'Queen Elizabeth Survives Blank Gun Scare at Trooping the Colour in 1981'

 June 16, 2024

In a shocking incident during the Trooping the Colour in 1981, a teenager opened fire on Queen Elizabeth II.

According to Daily Mail, in a brazen act of rebellion, 17-year-old Marcus Sarjeant fired six blank rounds at Queen Elizabeth II as she rode on horseback during the ceremonial event.

Marcus Sarjeant, a former aspirant to the UK's police and military forces, performed this distressing act in front of a horrified public. His weapon, loaded with blanks, was incapable of causing physical harm, but the psychological impact was undeniable.

An alarming proclamation from a disillusioned youth

Sarjeant's prior warning of his intentions only reached Buckingham Palace three days after his actions, too late to prevent the scare. On that day, the Queen, mounted on her horse Burmese, continued her duties undeterred after the incident, showcasing her notable poise and regal composure.

Charged by his newfound fervor for anti-royalist sentiments, Sarjeant had acquired two imitation Colt Python revolvers. His attempts to obtain real ammunition had failed, leading him to this symbolic yet dangerous act.

Lance-Corporal Alex Galloway, the soldier who apprehended Sarjeant, believed the threat was lethal. "My only thought was to save the Queen's life. I thought it was a real gun and dived across the barrier into the crowd and grabbed him. I took him by the hair and pulled him into the Mall. Within seconds the police arrived and took him away."

A grandmother's heartbreak and a nation's distress

This unsettling incident led to Sarjeant's arrest where he admitted his aim was notoriety, drawn by the infamy of other significant recent attackers, including those who had targeted US President Ronald Reagan and who killed musician John Lennon. "I wanted to be famous. I wanted to be somebody," Sarjeant expressed during his apprehension.

Marcus Sarjeant's grandmother, Sylvia, told the media, "I love the Royal Family—every one of them, especially the Queen and the Queen Mother, and I am heartbroken that my grandson should be charged with something like this."

Following his trial, Sarjeant was convicted under the 1842 Treason Act, a statute seldom used and was sentenced to five years in prison. During his incarceration, he penned an apology to the Queen, which received no response.


The Queen's bravery and steadfast dedication to her royal duties were apparent as she participated in the subsequent year's Trooping the Colour without any hesitancy, symbolizing her resilience and commitment to her role.

Though the events of that day were shocking, they highlighted the importance of the swift response and bravery exhibited by first responders like Lance-Corporal Galloway. His actions—not just his willingness to leap into potential danger but also his quick assessment and control of the situation—were crucial in ensuring the safety of one of the world's most recognizable figures.

In a story that intertwined aspirations for personal recognition with a profound disrespect for societal norms and security, Sarjeant today remains a cautionary tale of misdirected youthful angst and the potential dangers of idolizing infamy over genuine achievement.

The 1981 Trooping the Colour incident stands as a stark reminder of potential security threats during public ceremonies. Despite the danger, the quick action of first responders and the unflappable courage of Queen Elizabeth II ensured that the ceremony could continue. Marcus Sarjeant's attempt to gain fame by disrupting a national event serves as a powerful example of the consequences of blending misguided youth with deadly intentions.

Most Recent Stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright 2024, Thin Line News LLC