Daily Mail says when Queen Elizabeth II of England wrote to Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, she signed off her letter with the line ‘Your Good Friend’.
Dear Mr President,
Thank you for your message of 10th January, delivered by your Minister of Defence. I reciprocate your good wishes and read with pleasure what you said about relations between our countries.
I am very grateful for you asking me to attend the celebrations of the Tenth Anniversary of Ugandan Independence on 9th October, 1972. I am most disappointed that my commitments at that time will prevent my accepting your invitation.
I take this opportunity of wishing all success to your celebrations and to Uganda and its people throughout 1972.
I am your good friend,
The extraordinary letter is revealed for the first time in previously unpublished papers from the National Archives.
They also reveal how the Queen quickly changed her view of Amin, but maintained the semblance of diplomatic decorum because of fears for the lives of British citizens in the African country.
Amin, a former British Colonial Army officer who seized power in a 1971 coup, was left giddy with excitement after receiving a Christmas card from the Foreign Office.
He sent a gushing letter in January 1972 inviting the Queen to the tenth anniversary of Ugandan independence that October.
The Queen politely declined and concluded with her customary sign-off to heads of state: “I am your good friend, Elizabeth R.”
Later that year Amin expelled Uganda’s large community of Asians, including many thousands of British passport-holders, and news of widespread atrocities under his rule began to circulate.
As a result, the Queen was reluctant to send a proposed message to Uganda for Independence Day.
The Queen planned to hit Idi Amin over the head
The Daily Telegraph UK, quotes an anecdote in Lord Mountbatten’s diary, saying the Queen planned to hit Idi Amin over the head with a ceremonial pearl sword if he “gatecrashed” a Silver Jubilee church service, according to a new book.
It said the Queen took the potential threat posed by Amin in the Seventies quite seriously.
It is among the archive materials disclosed in Monarchy and the End of Empire, seen by Prof Philip Murphy, the director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and author of the book.
It describes UK plans to minimise disruption if Amin made an uninvited appearance in Britain at the 1977 Commonwealth heads of government meeting.
Despite his failure to appear, the book claims the Queen remained concerned about the possibility he would try to attend the Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on June 7.
Lord Mountbatten said he asked the Queen why she “looked rather cross and worried”.
He wrote: “She laughed and said, ‘I was just thinking how awful it would be if Amin were to gatecrash the party and arrive after all’.
“I asked her what she had proposed to do and she said she had decided she would use the City’s Pearl Sword which the Lord Mayor had placed in front of her to hit him hard over the head with.”
Amin was finally ousted in April 1979 and fled to Libya. He died in 2003.