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F O R YO U R C O N S I D E R AT I O N 2 0 1 0

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
David Seidler

THE KING'S SPEECH

Screenplay by David Seidler

See-Saw Films/Bedlam Productions

CARD: 1925 King George V reigns over a quarter of the world’s population. He asks his second son, the Duke of York, to give the closing speech at the Empire Exhibition in Wembley, London. INT. BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE, STUDIO - DAY CLOSE ON a BBC microphone of the 1920's, of machinery suspended on springs. A formidable piece

A BBC NEWS READER, in a tuxedo with carnation boutonniere, is gargling while a TECHNICIAN holds a porcelain bowl and a towel at the ready. The man in the tuxedo expectorates discreetly into the bowl, wipes his mouth fastidiously, and signals to ANOTHER TECHNICIAN who produces an atomizer. The Reader opens his mouth, squeezes the rubber bulb, and sprays his inner throat. Now, he’s ready. The reader speaks in flawless pear-shaped tones. higher creature in the vocal world. BBC NEWS READER Good afternoon. This is the BBC National Programme and Empire Services taking you to Wembley Stadium for the Closing Ceremony of the Second and Final Season of the Empire Exhibition. INT. CORRIDOR, WEMBLEY STADIUM - DAY CLOSE ON a man's hand clutching a woman's hand. Woman’s mouth whispers into man's ear. BBC NEWS READER (V.O.) 58 British Colonies and Dominions have taken part, making this the largest Exhibition staged anywhere in the world. Complete with the new stadium, the Exhibition was built in Wembley, Middlesex at a cost of over 12 million pounds. The Exhibition has attracted over 27 million visitors from every corner of our great Empire and the rest of the world. There’s no

2 INT. CONTROL ROOM, BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE - DAY Technicians in suits, ties and scientific looking overcoats, wearing bulky headphones, monitor daunting banks of valves and dials while the Reader continues: BBC NEWS READER (V.O.) Today the vast Stadium is filled to capacity with in excess of 100,000 spectators...as regiments from His Majesty's Army, Navy and Air Force stand in review. INT. GREEN ROOM - DAY Nervous eyes flick towards a tunnel leading to a bright light. CLOSE ON - BERTIE - the Duke of York, second son of the King; his handsome, sensitive, features look terrified. BBC NEWS READER (V.O.) The Opening Ceremony was the first occasion his Majesty the King addressed his subjects on the wireless. The close of the first Season was the initial time His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales had broadcast. And today His Royal Highness the Duke of York will give his inaugural broadcast to the Nation and the World. WIDEN TO REVEAL his young wife, truly an English rose. ELIZABETH Time to go. He stares straight ahead, frozen. She gives him a loving peck on the cheek, quickly rubbing off a fleck of lipstick. BBC NEWS READER (V.O.) Leading us in prayer will be the Right Honourable and Most Reverend Archbishop of York, Primate of all England and Metropolitan. Now we go live to Wembley Stadium, where His Royal Highness the Duke of York will read his message from the King. COSMO LANG - comes up to Bertie. Tries to be helpful but makes him more nervous. COSMO LANG I am sure you will be splendid. Just take your time.

3 The last bars of “God Save The King” echo down the corridor. ROBERT WOOD, the Chief BBC Engineer on Location whispers: WOOD Let the microphone do the work, sir. Wood checks his watch. WOOD (CONT’D) Thirty seconds, sir. Bertie braces his shoulders manfully, but without an ounce of confidence, closes his eyes, nods, opens them, and reluctantly goes through the tunnel towards the light, like a prize-fighter entering the arena, to be greeted by the roar of the crowd. EXT. ROYAL PODIUM - DAY

HAND-HELD CAMERA, BERTIE’S POV: far ahead, at a seemingly impossible distance, is the huge intimidating microphone, the only thing between the terrified observer and 100,000 people. Silence falls over the stadium. Overhead, thick roiling clouds. BERTIE approaches...like a death march. Bertie’s eyes widen in terror as he reaches the microphone. The red transmission light blinks four times then glows solid red. Bertie is live. INT. CONTROL ROOM, BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE - DAY Technicians stare at dials and listen to the hiss of silence. The Reader and Floor Manager glance at each other nervously. EXT. SPECTATOR STAND, EMPIRE STADIUM -DAY

In the tense silence PAN THROUGH some of the crowd waiting with growing discomfort. In particular we notice a father and son watching intently. EXT. ROYAL PODIUM - DAY

Bertie is frozen at the microphone. His neck and jaw muscles contract and quiver.

