1 INT. BATHROOM, YORK HOUSE, LONDON - DAY (MID-1930'S) 1
A shimmering surface of cold water - held in an immense, free
standing, white enamelled bathtub with gilded lion's legs -
bulges in SLOW MOTION to the chords of Handel's "Trumpet
A head emerges.
White gloved hands, in livery, rush to envelope the surfacing
naked wet body in white towels.
2 INT. DRESSING CHAMBER, YORK HOUSE - DAY 2
The ritual continues with crisp military precision.
CLOSE ON the Royal Coat Of Arms stamped in gold: lion and
unicorn embrace a shield divided into four quarters with harp,
thistle, and more lions denoting England, Ireland, Scotland and
Wales. The shield is surmounted by a crown.
This emblem is on a cuff-link fastened on a starched white
Trousers, pressed to a knife-edge, are held for stockinged feet
and gartered legs to be inserted.
Mirror-polished boots are laced tight.
Jacket, held ready. Arms, shoulders, chest received.
Glistening medals attached to front of jacket create a dazzling
field of ribbons and medallions.
Epaulets, edged with gold braid tassels, are adjusted.
Polished buttons are fastened.
Multi-coloured collar clasped shut.
White ostrich feathers, topping a tri-corner hat, are fluffed
and placed upon brilliantined hair.
PAN DOWN to the handsome features of Albert, Duke of York, known
to his family as BERTIE. He's in his late thirties, the second
son of King George V, the reigning King of England. He conveys a
sensitivity which appears in conflict with the manner in which
he's been bedecked.
Reflected in a full length mirror, Bertie tells himself:
You look like a Christmas tree.
He smiles wanly.
3 EXT. INNER COURTYARD, YORK HOUSE, 145 PICADILLY - DAY 3
THE ROYAL STANDARD flaps atop a gleaming chrome grill.
Liveried footmen open the doors of a stately Austin Princess.
Bertie exits York House with his young wife - ELIZABETH -
considered by all to be one of the loveliest women in the land,
truly an English rose. Golden Labradors and Corgis appear from
all directions, weaving between them, barking boisterously,
creating a happy chaos.
Elizabeth and Bertie glance upwards and wave.
Two little girls, LILIBET and MARGARET ROSE, aged eight and
four, wave back from their nursery window.
4 INT/EXT. AUSTIN PRINCESS, HYDE PARK CORNER - DAY 4
Bertie nervously lights a cigarette. Elizabeth pats his hand.
Buck up, Bertie. The BBC said it wouldn't
BERTIE'S POV - Speaker's Corner with its assortment of orators,
prophets, protestors, and onlookers gathered around soapboxs,
agreeing, disagreeing, shouting comments. Others carry
placards, sing protest songs. A miners' strike is the focus of
A large, rather untidy workingman with a florid rosacea nose
spots the passing Austin and stares at the occupants.
REVERSE ANGLE - Bertie's face stares back.
The first drops splatter against the glass. Elizabeth sighs.
Never trust the wireless.
Bertie's face is obliterated by the increasingly heavy downpour,
which segues into a GARGLING sound.