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Hi all,

In case people haven't seen it yet - look out for the opening scene in King'Speech film (Oscar best picture winner 2011). It shows the main protagonist (later UK King, then Duke of York) opening the Empire Exhibition in Wembley.



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I just came across this postcard showing the royalty box at the opening ceremonies of the 1924 Olympics in Paris (the 'Chariots of Fire' Olympics).

He didn't even have to make a speech that day, but Bertie's older brother David, who as King Edward would abdicate in 1936... does he look nervous or what? :)

David was Prince of Wales, Bertie was Prince of York.

This would have been about 15 months before the debacle by Bertie at the Empire Exhibition.


David was Prince of Wales at the time. His father, the King, opened the Exhibition at Wembley in 1924 on the first electronically recorded broadcast in Great Britain. The King and David both gave speeches that day. His brother's attempt at a speech the following year to *close* the exhibition was not recorded. That's the legendary speech early in the movie. However, the BBC archives does have a recording of his speech opening the next Empire Exhibition thirteen years later as King, in Scotland in 1938. While he did a better job, well, watch for yourself:


He was still in training and a year away from his 1939 speech which is shown at the conclusion of the movie. A couple of moments in this footage just make you want to agonize for the poor guy.

Something that came to mind- it probably didn't sound quite so painful on the radio as it looks in film footage, where you can see him look down, totally lost a couple of times.

By the way, people who have heard the recording of the actual 1939 speech say it is noticable that he could not pronounce the letter "r" at all- it came out sounding like a "w", and there are a couple of quivering-lip bare avoidances of stutters.

By the way, since I discovered that the 'debut' speech was at the Exhibition's closing ceremonies in October 1925 (I knew it was a two-year expo), I'm going to see if I can get the title of this forum adjusted to show it as a two-year affair.

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