WELLINGTON (AFP) – New Zealand’s spy agency revealed yesterday that a mentally disturbed teenager tried to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II during a 1981 visit to New Zealand and police covered up the botched attempt.
Christopher Lewis, who was 17 that time, fired a single shot towards the Queen’s car as she toured Dunedin according the Security Intelligence Service (SIS). 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.
The teenage suspect was soon picked up after an unrelated armed robbery where he confessed about his attempt on the monarch’s life. Police said Lewis was delusional.
Based on the documents released by SIS, authorities were concerned the incident would become public and conspired to keep it secret. The New Zealand Herald said authorities were worried it might jeopardise future royal visits. Lewis, who was jailed for other criminal convictions, killed himself in 1997.