Disaster movies show our leaders ushered into safe houses and bunkers to save them from the end of the world.
But what really happens when we’re threatened by nuclear war?
Well, I’m sorry to say there’s probably not an escape plan for all of us. But our Royal Family – at least the senior members, anyway – will live to fight another day.
If a nuclear strike – aka a level three ‘catastrophic emergency’ – hit our shores, there’s a secret strategy in place to help our senior royals stay safe.
Back in 1968 the UK government created ‘Python’, an operation to evacuate our Prime Minister, key members of the cabinet, plus the Queen and other senior royals in groups to different parts of the country.
At the time, these secret locations included on yachts at sea, and even inside a specially-adapted passenger ferry in a Scottish loch – fancy!
During the Cold War there was just one city-sized underground shelter in the Chiltern Hills (Corsham, to be precise), with enough room for the Prime Minister, a few hundred folk and plenty of supplies, plus all the communication equipment needed to rebuild our country.
But as the shelter’s location has been known for years, it’d be the first place a hostile nation would attack.
Oh, and it wouldn’t survive an intercontinental ballistic missile attack, so it’s a no from us.
So with one shelter off the cards and other nuclear bunkers sold off to private developers (when the threat of nuclear war subsided), what on earth happens now?
Well, according to a nuclear war expert, the Queen and senior members of the monarchy including Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Kate Middleton will still be dispersed away from London.
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The I reports that Julie McDowall, who hosts the Atomic Hobo podcast, claims the original idea of spreading our leaders wide still stands. And, she believes, it remains the safest way to make sure we’d still have a government after a nuclear attack.
Obviously that’s as much as we’ll likely ever know about this mystery strategy.
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It’s a top secret plan drawn up by the Cabinet Office, Civil Contingencies Secretariat, Ministry of Defence and diplomatic protection – so it’s all very official.
All we know for sure is that the direct line of royal succession will be protected at all costs, ensuring the Queen, Charles, William and his family – including Kate, George, Charlotte and Louis, are top priority to keep safe.
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