Queen Elizabeth II faced potential assassination threats during a 1983 visit to the United States, according to newly released FBI documents reported by the BBC on Friday
After the monarch’s death last September, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released files related to the late queen’s travels to the United States.
From them it is clear that the service received a signal from a police officer in San Francisco who had information about a man who was preparing an attack on Elizabeth II as revenge for her daughter, who “was killed in Northern Ireland by a rubber bullet”.
The threat came on February 4, 1983 – about a month before the Queen and her husband Prince Philip’s visit to California.
“He was going to try to hurt Queen Elizabeth and he was going to do it either by dropping some object from the Golden Gate Bridge onto the royal yacht Britannia when she passed under it, or he was going to try to kill Queen Elizabeth when she visited Yosemite National Park,” the document said.
In response to the threat, the Secret Service planned to “close the lanes of the Golden Gate Bridge as the yacht approaches.” It is not clear what measures were taken in Yosemite, but the visit still took place. The FBI has not released details of the arrests.
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102 pages of documents were uploaded to the Vault, the FBI’s intelligence website, on Monday following a Freedom of Information Act request filed by US media.
Some of the late Queen’s state visits to the US, including a 1983 trip to the West Bank, were organized during the unrest in Northern Ireland.
In 1976, the late Queen was in New York for America’s bicentennial celebrations.
The documents reveal how a pilot was issued a summons for flying a small plane over Battery Park with a sign that read “England, get out of Ireland”.
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Elizabeth II’s second cousin and mentor to Crown Prince Charles, Lord Mountbatten, was killed in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombing in Ireland in 1979.
Before the late queen’s personal visit to Kentucky in 1989, an FBI memo said: “The possibility of IRA threats against the British monarchy is constant.”
The late queen, who owned racehorses, visited Kentucky several times to watch horse races.
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The FBI was also alerted to planned protests by Irish groups at the stadium during a baseball game the British Queen was supposed to watch with President George W. Bush in 1991.
The BBC writes that the FBI has more documents, but it is not known when they will be published.
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