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War & Conflict

At this moment we heard the unmistakable whirr-whirr of a German plane … before anything else could be said, there was the noise of aircraft diving at great speed, and then the scream of a bomb – It all happened so quickly, that we had only time to look foolishly at each other …

Letter from Queen Elizabeth to Queen Mary, 13 September 1940

From the Jacobite Rebellion to the Crimean War, and from military map making to the Victoria Cross, the Royal Archives contains a wealth of material recording military history throughout the ages.

Click on the thumbnails to see the full transcript and image for each item; page numbers relate to their location in the book:

Letter from Prince Charles Edward Stuart to the Scottish Chiefs, justifying his reasons for leaving Scotland after the Battle of Culloden, 28 April 1746

RA SP/MAIN/273/117

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Letter from Prince James Francis Edward Stuart to his son, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, expressing concern that his son's attempt to reclaim the British throne for the Stuarts may fail, 6 June 1746

RA SP/MAIN/275/26

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Letter from Florence Nightingale to Queen Victoria expressing her gratitude for the brooch the Queen had sent her, 1 December 1855

RA VIC/MAIN/F/4/15

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Correspondence in June 1944 between King George VI and the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, concerning the possibility of their witnessing ‘Operation Overlord’

RA PS/PSO/GVI/C/069/43-5

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