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The FBI reveals that a man threatened to kill Queen Elizabeth during a 1983 US trip


WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI revealed a potential threat to Queen Elizabeth II during its 1983 trip to the United States.

The documents were released this week on the FBI’s website. Queen Elizabeth II died last September after a reign of 70 years.

The Queen’s visit to the West Coast with her husband, Prince Philip, included a stop in San Francisco in March 1983. The FBI said that a San Francisco police officer who visited a bar popular with Irish Republican Army sympathizers, in received a phone call in February 1983 from a man claiming that his daughter had been killed by a rubber bullet in Northern Ireland.

According to the documents, the man said he would “try to harm Queen Elizabeth” by either dropping an object from the Golden Gate Bridge onto the Queen’s royal yacht or killing her while visiting Yosemite National Park. According to the documents, the Secret Service planned to close off the bridge’s walkways as the yacht approached.

The names of the officer and caller were redacted in the documents, which did not indicate whether precautions had been taken in Yosemite or whether any arrests had been made. A memo dated 7 March 1983 indicated that the Queen completed the visit to the US “without incident” and that “no further inquiry is warranted”.

The documents detailed other security concerns related to the Queen’s visits to various U.S. cities. When she attended a Baltimore Orioles game with President George HW Bush in May 1991, several dozen protesters in the park chanted slogans condemning Britain’s policy in Northern Ireland.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.