5 August 2007
Treasury of Information
BBC Radio 4 often has programmes based on new government documents recently released into the public domain, and that made me interested in looking at what the British National Archives has to offer. As expected, a great deal. There are many records that can be freely browsed, old government films, interesting timelines, and the like. For example, Sir Winston Churchill had a tough time in 1953 when trying to advise on who would become Regent if the young Queen Elizabeth II died. He was opposed to Prince Phillip and Princess Margaret, describing them both as unsuitable. Queen Elizabeth wanted Phil the Greek to succeed her (proof that Churchill was right, here). Also, there was a consideration that in post-war austerity, guests to the Coronation would be charged 16 Shillings a head to cover the costs. Churchill dismissed this as a 'shabby' idea.