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King George VI ‘relieved’ when WWII broke out

Going on display for the first time is a diary entry written by King George VI that reveals his relief when WWII broke out.

On the evening of 3 September 1939 – the day that Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared war – the monarch wrote: “As 11 o’clock struck that fateful morning I had a certain feeling of relief that those 10 anxious days of intensive negotiations with Germany over Poland, which at moments looked favourable, with Mussolini working for peace as well, were over.

“Hitler would not & could not draw back from the edge of the Abyss to which he had led us. Despite our protestations that the Polish Question could have been settled without force, Hitler had taken the plunge.”

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