Queen Mother's letter in full


Here is the full text of the Queen Mother's letter:



My darling Mama,


I hardly know how to begin to tell you of the horrible attack on Buckingham Palace this morning.

Bertie and I arrived there at about a quarter to 11, and he and I went up to our poor windowless rooms to collect a few odds and ends - I must tell you that there was a "Red" warning on, and I went into the little room opposite B's room, to see if he was coming down to the shelter - he asked me to take an eyelash out of his eye, and while I was battling with this task, Alec came into the room with a batch of papers in his hand. At that moment we heard the unmistakable whirr - whirr of a German plane. We said 'ah a German,' and before anything else could be said, there was the noise of aircraft diving at great speed, and then the scream of a bomb.

It all happened so quickly, that we had only time to look foolishly at each other, when the scream hurtled past us, and exploded with a tremendous crash in the quadrangle. I saw a great column of smoke and earth thrown up into the air, and then we all ducked like lightening into the corridor. There was another tremendous explosion, and we and our two pages who were outside the door, remained for a moment or two in the corridor away from the staircase, in case of flying glass. It is curious how one's instinct works at these moments of great danger, as quite without thinking, the urge was to get away from the windows. Everybody remained wonderfully calm, and we went down to the shelter - I went along to see if the housemaids were alright, and found them busy in their various shelters - then came a cry for "bandages," and the first aid party, who had been training for over a year, rose magnificently to the occasion, and treated the three poor casualties calmly and correctly.

They, poor men, were working below the Chapel, and how they survived I don't know - their whole workshop was a shambles, for the bomb had gone bang through the floor above them.

My knees trembled a little bit for a minute or two after the explosions! But we both feel quite well today, tho' just a bit tired.

I was so pleased with the behaviour of our servants. They were really magnificent. I went along to the kitchen which, as you will remember has a glass roof.

I found the chef bustling about, and when I asked him if he was alright, he replied cheerfully that there had been un petit quelque chose dans le coin (a little something in the corner), un petit bruit (a little noise), with a broad smile - the petit quelque chose (little something) was the bomb on the chapel just next door! He was perfectly unmoved, and took the opportunity to tell me of his unshakeable conviction that France will rise again!

We lunched down in our shelter, and luckily at about 1.30 the all-clear sounded, so we were able to set out on our tour of East and West Ham - the damage there is ghastly. I really felt as if I was walking in a dead city, when we walked down a little empty street. All the houses evacuated, and yet through the broken windows one saw all the poor little possessions, photographs, beds, just as they were left. At the end of the street is a school which was hit, and collapsed on the top of 500 people waiting to be evacuated - about 20 are still under the ruins. It does affect me seeing this terrible and senseless destruction - I think that really I mind it much more than being bombed myself. The people are marvellous, and full of fight. One could not imagine that life could become so terrible. We must win in the end.

Darling Mama, I do hope that you will let me come and stay a day or two later - it is so sad being parted, as this War has parted families.

With my love, and prayers for your safety, ever darling Mama, your loving daughter in-law,

Elizabeth

P.S. Dear old B.P is still standing and that is the main thing.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
health
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Digital Content Officer - Central London - £33,000

£28000 - £33000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive (Digital Marketi...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform