Thursday, February 10, 2011

The King's Speech

Of course as a former Brit I was bound to see this movie as soon as I could.  Not just that but also because the time frame is just out of range of my memory.  I lived through the final scenes of the movie, but at only two weeks old I have no recollection of the actual event of the King's most important broadcast speech at the start of the war.  I have heard the recordings of course, but that's not the same.

I also remember the recording of Edward VIII abdicating the throne as he "...cannot carry the heavy burden without the support of the woman I love."  Words that drove my father crazy and many of his generation, who had a very high opinion of the previous Prince of Wales.  If you ever read the letters between Wallis and David (the Prince's given name) you would not be too impressed by him.  A very weak man and certainly not anyone to lead a country into war.  However he had his face on a number of the coins in our pockets, as he was in fact the king for almost a year; though never crowned.

I remember King George VI very well; he died when I was 13.  On that sad day I was very moved by the atmosphere of mourning that descended on the entire realm.  But we got Elizabeth II and she has been a remarkable monarch throughout her long reign of 59 years.  Oh yes, I know you Americans don't see why we continue with such an anachronistic institution, but if it was ended, what then?  At least with a monarchy every politician knows that the top job is taken.

As for the film, it was extremely good and even if you're an anti-monarchist it's well worth watching if only for the two leading roles.

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