A rifle crack was distinctly heard in NZ, when a teenager levelled his rifle at Her Majesty, it missed by inches!

He added that, as the distinctive crack rang out around the area, police attempted to disguise the seriousness of the threat, telling British journalists present that the noise was a council sign falling over.

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.

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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.

Queen Elizabeth ll and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive by aeroplane for a visit to Wellington, New Zealand in October 1981. Picture: Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth ll and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive by aeroplane for a visit to Wellington, New Zealand in October 1981. Picture: Getty Images Source:Supplied

A failed assassination attempt on the Queen during a royal tour of New Zealand in 1981 was covered up to “avoid jeopardising” future royal visits, a former police officer has claimed.Nearly four decades on from the incident, Tom Lewis, an ex-Dunedin detective sergeant, has alleged that a troubled teenager shot at the Queen and came yards from hitting her.

In an interview with the New Zealand website, Stuff, Mr Lewis claimed that Christopher John Lewis, then 17, fired at the Queen as she alighted her motorcade to greet a crowd gathered at the Otago Museum Reserve.

However, Mr Lewis claims that the attempt on the Queen’s life was quickly covered up by police and the New Zealand Government, which feared that the near-miss would scupper any chance of her returning to the country.

 

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.”

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II attends the Commissioning Ceremony for the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in December. Picture: AFP

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II attends the Commissioning Ceremony for the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in December. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

When later questioned, the story was altered to suggest that the noise had been the result of somebody letting off firecrackers nearby.

A story published by The Daily Telegraph the following day appears to support Mr Lewis’s claims, noting that a sound “like a firecracker” had gone off, but that the Queen had not seemed to notice.

In fact, the reality of what had transpired became a tightly-guarded secret, with the New Zealand Government allegedly ordering that the original police statement be destroyed.

“You will never get a true file on that,” Mr Lewis continued. “It was reactivated, regurgitated, bits pulled off it, other false bits put on.

“The fact an attempted assassination of the Queen had taken place in New Zealand… it was too politically hot to handle.

A police report published that year appears to verify the claims, noting: “The discharge of a firearm during the visit of Her Majesty the Queen serves to remind us all of the potential risks to royalty, particularly during public walks.”

He also claimed that Lewis’s original statement given to police on his arrest was destroyed, and that officers were told not to charge him under orders from “up top”.

In a draft autobiography later published after Christopher John Lewis’s death, the would-be assassin wrote that he was frequently visited by high-ranking Government officials and sworn to silence.

The Queen smiles as she meets the New Zealand public in 1981
The Queen smiles as she meets the New Zealand public in 1981

“If I was ever to mention the events surrounding my interview or the organisation, or that I was in the building, or that I was shooting from it – that they would make sure I ‘suffered a fate worse that death’”, he wrote.

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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.

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