AN ex-cop has sensationally claimed that a teenager came incredibly close to assassinating the Queen during a 1981 visit to New Zealand — and the government tried to cover it up.
At the age of 17, Christopher John Lewis, from Dunedin, joined cheering crowds to watch the monarch pass through during a diplomatic trip, The Sun reports.
Armed with a .22 rifle, he shot at the Queen as she stepped out of her Rolls-Royce. Despite a loud bang, the crowd were seemingly unaware of what had happened.
The parade, incredibly, continued as normal, and cops launched a cover-up to conceal just how serious the event could have been.
Former Dunedin police officer Tom Lewis worked on the case, and told Stuff: “You will never get a true file on that.
“It was reactivated, regurgitated, bits pulled off it, other false bits put on.”
Mr Lewis says that the government feared the royals would not come back to New Zealand if they found out just how close the Queen had come to being assassinated.
He also says that Lewis’ original statement was destroyed, and police decided to not charge the man because of orders from “up top”.
Mr Lewis added: “The fact an attempted assassination of the Queen had taken place in New Zealand … it was too politically hot to handle.
“I think the government took the view that he is a bit nutty and has had a hard upbringing, so it won’t be too harsh.”
Eventually, after eight interviews, the teenager’s charge was downgraded to possessing a firearm and discharging it in a public place.
Lewis claimed that he’d been told to kill the Queen by a man from England who he referred to as “The Snowman”.
And two years on he made an attempt to escape from a psychiatric ward, claiming to have orders to murder Prince Charles who was due to visit the country.
Lewis was also obsessed with cult leader Charles Manson, and police found clippings of the royals around his flat.
He also later, at the age of 31, mapped out the route of the Queen’s next visit in 1995 before police intervened.
However instead of taking further action, it is claimed that the New Zealand government sent him on a taxpayer-funded holiday to Australia to get him out the way.
In 1997, while awaiting the trial of a woman and the kidnapping of her child, Lewis took his own life.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished here with permission.