A plot to kill Prince George and a shot fired at the queen - A look into the biggest assassination attempts on the royal family

Queen Elizabeth (Photo: Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth (Photo: Getty Images)

I got up close and personal with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when they visited South Africa last September. And when I say up close and personal, of course, I mean I was several metres away from them – sometimes on the complete opposite side of the street – as I followed them on their royal tour.

And honestly, I get it. Being a member of the royal firm and having people obsessively watch your every move is dangerous. Not even little Prince George has managed to steer clear of an assassination attempt. Sure, he's third in line to the throne. But he was also just four years old when his life was threatened.

Here we're looking at some of the biggest assassination attempts on the royal family.


In 2018 Husnain Rashid was accused of using messaging site, Telegram to encourage attacks on Prince George. Though he maintained he'd done nothing wrong at first, he later pleaded guilty on four counts and was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 25 years.

Prosecutors said he shared a photo of the prince, the address of his school, and a silhouette of a jihadi fighter with the message: "Even the royal family will not be left alone."

One of his posts revealed his assassination scheme, which included "injecting poison into supermarket ice creams" to take out the young prince.

Prince George of Cambridge.


David Kang, a student at the time, fired two blank shots at Prince Charles in 1994 who was on a visit to Australia at the time.

According to the Independent, the attack was not intended to inflict any harm on the prince but was actually to draw attention to the Cambodian boat people who were in Australian detention centres, some for four years.

David was found guilty of threatening unlawful violence and sentenced to 500 hours of community service.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, he ended up graduating from university and went on to become a barrister.



The 1974 attack on the Princess Royal wasn't so much an assassination attempt as it was an attempted royal kidnapping for a £2 million (around R44 million) ransom.

According to the Tatler, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth was just 23 years old at the time and on her way to Buckingham Palace when a car blocked their path and Ian Ball pulled out a handgun. He shot her driver, the security officer, Jim Beaton, who was protecting her and a journalist who tried to intervene.

But Ronnie Russell, now a former boxer who is currently selling his George Medal he received for his bravery, punched the princess' attacker twice in the head and stopped the incident from escalating.

That being said, Anne pretty much seemed like she could hold her own anyway. When Ian Ball told her to get out of the car, she famously responded: "Not bloody likely."

Princess Anne, princess royal


There have been many attempts to take out the queen, most notably in recent years, The Lithgow Plot of 1970 which saw assassins supposedly try to kill the queen and Prince Philip by derailing their train to crash into an embankment by putting a large wooden log on the tracks, according to The Telegraph.

Turns out the train was moving so slow conductors simply moved the log off the track, and the news of the attempt only came to light in 2009. No one was ever charged.

In another incident, a New Zealand teen attempted to take the queen's life in 1981. Christopher Lewis, just 17 years old at the time, shot at the queen while she was on a parade through Dunedin. He was arrested shortly after the failed attempt, reports BBC.

According to The Guardian, Christopher was obsessed with taking out members of the royal family though and escaped from a psychiatric hospital in 1983 to attack Prince Charles too, who was visiting New Zealand with Princess Diana and a young Prince William at the time.

In fact, the government thought he was such a significant threat that they sent him to the Great Barrier Island with free accommodation, daily spending money and a car when the queen visited again in 1995 – true story. "I started to feel like royalty," Lewis wrote in an autobiography just before his death.

Before taking his own life in prison at 33 years old, he reminisced and told his partner about his first attempt to assassinate the queen. "Damn," he said her, "Damn... I missed."


The queen has had various scares over the years – remember when Michael Fagan broke into Buckingham Palace during a guard switch and had a fat chat with the queen, smoked a few cigarettes and drank some whiskey – but nothing beats the time she was almost shot by one of her own guards.

Her Majesty was walking through the palace in the early hours of the morning as she so often does when she can't sleep when one of her guardsmen mistook her for an intruder.

After calling out to the figure several times he realised it was, in fact, the queen and blurted out: "Bloody hell, Your Majesty, I nearly shot you!"

He was sure he'd get into trouble, but the queen quipped: "That's quite all right. Next time I'll ring through beforehand, so you don't have to shoot me."

Queen Elizabeth

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