TROOPING the Colour takes place today to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday – but Princess Diana’s first ever parade in 1981 was marred by a horrific and treasonous act committed by a teenager.
Trooping the Colour: Princess Diana attends parade in 1981
The Queen’s annual Trooping the Colour parade is set to take place today to much p1ageantry and pomp with events kicking off at 10am BST. Of the celebration, the Royal Family website says: “The streets are lined with crowds waving flags as the parade moves from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade, alongside Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages. The display closes with an RAF fly-past, watched by members of the Royal Family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.”
But when Lady Diana Spencer attended the prestigious event for the first time before she married Prince Charles, the day very quickly took a turn for the worse.
However before events turned sadistic the day was already rocked by scandal.
At the tender age of 19 on June 13, 1981, Diana rode with Prince Andrew in a carriage while her husband-to-be, Prince Charles, rode on horseback.
The future Princess of Wales wore a custom Bill Pashley blue floral suit and matching fascinator for the celebration.
Trooping the Colour: Princess Diana’s first ever parade was ROCKED by treason (Image: GETTY)
Royal news: the future Princess of Wales wore a custom Bill Pashley blue floral suit (Image: GETTY)
Royal news: the Royal Family tree (Image: EXPRESS)
Princess Diana was not yet married to Prince Charles at the time, making her attendance at the event a scandal of sorts, as it broke the event’s steadfast “no ring, no bring” royal protocol.
However the break with tradition was soon to become the last of the Royal Family’s concerns on the day.
Events took a turn for the horrific when 17-year-old Marcus Simon Sarjeant fired six blank shots in quick succession in the direction of the Queen who was 55 at the time.
Yahoo News reports the former cadet allegedly told his captors upon his arrest after a skirmish with police: “I wanted to be famous. I wanted to be a somebody.”
Royal news: Princess Diana was not denied her balcony moment despite the drama (Image: GETTY)
Unemployed at the time of the incident the former Air Training Cadet from Folkestone, Kent, became the last ever person to be detained under the Treason Act of 1842.
The young man was convicted on a charge of willfully discharging a gun “at or near Her Majesty the Queen with the intent to alarm or distress Her Majesty”.
Lord Chief Justice, Lord Lane sentenced Sarjeant to five years’ imprisonment, saying: “I have little doubt that if you had been able to obtain a live gun you would have tried to murder Her Majesty.”
After three years in jail which were mostly spent at Grendon Psychiatric Prison in Buckinghamshire, Sarjeant was released in October 1984 at the age of 20.
Princess Diana rode with Prince Andrew in a carriage while Prince Charles rode on horseback (Image: GETTY)
A young Prince William misbehaves at the Trooping the Colour
Upon his release, he changed his name and began a new life.
After Sarjeant’s shocking act the Trooping the Colour ceremony continued as normal, with the Queen displaying a stoical stiff upper lip spirit.
Princess Diana was therefore not denied her grand balcony moment with the Royals.
But with her wedding just a month away security concerns were rife following the treasonous crime.
However the wedding of the century went off without a hitch and Diana was wed to her Prince as planned.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK