Indians have long demanded a formal apology from Britain for what is also known as the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, when British troops opened fire on unarmed civilians who had gathered to protest against a colonial law.
Queen Elizabeth laid a wreath at the site of the massacre during a visit to India in 1997 and referred to it as a “distressing example” of “difficult episodes” in the past.
Chail, who appeared at Wednesday’s court hearing via videolink, spoke briefly to confirm his name, his date of birth and gave his address as Broadmoor, a high-security psychiatric hospital. He did not enter a plea.
The queen was at the castle on the day of the intrusion with her son and heir Prince Charles and other close family members.
The prosecution said Chail had entered the grounds at 8.10am and was spotted by a protection officer in an area where the intruder would have access to the private quarters of the castle.
The officer, who said Chail looked like something out of a vigilante film or dressed for Halloween in a hood and mask, asked: “Can I help you?”
The court heard that Chail responded: “I am here to kill the queen”. The officer drew his taser and shouted at Chail to get on his knees and drop the crossbow. Chail complied.
The recovered crossbow was a “Supersonic X-bow”, the discharged bolt from which has the potential to cause serious or fatal injuries, the prosecution said.
Searches of Chail’s home found a gas mask, rope and electronic devices which showed he had previously applied to the Ministry of Defense and the Grenadier Guards in an effort to make contact with the royal family.
Chail has been charged with making threats to kill, possession of an offensive weapon and an offence under section 2 of the Treason Act 1842, which details punishment for having a weapon with intent “to injure or alarm Her Majesty”.
The case will be heard next at London’s Old Bailey on a date yet to be confirmed.