It’s the speech Queen Elizabeth hopes she never has to deliver.
A speech prepared back in the ’80s for the Queen to give in the event that World War III breaks out was revealed last week. The address was written in the event this does occur, and she needs to address the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
The speech was released by the government last week under the 30-year rule, and is reflective of the time it was written — with a “planned” broadcast date of March 4, 1983.
The Queen’s speech was set to begin with a reference to her annual Christmas address. “The horrors of war could not have seemed more remote as my family and I shared our Christmas joy with the growing family of the Commonwealth,” the speech reads. “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,” the speech continues. “Not for a single moment did I imagine that this solemn and awful duty would one day fall to me.”
Going on, the Queen talks about the fears that everyone will face, either going off to war themselves or sending their loved ones there. At the time the speech was written, her second son Prince Andrew was active in the navy, and she made a personal mention of him, too.
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“My husband and I share with families up and down the land the fear we feel for sons and daughters, husbands and brothers who have left our side to serve their country,” it reads. “My beloved son Andrew is at this moment in action with his unit and we pray continually for his safety and for the safety of all servicemen and women at home and overseas.”
Of course, the Queen’s speech also offers words of hope and encouragement, even in the face of another global crisis.
“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.”
She continues: “It is this close bond of family life that must be our greatest defense against the unknown. If families remain united and resolute, giving shelter to those living alone and unprotected, our country’s will to survive cannot be broken.”
The speech ends as you might expect, with an encouragement to pray for those fighting and a blessing for the country.
“As we strive together to fight off the new evil, let us pray for our country and men of goodwill wherever they may be. God Bless you all.”