On the morning of 7 July, 1987 Queen Elizabeth II recorded an address to the British people. Despite her wishes to give the speech live over television and radio, the speed with which the international situation was deteriorating forced her to concede to the wishes of the British government and record the address. When it was aired at 8 PM local time on that evening, the Queen had already discreetly departed from London and was moving towards a secure location in another part of the United Kingdom. On the following day the remainder of the Royal Family was evacuated to other sites around the country with the exception of Prince Andrew who remained on active duty with the Royal Navy. Below is a transcript of the Queen’s address to the citizens of the United Kingdom. With the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II I felt this was the proper time to share this bit of history in the hopes it will not go overlooked.
“I last spoke to you on Easter Sunday of this year at a time when alarming events were beginning to unfold inside the Soviet Union. In the following hours and days, it became clear a coup d’état had taken place. General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev was removed from power and replaced by a man whose political beliefs harken back to a darker period earlier in this century.
“Now this new leader is responsible for threatening aggression in Europe and spreading fear throughout the world. As I speak to you this evening, armies are on the move across Europe and elsewhere. The United Kingdom finds itself preparing for war while at the same time fervently praying for peace.
“The dangers facing us now are greater than at any time in our long history. Once again, we find our families, homes and our very freedoms being threatened by a foreign power. However, unlike the past, we also find ourselves faced with the threat of extinction.
“My husband and I share with families up and down the land the fear we feel for sons and daughters, husbands and brothers who have left our side to serve their country. My beloved son Andrew is at this moment in action with his unit and we pray continually for his safety.
“The coming times will certainly tax all of us both emotionally and physically. In this time of fear and uncertainty, I ask you to act serve beacons of strength and hope for your families, your communities, and your country.
“Right now, as we prepare to face this danger, let us pray for our country and the safety of our soldiers, sailors, and airmen at home and overseas as they prepare to defend the United Kingdom if need be. God bless you all.”
Author’s Note: One of the draft pre-war entries that did not make the final cut for the blog was about the Royal Family’s activities and preparations in the leadup to war. The address by Queen Elizabeth II to the British people on 7 July, 1987 was included as part of the entry. In light of her recent passing I decided to post this speech. Part II for the APPG Model has taken one for the team and will be posted sometime next week. Over the weekend and early next week I’m striving to finish up West Berlin D+25 and the initial post-war diplomatic negotiations.