Increased sabre-rattling between Britain and Russia has turned the British public and media's attention back to an apocalyptic royal protocol in which Queen Elizabeth II would address the country in the event of a global conflict or nuclear war.
Queen Elizabeth's planned WWIII speech released after 30 years; a historical memento of the nuclear war that could have been. #JANMLMU https://t.co/ibE6wyiOyx— Matthew Williams (@MatthewWill98) September 20, 2017
Queen Elizabeth's WWIII Speech Revealedhttps://t.co/PAel3140vZ— Emma (@kiwigirl888) March 15, 2018
United Kingdom Vs Russia. World War 111, don't worry like Japan in 1945 it would be over very quickly. Especially, Surprise attack. https://t.co/ymhocDMf4t— Ian Turner (@Nzeagle144) March 15, 2018
In it, the Queen makes reference to her own experiences of the Second World War, during which she worked as a field mechanic for the British military and reflects on the wartime leadership of her father, King George VI who announced the outbreak of the war to the British public in 1939.
"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. 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."
Evidence of such a protocol first emerged in the 1980s when tensions between Great Britain, then under Margaret Thatcher, and the Soviet Union were particularly high. Former Cabinet Minister Michael Heseltine later mentioned in a TV interview that members of the government never took the possibility of nuclear seriously themselves.