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The King’s Speech – Factual Accuracy Review

As many of you who follow us on Twitter and follow some of our blog posts, my favourite film is The King’s Speech. It is unquestionably a well written, factually accurate and more-or-less perfect Royal film. I have taken the liberty, this time watching it, to list two types of things. Number one, things they got right that are quite obscure or lesser known and also any factual inaccuracies in the film. Enjoy.

  • Yes! Even though he chose to reign as King George VI, he was christened Albert; he chose a different name to reign under. The same with Edward VIII who was Prince David, Prince Of Wales before accession.
  • When the then Duchess Of York met Logue’s wife for the first time, she explained correct protocol for address as ‘Your Majesty on first greeting then Ma’am after that – Ma’am as in ham not ma’am as in farm’ – this is correct protocol.
  • Not really a factual inaccuracy but more continuity error. The Princesses (Elizabeth and Margaret) don’t age during the film. At the start, they were about 7-10 and at the end, even though by then Princess Elizabeth was at least 13.
  • Even though throughout the film Lionel insists on calling Prince Albert ‘Bertie’ even though this was very unlikely as at the time, royal protocol was considered paramount, especially between a Prince and a stranger.
  • King George V did indeed predict that Edward VIII would ‘ruin himself within 12 months’, and he was right, Edward VIII abdicated in December 1936, just less than a year after his accession.
  • Prince David was the first monarch to use a plane to travel when he was Edward VIII, as Prince of Wales he was the first Royal Prince to learn to fly a plane.
  •  It is said that George V’s last words were ‘how is the empire’ in actual fact; it was more likely to have been a stream of obscenities.
  • After George V’s death, the then Edward VIII remarks how his father’s clocks were always half an hour fast. This was due to a time that George V’s father Edward VII introduced to allow extra time for hunting, called ‘Sandringham Time’ – Edward VIII abolished this at the beginning of his reign.
  • When at George V’s bedside, after his death, Queen Mary kisses the now Edward VIII’s hand saying ‘Long Live The King’ – the phrase used to signify the continuity of the Monarchy.

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