A mentally disturbed teenager tried to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II during a 1981 visit to New Zealand and police covered up the botched attempt, according to official documents released Thursday.
Christopher Lewis fired a single shot towards the Queen’s car as she toured the South Island city of Dunedin, the documents from New Zealand’s Security Intelligence Service (SIS) spy agency revealed.
No one was hurt and police reportedly assured members of the royal party who asked about a gunshot that they had simply heard a firework exploding.
Lewis, 17 at the time, was picked up soon after on an unrelated armed robbery charge and made a rambling confession about his attempt on the monarch’s life.
While police said he was delusional and “lives in a dream world” they found a .22 rifle and spent cartridge in the building where he said the attempt took place.
He claimed to be a member of a right-wing organisation called the National Imperial Guerilla Army, which police concluded had only three members.
A police spokesperson said, “Given the interest in this historic matter, the Police Commissioner Mike Bush has asked the Deputy Commissioner National Operations, Mike Clement, to oversee an examination by current investigation staff of the relevant case file.”
The statement continued, “Given the passage of time, it is anticipated this examination of the old file and its associated material will take some time. NZ Police will share the outcome of this examination once it has been completed.”
The Queen, now 91, would’ve been about 55 at the time.