Documents Reveal Attempted Assassination Of Queen Elizabeth
A secret assassination attempt on Queen Elizabeth II has been revealed by New Zealand’s secret intelligence agency almost 40 years on.
It has been confirmed that a teenager shot at the Queen during her visit to the southern city Dunedin in 1981 but missed.
Documents released by the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service prove that 17-year-old Christopher Lewis fired at Queen Elizabeth with a gun on 14 October 1981 as she stepped out of a car. The Queen was visiting the country for an eight-day tour.
“Lewis did indeed originally intend to assassinate the Queen, however did not have a suitable vantage point from which to fire, nor a sufficiently high-powered rifle for the range from the target,” said a secret document from 1997 that was made public on Thursday.
The attempted assassination was originally covered up by Dunedin police after members in the crowd heard the gunshot but were told that it was either a sign falling over or a car backfiring.
“Current police investigations into the shots have been conducted discreetly and most media representatives probably had the impression that the voice was caused by a firework of some description,” said another document from November 1981.
The boy responsible for the attempted attack was not charged with attempted murder or treason but with unlawful possession and discharge of a firearm.
A police inquiry has now been opened into the way that authorities handled the serious event at the time. The case file will be examined by the New Zealand police commissioner.
Ten years after the attempted assassination, Lewis was charged with the murder of a mother from Auckland and he later committed suicide whilst awaiting a murder trial in prison.
Queen Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch and the head of state for New Zealand and she has visited the country 10 times since the incident.