The Real King's Speech

Synopsis: The story of King George VI of Britain and his struggles with his speech impediment and the unexpected responsibilities of the throne.
60 min

My first...


..must be one of praise...


..the enterprise...

..enthusiasm...and hard work

which have made it possible... a time...



..this country...

..was still under the cloud...

The Queen's father, King George VI,

suffered from a debilitating

speech impediment.


Behind the scenes,

the King was helped

by an innovative speech

therapist called Lionel Logue.

Huhh! Huhh!

Huhh! Huhh!



I am accused of the atrocious crime

of being a young man.

For the first time,

Logue's former patients who were

treated alongside the King

will reveal his methods.

I could speak to him in a way that

I couldn't speak to anybody else.

I owe Logue...

a lifetime debt.

'In this grave hour...'

And through his iconic speeches

we'll chart the King's journey

to find his voice

and lead a nation.

In 1924,

the Empire colonial exhibition

was opened by

Edward, Prince of Wales,

and his father, King George V.

Thousands attended Wembley that day.

Many more listened in.

It was the first time

a British king was heard on radio.

Broadcasting was the marvel

of the modern age.

'I thank you from my heart for

the words of devoted affection...'

Now the monarchy not only had to

look regal, they had to sound it.

'The Crown is the historic symbol

that unites this great

family of nations...'

Not easy for George V's second son,

Bertie, the Duke of York.

The new age of radio

was a tremendous personal shock

to the Duke of York.

You had to be able to perform...

directly to millions of people.

And he, with his stammer,

was not equipped for it.

I congratulate you on the completion

of this fine building

and I trust that it will prove...

..the centre...

of an administration...

The Duke was afflicted by shyness,

and a fear of speaking in public

because of his stammer. bringing health and the people here.

It's difficult enough for anybody

to give a speech in public

and people didn't know

he had a speech deficiency

- that's another thing -

until they saw him.

He had to talk for perhaps two

or three minutes, so agony for him.

(STAMMERS) The strain was going into

a new situation,

where people didn't know you.

I was heaving, either making no sound

at all or making terrible faces.

And there you stood, being

on the point of sort of rolling about

with either laughter

or embarrassment.

I felt...that I was in a prison...

with bars,

preventing me from communicating.

I can almost visualise myself

holding onto prison bars and

looking out into an outside world.

The Duke used the word "hell"

to describe how he felt

when he gave a speech.

He was confronted, face to face,

with a new reality.


Speaking in front of this...

huge microphone.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very glad...

to come here this afternoon...

to welcome the King's Field.

I am sure...

..that we are all...

..happy to feel...


that the generosity of His Majesty...

..has set an example to all...

He just used to seize up.

He could not get the words out.

The jaw muscles are going,

and he is having one heck of a job

to get the words out.

..throughout the country.

'I think people linked stammering'

with a certain kind of

mental disability.

I think they thought you perhaps

were not quite right.

All of this was in sharp contrast

to the Duke's elder brother Edward,

a natural in the public eye.

A playboy prince

and heir to the throne.

There was always the comparison

with his elder brother.

Now, that was very awkward.

And people used to say things like,

"Oh, it's like an ugly duckling

and a cock pheasant."

(NEWSREEL) His walk,

his manner were copied.

The Prince of Wales' drape was

the epitome in men's suit design.

Even use of a cigarette holder

became the mode as a result

of his visit.

To the Prince of Wales,

everything came very easily.

He had but to sort of flash

that grin and that boyish look

and people sort of melted

before him.

George V had six children.

Bertie was the second son.

All had a strict upbringing.

Bertie started to stammer

at the age of seven.

The father probably induced it

as much as anybody else

by his treatment of Bertie,

and know, "Get it

out! Get it out!" when he stammered.

He had also the braces put on his

legs to stop him being knock-kneed,

and being forced to write with his

right hand when he was left-handed,

and that combination is probably

enough to give anyone a stammer.

It adds up to a pretty grim picture

for poor Bertie, doesn't it?

I think that everything

improved for him

because he married

the perfect woman.

He had married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon,

who later became the Queen Mother.

She was supportive of Bertie

all his life.

Away from public duty, they enjoyed

the privileges of royalty.

(NEWSREEL) These were the early,

happy years.

He chose the joys of the countryside

whenever his heavy duties

would permit.

But in 1926, their lives

were interrupted.


His father thought it was time for

Bertie to go out into the Empire

on a six-month tour.

And Bertie would be making dozens of

speeches to thousands of strangers.

If he didn't want to

let his father down,

he had to deal with his stammer.

On 19th October 1926,

the Duke and Duchess of York arrived

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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