The Duke of Edinburgh described the Cold War arms race as “ridiculous” and favored nuclear disarmament, according to newly declassified letters penned by the Queen’s husband. Prince Philip recently retired from public life.
Prince Philip wrote in 1981 to Labour politician Lord Brockway, explaining how he felt the nuclear arms race “has no military purpose.”
The Duke included a copy of a speech made by his uncle, Earl Mountbatten.
“I agree with everything he said. I agree that the arms race is ridiculous,” the Duke wrote.
Brockway had contacted Philip over suggestions in a newspaper he believed a “successful defensive nuclear war” was feasible. The Duke denied the claims.
“I added that it was possible that there had not been another major war in the last 30 years because world leaders realized what a horror they would unleash on the world,” he said in his letter, the Times reports.
The Duke, who served in the Royal Navy in the Second World War, said military men would rather see peace. “Service people also have a certain idealism. Why else should they be prepared to lose their lives? It is just because they are so much at risk and because they know the risks, that they are interested in keeping the peace,” he said.
“Security and peace depend upon being prepared for every eventuality, not in creating conflict where none is needed.”
Lord Brockway’s private correspondence has now been opened to the public at the National Archives at Kew.
Philip, 96, served as Captain General of the Marines for more than 64 years until Prince Harry took over in December. In August he attended his final public event in an official capacity after more than 65 years of service.
Will this stop the royal sharing his views on the subject again as the prospect of nuclear Armageddon rears its head once more? North Korea has threatened to unleash war by striking the US mainland with a nuclear warhead.
President Trump responded biblically with threats of “fire and fury.”
Mirroring the growing public concern, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize went to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).