Queen Elizabeth II faced assassination threat during 1983 US visit, FBI files reveal
Newly disclosed FBI documents have revealed that Queen Elizabeth II faced a potential assassination threat during her visit to the United States in 1983. The files, which were released following the monarch’s passing last year, detail the FBI’s concerns about possible IRA threats during her travels. The specific threat was made to a police officer in San Francisco, who informed federal agents about a man seeking revenge for his daughter’s death in Northern Ireland.
According to the documents, the threat was made on February 4, 1983, just over a month ahead of the Queen and Prince Philip’s visit to California. The man planned to harm the Queen either by dropping an object onto the Royal Yacht Britannia from the Golden Gate Bridge or by attempting to kill her during a visit to Yosemite National Park.
In response, the Secret Service planned to close the walkways on the Golden Gate Bridge as the yacht approached. It remains unclear what security measures were taken at Yosemite, but the visit proceeded without incident reported BBC News.
The files also reveal the FBI’s ongoing vigilance regarding potential threats to the late Queen during her visits to the US, particularly in the context of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. For example, during a personal trip to Kentucky in 1989, an internal FBI memo noted the ever-present possibility of threats from the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
In 1991, during a state visit that included attending a Baltimore Orioles baseball game with President George H. Bush, the FBI warned the Secret Service about planned protests by Irish groups at the stadium. The bureau has indicated that there may be additional records related to the late Queen’s visits to the US, but no timeline for their release has been provided.
Last week, the UK government disclosed that the state funeral and related events for Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away last September, cost taxpayers almost £162 million (US$201 million). This is the first public estimate of the expenses associated with the funeral of Britain’s longest-serving monarch.
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