4 BERTIE I have received from his Majesty the K-K-K [For ease of reading, Bertie’s stammer will not be indicated from this point in the script.] The stammer careens back at him, amplified and distorted by the stadium PA system. CU huge metal speakers. CU soldiers at rigid attention. CU Wood, he shuts his eyes. CU Cosmo Lang, expressionless. CU Elizabeth, dying. Bertie gulps for air like a beached fish and attempts to continue: BERTIE (CONT’D) ...the King, the following gracious message... He can’t get the word out. SPLAT...the first drops of rain begin to fall. EXT. 145 PICADILLY - NEW DAY Establishing shot of an imposing Georgian edifice, opposite Hyde Park Corner. In the foreground people pay their respects at the WWI monument with fresh wreaths. A Rover sedan - definitive doctor’s car of the era - arrives. A FOOTMAN scurries down the steps to meet it as the STEWARD opens the front door. INT. DRAWING ROOM, 145 PICCADILLY - CONTINUOUS CLOSE ON SIR BLANDINE-BENTHAM - an elderly, unctuous, studiedly-distinguished physician who simultaneously manages to combine pontificating and obsequiousness. SIR BLANDINE-BENTHAM Inhale deep into your lungs. Relaxes your larynx, does it not? Bertie is seated nervously on the edge of a couch, gripping a cigarette between thumb and forefinger, placed in the middle of his mouth. Elizabeth watches from across the room.

5 SIR BLANDINE-BENTHAM (CONT’D) Cigarette smoking calms the nerves and gives you confidence. Bertie clearly feels nothing of the sort. Smiling ingratiatingly, the doctor produces a medical cannister from his bag. SIR BLANDINE-BENTHAM (CONT’D) If Your Highness will be so kind as to open his hand... Bertie unclenches a fist. SIR BLANDINE-BENTHAM (CONT’D) Thank you so very much. Opening the container, with forceps he removes five marbles from an antiseptic solution and places them onto Bertie’s palm. SIR BLANDINE-BENTHAM (CONT’D) Sterilized. Now...if I may take the liberty?...insert them into your mouth. Bertie obeys, mortified. his bag. The doctor hands Bertie a book from

SIR BLANDINE-BENTHAM (CONT’D) Would you be so kind as to read. Bertie blanches, his neck muscles twitch and constrict I... BERTIE

He can’t even say “can’t”. SIR BLANDINE-BENTHAM Just take your time. Relax. Bertie is unable to do it. discomfort. Elizabeth watches with growing

ELIZABETH Excuse me, Doctor. What is the purpose of this? SIR BLANDINE-BENTHAM The classic approach that cured Demosthenes. ELIZABETH That was in Ancient Greece. Has it worked since? Blandine-Bentham passes Bertie a book.

6 SIR BLANDINE-BENTHAM Now if you would be so kind as to read. A wealth of words. Bertie tries. It is excruciating. SIR BLANDINE-BENTHAM (CONT’D) Fight against those marbles Your Royal Highness. Enunciate! As Bertie struggles. SIR BLANDINE-BENTHAM (CONT’D) A little more concentration your Royal Higness. Bertie spits the marbles out. BERTIE (explodes) I nearly swallowed the damned things! Bertie storms out as Elizabeth tries to placate the doctor. ELIZABETH Thank you so much, Doctor, it’s been most interesting. Elizabeth goes through to the adjoining room to find Bertie. INT. BERTIE’S STUDY, 145 PICCADILLY - CONTINUOUS

Bertie is struggling to light a cigarette. ELIZABETH Temper, Bertie darling, temper. Tick, tock, tick, tock. BERTIE Insert marbles! He can insert his own bloody marbles....! [Note: when he speaks with his wife there’s hardly any hesitation] Elizabeth smiles as she lights the cigarette for him. ELIZABETH You can’t keep doing this, Bertie. BERTIE I know. Promise me: no more. CUT TO:

