The script for a speech never recorded, where Queen Elizabeth II would address Britons about a nuclear war, has just been released.
In 1983, Britain feared a nuclear war with Russia, and was doing everything they could to prepare for such an event. The speech was part of a 320-page war games scenario – codenamed Wintex-Cimex 83. It was drafted by top intelligence, military defense and Home Office staff.
In the speech, prepared by Whitehall civil servants, the Queen refers to her annual Christmas address, and then says, “Our brave country must again prepare itself to survive against great odds. I have never forgotten the sorrow and 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.”
The possible event didn’t just sit close to home because it involved the Queen’s country, but also because her son, Prince Andrew was serving in the Royal Navy. At that time, he was a pilot with HMS Invincible.
The speech ends with the Queen saying, “As we strive together to fight off this new evil, let us pray for our country and men of goodwill wherever they may be. God bless you all.”
As part of the 30-year rule, The National Archives have acquired files from 1983. The government will soon be transitioning from releasing files every 30 years to every 20.
The National Archives also received files from the Cabinet office, the Prime Minister’s office, and key government events of 1983. Other bits of history included in the released archives revealed that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wanted troops to move coal during the miners’ strike and a laser weapon was sent to Argentine pilots during the Falklands war, designed to “dazzle” them.