A recent article in USA Today reports that in 1983, Queen Elizabeth of England had a speech prepared for her in the event of the outbreak of a nuclear war, similar to the one her father, King George VI gave at the beginning of World War II.
The text of the speech, obviously never given, was released along with a number of other classified documents by the British government under the "30 year rule."
1983 was a year in which concern that a global thermonuclear war had reached new heights, largely due to President Reagan's policy of confronting the Soviet Union. The Nuclear Freeze Movement, which proposed stopping the building of all nuclear weapons, was at its height. The movement at that time was passing resolutions opposing the deployment of nuclear Pershing and cruise missile in Western Europe to counter Soviet SS-20s and attempting to elect leaders, including a new American president, who agreed with its agenda. An FBI investigation suggested that while the Nuclear Freeze Movement was not controlled by the Soviets, it was heavily influenced by the KGB.
1983 also saw the airing of a movie, "The Day After," that purported to show what the effects of a nuclear war would have been in and around a small town in Kansas. "Threads" a British version aired the following year.Both movies caused comment and controversy,
The Queen's speech was obviously never given, and might not have been in any case if conditions after an initial nuclear exchange had prevented it, was an attempt to provide comfort and encouragement to the British people in what would have been the darkest hour the human race would have every experienced.
"My message to you therefore is simple. Help those who cannot help themselves, give comfort to the lonely and the homeless and let your family become the focus of hope and life to those who need it."
Despite fears to the contrary, a global thermonuclear war never occurred. President Reagan's strategy brought about the end of the Soviet Union and with it a global catastrophe that would have occurred if the two super powers were ever to clash.