August 5

Queen’s nuclear war speech

A 1983 draft of a speech by The Queen in the event of a nuclear war has been released by the UK archives. This was at a time of heightened cold war tensions.

She refers to her "beloved son Andrew",  then serving as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot, and the address by King George VI on the outbreak of World War II .


"Now this madness of war is once more spreading through the world and our brave country must again prepare itself to survive against great odds."

"I have never forgotten the sorrow and the pride I felt as my sister and I huddled around the nursery wireless set listening to my father's inspiring words on that fateful day in 1939. Not for a single moment did I imagine that this solemn and awful duty would one day fall to me.

"But whatever terrors lie in wait for us all the qualities that have helped to keep our freedom intact twice already during this sad century will once more be our strength."

"As we strive together to fight off the new evil let us pray for our country and men of goodwill wherever they may be," she declares.

"May God bless you all."


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