Buckingham Palace Bombed
It would go down in history as the day the Luftwaffe came closest to claiming the ultimate trophy – the life of George VI. On the 13th of September 1940 a Luftwaffe bomber soared down The Mall and dropped two bombs on Buckingham Palace whilst the King and Queen were in residence.
According to a letter written from Queen Elizabeth to her "darling" mother-in-law, Queen Mary, she was “battling” to remove an errant eyelash from the King’s eye, when they heard the “unmistakable whirr-whirr of a German plane” and then the “scream of a bomb”.
While her “knees trembled a little bit”, she was “so pleased with the behaviour of our servants”, some of whom were injured as one bomb crashed through a glass roof and another pulverised the palace chapel.
Hours later, after lunching in their air-raid shelter, she and the King were visiting West Ham in London’s East End. She wrote: “I felt as if I was walking in a dead city… all the houses evacuated, and yet through the broken windows one saw all the poor little possessions, photographs, beds, just as they were left.”
The bombing, along with the royal family’s refusal to flee Britain against Foreign Office advice, was to win the King and Queen affection and fellow-feeling across the country. The Queen declared: “The children will not leave unless I do. I shall not leave unless their father does, and the king will not leave the country in any circumstances, whatever.”
[Image Sources: The King and Queen inspect the damage: 2 : 3 : 4]