Skip to comments.The King's Speech: the real story (the epic events that inspired the Oscar-tipped film)
Posted on 01/05/2011 8:58:29 AM PST by SeekAndFind
There are many forms of irony verbal, dramatic, situational and so on but the one that surely applied to King George VI was the irony of fate. It was as if the gods, or Fates, were amusing themselves by toying with his mind, mocking his failings, reminding him that he was very much a mortal. It was, after all, almost impossible for him to pronounce the letter 'k, thanks to his debilitating nervous stammer. A cruel fate for a king.
Even crueller, his reign coincided with a revolution in mass communication. For the first time in British history, subjects could listen to their monarch addressing them through their wireless sets, as if he were with them in their living rooms.
But the technology didnt allow George VI to pre-record his broadcasts, as would be the case for the generations that followed. When he addressed the nation, it had to be done through a live microphone, without editing, an agony for a stammerer.
The layers of irony did not end there. Because he had been told that cigarettes might help with his stammer, George VI chain-smoked and he consequently died of lung cancer at the age of 56 in 1952. And the greatest irony of all? This vulnerable and stammering king proved to be exactly the right man at the right time.
The stammering that defined him, and the courage with which he tried to beat it, came to symbolise the vulnerability of the British people as they stood alone against the Nazi tyranny that had the rest of Europe in its grip. A certain solidarity between monarch and subject emerged, especially when George VI overruled requests from the government that he and his family relocate to the safety of Canada.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
One can almost make out a slight resemblance to Prince Charles from that photograph.
King George VI’s stutter free, but halting speech announcing England’s entry into World War II has been preserved here :
(Colin Firth played the role perfectly).
Colin Firth on his role as the stammering King ( also contains video clips of King George VI’s public speech ) :
King George VIs stutter free, but halting speech announcing Englands entry into World War II has been preserved here :
(Colin Firth played the role perfectly).
Colin Firth on his role as the stammering King ( also contains video clips of King George VIs public speech ) :
RE: Prince Charles and his resemblance to his grandfather...
His grandfather had more courage and character. Charles was more similar in character to his grand uncle, Edward VIII, I would have to say.
Not sure how close to the actual story that the movie stayed, but it was one great movie, well deserving of the Oscar buzz.
Of course, it was mean to the Germans, so the PC idiots in Holly-weird will probably vote for Sean Penn in “Fair Game”, more in keeping with their America-hating philosophy.
RE:Not sure how close to the actual story that the movie stayed, but it was one great movie, well deserving of the Oscar buzz
I was more interested in Colin Firth’s mannerisms as he tried to capture how the King spoke in real life.
Fortunately, we have videos of King George VI preserved, and he did have a very strong hesitation in his speech.
SEE HERE :
The main historical flaw of the film are the DATES.
The film wants us to believe that King George was still stammering badly in the 1930’s ( even as he was replacing King Edward VIII ).
However, this well sourced entry in Wikipedia tells us something different :
Before he ascended the throne, Albert, Duke of York, dreaded public speaking because he suffered from a severe stammer. His closing speech at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley on 31 October 1925 proved an ordeal for both speaker and listeners alike. The experience left the Duke resolved to find a way to manage his stammer, so he engaged Lionel Logue.
Diagnosing poor co-ordination between the Duke’s larynx and thoracic diaphragm, Logue prescribed vocal exercises which would occupy an hour daily. Logue’s treatment gave the Duke confidence to relax and avoid tension-inducing muscle spasms. As a result he suffered only occasional hesitancy in speech.
By 1927, he was speaking confidently and managed his address at the opening of the Australian parliament in Canberra  without stuttering.
So, King George could speak quite well publicly LONG BEFORE HIS FATHER DIED and LONG BEFORE HIS BROTHER EDWARD ascended to the throne.
Doesn't having Helena Bonham Carter in a movie without Johnny Depp violate some law?
This was a fantastic movie. His struggle and determination to overcome his speech impediment was very moving.
“Doesn’t having Helena Bonham Carter in a movie without Johnny Depp violate some law?”
I think they use a spell to get her around the law in those movies.
Ed would have been a disaster on the throne during WWII.
Of course he might have had an accident if necessary.
Since Ed was a Nazi lover that stands to reason.
Edward was a known Nazi sympathizer. If he had been on the throne during World War II, he would have been a disaster for Europe and the Western world. After his abdication and exile he lived in France. When he fled France ahead of the Germans, he asked the Germans to place guards outside his two homes there. They did.
Ed would have been King had the Nazis occupied England.
You are right. I believe there is documentation of Hitler stating that had Edward been on the throne, he would have been able to take England without firing a shot.
BTW dfwgator, I think we share similar origins. I was born in Florida and presently live in McKinney, north of Dallas.
Well what can I say ? The guy Edward has always been a disaster.
Many historians have suggested that Hitler was prepared to reinstate Edward as King in the hope of establishing a fascist Britain.
It is widely believed that the Duke and Duchess sympathised with fascism before and during the Second World War, and were moved to the Bahamas to minimise their opportunities to act on those feelings.
The Allies became sufficiently disturbed by the German plots that FDR ordered covert surveillance of Ed and his wife when they visited Palm Beach, Florida, in April 1941.
In the mid-30s, there were plenty of Brits who were at least intrigued with, if not fully supportive of an alliance with Nazi Germany against Bolshevism. Germany could have her empire in the east, while the British could still have their empire. It seemed fair to them, ‘we have our empire, why not let them have theirs’?’
Hitler truly thought back then he could have gotten that deal, when the Brits spurned him, like a jealous lover, Hitler turned on them. But such an alliance was much closer then than most people realize. They almost drummed Churchill out of Parliament, because back then he was one of the few who spoke out as to what kind of madman Hitler was.
Its a great film about how people overcome their limitations and rise to the occasion.
George VI faced an impediment that drove him to despair but he conquered it and showed the face of the monarchy to the British people and the world - heroic and confident in the face of menacing danger.
Wasn't P.G. Wodehouse's character Roderick Spode a spoof of this sort of attitude?
Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter all deserve Oscars for their performances, IMO. I would vote for this film to receive the "Best Picture" Oscar if I could.
Haven’t seen it yet. Thanks for the tip!
Hitler really thought the king was in charge? We know Adolph was a dolt but was he that stupid?
It’s nice to know that movies without flash-bang special effects and CGI can still make an impression.