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RA PS/PSO/GVI/C/069/07

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RA PS/PSO/GVI/C/069/07 (view the document)

During the war, King George VI developed a close working relationship with his Prime Minister, Winston Churchill; this became a friendship of mutual admiration, as Churchill's letter shows.

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Transcription

5. January 1941

Sir,

I am honoured by Yr Majesty’s most gracious letter. the kindness with wh Yr Majesty & the Queen have treated me since I became First Lord & still more since I became Prime Minister have been a continuous source of strength & encouragement during the vicissitudes of this fierce struggle for life. I have already served Yr Majesty’s Father, & Grandfather for a good many years as a Minister of the Crown, & my father & grandfather served Queen Victoria; but Yr Majesty’s treatment of me has been intimate & generous to a degree that I had never deemed possible.

Indeed sir we have passed through days & weeks as trying and as momentous as any in the long history of the English Monarchy, & even now there stretches before us a long, forbidding road. I have greatly been cheered by our weekly luncheons in poor old bomb-battered Buckingham Palace, & to feel that in Yr Majesty & the Queen there flames the spirit that will never be daunted by peril, nor wearied by unrelenting toil. This war has drawn the Throne & the people more closely together than was ever before recorded, & Yr Majesties are more beloved by all classes & conditions than any of the princes of the past. I am indeed proud that it shd have fallen to my lot & duty to stand at Yr Majesty’s side as First Minister in such a climax of the British story, & it is not without good & sure hope and confidence in the future that I sign myself ‘on Bardia day’, while the gallant Australians are gathering another twenty thousand Italian prisoners,

Yr Majesty’s faithful & devoted

servant & subject

Winston S. Churchill