When the East End of London was heavily bombed in WW2, the government tried to maintain morale by spreading a bogus story that Buckingham Palace had also been bombed. True or false?
This was no bogus story, but a real event. During World War II, the palace was bombed nine times, the most serious and publicised of which resulted in the destruction of the palace chapel in 1940. Coverage of this event was played in cinemas all over the UK to show the common suffering of rich and poor. One bomb fell in the palace quadrangle while King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were in residence, and many windows were blown in and the chapel destroyed.
War-time coverage of such incidents was severely restricted, however. The King and Queen were filmed inspecting their bombed home, the smiling Queen, as always, immaculately dressed in a hat and matching coat seemingly unbothered by the damage around her. It was at this time the Queen famously declared: "I am glad we have been bombed. Now we can look the East End in the eye".
The royal family were seen as sharing their subjects' hardship, as The Sunday Graphic reported: "The King and Queen have endured the ordeal which has come to their subjects. For the second time a German bomber has tried to bring death and destruction to the home of Their Majesties...When this war is over the common danger which King George and Queen Elizabeth have shared with their people will be a cherished memory and an inspiration through the years."