North Korea hurled another ballistic missile in the general direction of Japan this week, one that went farther (3,700km) and higher (770km) than any before. So while Pacific powers strategise and hypothesise about how to handle the threat, we can’t help but wonder if Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is currently in the bowels of Buckingham Palace digging through a dusty file box.
Because should World War III erupt, she’s already got the speech.
Released to the public in 2013 in keeping with the National Archives’s 30-year rule, the transcript is that of a hypothetical televised address in which the monarch prepares her subjects for global nuclear conflict.
It was drafted in 1983, in the shadows of a particularly tense period of the Cold War, as part of a secret war gaming exercise designed to help Britain prepare for potential international developments.
In the rousing address, quoted by the BBC, Her Majesty concedes that her “brave country” must once against steel itself for survival amid the “madness of war”.
“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 start of the World War II].
“Not for a single moment did I imagine that this solemn and awful duty would one day fall to me.