Study Guide

The King's Speech King George V (Michael Gambon)

King George V (Michael Gambon)

I'm King Of The World!

Maybe you've heard the saying "The sun never sets on the British empire?" Yeah, that wasn't just a saying. Under the thumb of ol' King Georgie V, the British Empire was in full swing—full, messed-up, colonialist swing.

But the point of this micro history lesson is that King George V was a busy and incredibly powerful guy, which might explain his less-than-warm demeanor and his less-than-paternal parenting style.

King George is super-confident and commanding even in his old age. But unfortunately, this confidence can also make him a bit of a bully with his son Bertie. When Bertie is about to speak into a microphone, George simply says,

KING GEORGE V: Sit up, straight back, face boldly up to the bloody thing and stare it square in the eye, as you would any decent Englishman. Show who's in command.

Now this is all well and good, but George doesn't have much patience when Bertie starts to stutter. His best response is "Get it out, boy!" No wonder Lionel Logue thinks Bertie's stutter is connected to the way he was raised.

On top of his parenting style, George has some hard opinions about the role of the royal family in public life. For starters, he's a big fan of having people solve their own problems with a simple change of perspective. Even in the middle of the Great Depression, he tells people that "For the present, the work to which we are all equally bound, is to arrive at a reasoned tranquility..." But as soon as he's off the air, he tells his son,

KING GEORGE V: Now we must invade people's homes and ingratiate ourselves with them. This family is reduced to those lowest, basest of all creatures... we've become... actors!

In other words, he thinks it's way beneath him to have to go on the radio and audition for people's approval. But that's George V for you: proud, reasoned, and kingly for better or for worse.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...