A retired police officer spoke about a potential assassination attempt on the Queen in Australia, which was kept secret from the monarch.
“It was decided that it would be best if this was kept secret until the perpetrator or delinquent was arrested, then it would all be public and wide,” said Bill Harrigan, a railroad investigations detective. current case Friday night.
“There was no question in the world that something could happen to the queen.”
The incident occurred when the Queen and Prince Philip visited Australia in 1970 to mark the bicentennial of Captain James Cook sailing along Australia’s east coast.
The tour went off without a hitch and large crowds cheered for the royal party.
One of the stops along the way was Orange, located in the central west of New South Wales, across the Blue Mountains from Sydney.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had to get there by train from Sydney Central Station. As usual, the train checked the tracks in front of members of the royal family, and nothing suspicious was found.
The royal retinue set off an hour later with the queen in the last carriage.
Everything was fine until the train left the mountains and rushed through the town of Lithgow towards the small village of Bowenfels at a speed of about 60 km / h.
The driver noticed an obstacle directly ahead on the tracks.
“The driver saw the log and braked slowly so as not to upset the queen, who was about eight cars behind,” Mr. Harrigan said.
But this was not enough to stop the train from colliding with a log that was part of a telegraph pole, which then got stuck in the wheels. He stopped 150 meters from the track.
Together with the train crew, Mr. Harrigan helped remove the log and the train returned to Orange.
The retired detective said he thought it was unlikely that the derailment could have occurred at that speed of the train and the size of the log.
But that doesn’t mean someone hasn’t tried to do just that. That it wasn’t an accident.
“My theory is that someone knew the log was there — because it was on the opposite side of the highway — and next to a road that many people used as a shortcut,” he said.
An investigation was launched, and the police tracked down scores of disgruntled railroad workers, anti-monarchists, and even terrorism sympathizers.
About 700 people were interrogated and about 200 people were interrogated.
And the Queen herself—well, she didn’t know anything about this impudent act.
“We didn’t want to upset the Queen. To think she came here to our country and someone tried to kill her,” Mr. Harrigan said.
“But (the assassination) was done pretty badly, because there was no way in the world that train could have derailed, and something had to happen in that last car.”
The incident only came to light 30 years later when it was reported in the local Lithgow Mercury newspaper.
But to this day no one has been held accountable for the brazen act which, if things had been different, could have caused the Queen’s train to derail and quite possibly harm the monarch on Australian soil.