of King Charles’s birthday.

The event honours the monarch on the day when the weather is likely to be better – his real birthday is on November 14 – and is a long-running tradition the King’s mother carried out many times.

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One occasion nearly ended in disaster though, and if things had gone a little differently Prince Charles would have been King at just 32.

Back in 1981, the Queen rode her own horse – 19-year-old Burmese – down The Mall for the ceremony, reports the Express.

Marcus Serjeant, 17, positioned himself on the junction between The Mall and Horseguards Road and, when Her Majesty rode by, and fired off six blank rounds from a starting gun while pointing the weapon directly at her.

The sound of the gun startled her horse but the Queen managed to keep it under control.

She wasn’t harmed in the incident and neither was the horse, with royal security guards quickly pouncing on the teen.

It is at this point that he is reported to have said: “I wanted to be famous. I wanted to be a somebody.”

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Further investigation would discover that he had sent a letter to Buckingham Palace – which arrived three days after the ceremony – that made a strange claim about an assassin.

It 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.”

He had allegedly tried to get his hands on a real gun but in the end, settled for a blank-firing replica Colt Python.

Questioning would find that the assassination of John Lennon in 1980 had been an inspiration to him, as had attempted killings of Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II.

Coppers later found a note of his saying: "I am going to stun and mystify the world. I will become the most famous teenager in the world.”

He pleaded guilty to treason and was also in breach of an offence under Section Two of the Treason Act whereby he “wilfully discharged at or near Her Majesty the Queen a gun with the intent to alarm or distress Her Majesty”.

For his actions, the teenager was slapped with five years in the cage, with sentencing Lord Lane saying: “The public sense of outrage must be marked. You must be punished for the wicked thing you did.”

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