George VI 'relieved' when WW2 broke out





King George VI privately wrote of his "relief" at the fact that war had finally broken out between Britain and Germany, in a diary entry to go on public display for the first time.

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."

The diary entry, together with the naval jacket worn by the king as he addressed the British Empire that evening, are to be displayed in a new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum to mark the 70th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, called Outbreak...

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