They are chilling words. Queen Elizabeth II was to tell the nation that they were staring at nuclear conflict, urging the “brave country” to stand firm as it faced up to “the madness of war”.
The words were only written as part of an exercise scenario, but they give a stark insight into the British government’s mindset at a time of heightened tension with the Soviet Union.
Although it was only a simulation, the text of the fictitious Queen’s address ”“ supposedly broadcast at noon on Friday 4 March 1983 ”“ captures with chilling realism just how World War III may have begun. In sombre tones, it seeks to prepare the country for the unimaginable ordeal ahead. There are references to the Queen’s “beloved son Andrew”, serving with his unit as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot and the address by her father George VI on the outbreak of the Second World War ”“ famously dramatised in the film, The King’s Speech.