look-alikes: The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech

In 1925 Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), known to his wife and family as ‘Bertie’, the second son of King George V, speaking at the close of the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley Stadium embarrases both himself and his audience with his stammering speech. Afterwards he tries several unsuccessful treatments and gives up, until the Duchess (Helena Bonham Carter) persuades him to see Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an unorthodox Australian speech therapist and ex-actor.

After their first session in 1934 Bertie storms out declaring his condition ‘hopeless’. Later that year after King George V makes his Christmas address, he explains to his son the importance of broadcasting for the modern monarchy in a perilous international situation. He tells Bertie that his older brother will bring ruin to the family and the country when he ascends the throne, and demands that Bertie train himself up ready to replace him. Bertie returns to Logue for treatment, and as the treatment progresses Lionel and Bertie become friends and confidants.

In September 1939, shortly after the United Kingdom’s declaration of war with Germany Bertie, now King George VI, summons Logue to Buckingham Palace to help him prepare for his radio address to the country. Afterwards, the king steps onto the balcony of the palace with his family, where thousands cheer and applaud him.

A final title card explains that during the many speeches King George VI gave during World War II, Logue was always present and that he was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, the only order of chivalry that specifically rewards acts of personal service to the Monarch, in 1944.

The makeup

Frances Hannon was the hair & makeup designer.