Newly Released Secret FBI Files on Queen Elizabeth Show Threats During Visit to California

The queen visited the U.S. multiple times over five presidents' terms, before her death in September 2022.

Dennis Brack/Pool via CNP/Getty Images

The FBI has released files dating back 50 years on Queen Elizabeth and her visits to the United States, including possible threats to her safety.

From the unfulfilled threats of a San Francisco pub patron to newspaper cuttings about the queen's meetings with presidents, the files were all released under a Freedom of Information Act request from various media outlets, including NBC.

Documents detail an unidentified police officer who had a phone call from a man he knew from a pub, threatening to harm or kill the queen when she visited San Francisco in 1983. The man claimed his daughter was killed by a rubber bullet in Northern Ireland.

The ties to Ireland and "The Troubles," a reference to a conflict in Northern Ireland from the 1960s to the 1990s, come up multiple times in the documents, which cover several visits by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to the US.

One document from May 1991 refers to a story published in the Philadelphia newspaper, "Irish Edition," about a visit to a baseball game in Baltimore.

"Irish groups are planning to protest at Queen Elizabeth II’s attendance at the baseball game and a White House event," the document reads.

"The article stated anti-British feelings are running high as a result of ‘well-publicized injustices inflicted on the Birmingham six by the corrupt English judicial system and the recent rash of brutal murders of unarmed Irish Nationalists in the six counties by loyalists death squads.’ Though the article contained no threats against the President or the Queen, the statements could be viewed as being inflammatory."

Queen Elizabeth at the baseball game in Baltimore, 1991 (Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)

The so-called "Birmingham Six" had only just had their convictions overturned when the queen visited in 1991. The Irishmen had been wrongly convicted and imprisoned over an IRA bombing of pubs in Birmingham, England, nearly 20 years before.

This is one of several comments about threats which were not deemed serious across the years, although officers were often urged to be on alert.

Alongside these are press clippings of Americans welcoming the royals, as well as plans and timings for visits to the White House.

The queen visited the U.S. multiple times before her death in September 2022, including four state visits, five state dinners, and two unofficial visits during her reign.

She met Presidents Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan, and both George H. W Bush and George W. Bush.

The files released are listed as "Part One" and stretch only from the 1970s to 1991, so there may be more related to Queen Elizabeth to come from the FBI.

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