As Cold War tensions simmered, a speech was drafted for the Queen to deliver in the event of a crisis--a speech that we're happy never to have heard.
The Queen Elizabeth II arriving by coach on Thursday, May 19, 1983 at Horse Guards Parade, London, for the Queen to present new standards to the Household Cavalry. (Press Association)
They are words that were written, but never spoken.
Newly released documents from the British government shed light on what the Queen of England would have said in the event of a nuclear war.
As tensions in the Cold War continued to simmer in 1983, the speech was drafted for the Queen to deliver in the event of a crisis.
The document was made public by the UK’s National Archives in a major release of files that have been declassified after 30 years.
The speech reads, in part:
“We all know that the dangers facing us today are greater by far than at any time in our long history. The enemy is not the soldier with his rifle nor even the airman prowling the skies above our cities and towns but the deadly power of abused technology.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.”
On Hardball Thursday night, Chris Matthews added a line of his own: “Keep calm and carry on. British to the end!”
Watch the segment from Hardball‘s “Sideshow”: