New Zealand's Security Intelligence Service (SIS) has released previously classified documents confirming that a 17-year-old anti-royalist tried to assassinate the Queen during an official visit to Dunedin in 1981.
Christopher Lewis, a member of a right-wing terror group which he setup with two friends, hid in a toilet cubicle on the fifth floor of a building overlooking the royal motorcade on October 14, 1981, when he fired a single shot with a stolen .22 rifle in the direction of the monarch.
Thankfully, no one was injured in the brazen attack.
The documents were released after Stuff reported on the incident in January.
Lewis was never charged with attempting to kill the Queen but was accused instead of offences including discharging a firearm.
"Lewis did indeed originally intend to assassinate the Queen," the documents say, as reported by Stuff. But he "did not have a suitable vantage point from which to fire, nor a sufficiently high-powered rifle for the range."
Adding to intrigue, members of the public and local and international media were told by authorities "what they took to be a shot" was, in fact, a signboard falling over.
There is speculation a "cover up" was carried out by authorities to avoid embarrassment during the royal tour and to ensure future visits from the Head of State would not be impacted.
A memo in 1981 from the SIS hinted that the situation was being dealt with quietly, it read: "Current police investigations into the shots have been conducted discreetly and most media representatives probably have the impression that the noise was caused by a firework of some description."
It added: "There is a worry, however, that in court the press may make the connections between the date of the offence and the Queen's visit."
Police have since launched an investigation into the handling of the incident.
"Given the passage of time, it is anticipated this examination of the old file and its associated material will take some time," a police spokesman said.
"NZ Police will share the outcome of this examination once it has been completed."
Lewis went on to commit a series of armed robberies and was charged with the brutal murder of a woman, before taking his own life while awaiting trial in prison in 1997. He was 33 years old.
- RoyalsDuchess Catherine reveals one of Prince Louis’ surprising first words
Now To LoveToday 12:10pm
- RoyalsPrincess Beatrice’s sweet text to Ellie Goulding about their friendship was revealed on TV
Now To LoveToday 10:40am
- FamilyParaplegic dad's joy: The newborn son we never thought we'd have
Woman's DayToday 9:45am
- CareerHow footwear designer Kathryn Wilson uses her Samsung Galaxy Note10+ for work and play
Now To LoveToday 9:42am
- CompetitionsWin a gum health prize pack with Oral B and NZ Woman’s Weekly!
New Zealand Woman's WeeklyToday 9:00am
- RelationshipsJay-Jay Feeney's hot new romance: 'Meet my toyboy lover'
Woman's DayToday 8:10am
- MindWhy procrastination can be more harmful than we think - and what we can do about it
Good Health ChoicesYesterday 12:00pm
- RelationshipsWho was Lezlie Manukian? The Californian girl who swindled a Kiwi family out of their life savings
Now To LoveYesterday 10:00am
- FamilyChristmas with the stars: How Laura McGoldrick will be spending the holidays
Woman's DayYesterday 7:55am
- PetsCaring for elderly pets (the trick is to think of them as furry grandparents)
Now To LoveDec 13, 2019
- SkincareThe surprising benefits of caffeine for your skin and body
Now To LoveDec 13, 2019
- BodyPerimenopause: the 'change before the change' explained
The Australian Women's WeeklyDec 13, 2019