Queen Elizabeth was once allegedly the subject of a failed assassination attempt in New Zealand.
The 91-year-old monarch was allegedly shot at during a failed attempt to take her life whilst in New Zealand in 1981, and a former police officer has claimed the event was covered up to “avoid jeopardizing” future royal visits.
Tom Lewis, an ex-Dunedin detective sergeant, alleged to New Zealand news outlet Stuff that a troubled teenager – named Christopher John Lewis – shot at the Queen as she alighted her motorcade to greet a crowd gathered at the Otago Museum Reserve, and came yards from hitting her.
According to the publication, Tom also claims that the alleged incident was covered up by the police, who feared the close call would put a stop to royal visits to the country in the future.
Tom said: “You will never get a true file on that. It was reactivated, regurgitated, bits pulled off it, other false bits put on. The fact an attempted assassination of the Queen had taken place in New Zealand … it was too politically hot to handle.”
Christopher – who was 17 at the time of the alleged crime – took his own life in 1997 whilst awaiting trial for the murder of a young mother and the kidnapping of her child, and in a draft autobiography later published after his passing, he spoke of his meetings with government officials who swore him to silence.
He wrote: “If I was ever to mention the events surrounding my interview or the organization, or that I was in the building, or that I was shooting from it – that they would make sure I ‘suffered a fate worse than death’.”
The teenager was taken to court for his alleged crime, but the charge was downgraded to possession of a firearm in a public place, for which he was jailed for three years.