Just how close did the world come to the brink of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War? So close that civil servants in the UK wrote a speech for Queen Elizabeth to deliver in the event of nuclear war. The speech has now been released thanks to the UK's 30-year rule, the Daily Beast reports.
The speechwriters evidently thought the end was quite nigh, because the speech specifically timestamps itself, opening with a reference to a Christmas address three months earlier. The bomb itself is referenced only obliquely. "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." Mostly, it is a generic call to be resolute in the face of war. "Help those who cannot help themselves," she urges. "Give comfort to the lonely and the homeless and let your family become the focus of hope and life to those who need it." For the full speech, see the source.