7 EXT. HARLEY STREET - NEW DAY

A thick grey wet blanket... Out of which materializes the moisture splattered hood of a large AUSTIN. Elizabeth, inside, determinedly glances out. The vehicle noses thru a pea-soup fog. The York’s HOUSE DETECTIVE is walking a few feet in front of the car, finding the way. After a moment, the House Detective signals the driver to stop. Elizabeth peers out the window. POV - in the gloom the least attractive and most illmaintained of the Georgian terraced houses. Elizabeth looks disappointed and dubious. She gets out of the car. Instructing the House Detective to wait outside, she enters the building. INT. GROUND FLOOR ENTRANCE, HARLEY STREET - CONTINUOUS Elizabeth enters, somewhat dampened, the white silk roses decorating her hat now limp. There is a cramped elevator which is whirring noisily and a winding staircase. Elizabeth is even more dubious. INT. ELEVATOR - CONTINUOUS Elizabeth inside the cramped elevator. She surveys the buttons. The bottom one reads “Basement: L. Logue, Speech Defects”. She closes the inner gate of the elevator and presses the bottom button. Nothing. Confused, she opens the inner gate, closes the outer gate then the inner gate and presses the button again. The elevator jumps downwards. INT. WAITING ROOM, LOGUE’S CHAMBERS - CONTINUOUS Umbrella stand, coat rack, wooden waiting bench: that’s all. She looks about. The area is devoid of life. Coughs. No response. Calls imperiously:

8 ELIZABETH Hello. Is anyone there? From behind a door: MUFFLED VOICE (O.S.) I’m just in the loo. Princess Elizabeth is not used to this sort of thing. She’s further appalled by the loud gurgling of a toilet being flushed, and startled by the entrance of - LIONEL LOGUE - a tall, middle-aged man with strong features. His demeanor is friendly, yet professional. LIONEL “Poor and content is rich and rich enough” ELIZABETH I beg your pardon? LIONEL Shakespeare. I’m sorry, there’s no receptionist. I like to keep things simple. How are you Mrs Johnson? I’m afraid you’re late. Offers his hand. She takes it, a little gingerly.

ELIZABETH I’m afraid I am. LIONEL Where’s Mr Johnson? ELIZABETH He doesn’t know I’m here. LIONEL That’s not a promising start. ELIZABETH My husband has seen everyone to no avail. He’s given up hope. LIONEL He hasn’t seen me. ELIZABETH You’re awfully sure of yourself. LIONEL I’m sure of anyone who wants to be cured.

9 ELIZABETH Naturally he wishes to be cured. My husband is required to speak publicly. LIONEL Perhaps he should change jobs. He can’t. ELIZABETH

LIONEL Indentured servitude? ELIZABETH Something of that nature. LIONEL Well have your hubby pop by...Tuesday would be good...to give his personal history and I’ll make a frank appraisal. ELIZABETH I do not have a “hubby”. We don’t ‘pop’. We never talk about our private lives. You must come to us. LIONEL Sorry, Mrs J, my game, my turf, my rules. ELIZABETH And what if my husband were the Duke of York? LIONEL The Duke of York? ELIZABETH Yes the Duke of York. LIONEL I thought the appointment was for “Johnson”? Forgive me, your Royal...? Highness. ELIZABETH

LIONEL Your Royal Highness. ELIZABETH Johnson was used during the Great War when the Navy didn’t want the enemy to know ‘he’ was aboard. (MORE)

10 ELIZABETH (CONT'D) We are operating under the strictest of confidences. LIONEL Of course. I’m considered the enemy? ELIZABETH You will be if you remain unobliging. LIONEL How did you find me? ELIZABETH The President of the Speech Therapists Society. LIONEL Eileen McCleod? She’s a sport. ELIZABETH Dr McCleod warned me your antipodean methods were “unorthodox and controversial”. I warned her...they were not my favorite words. I succeed. LIONEL

ELIZABETH So she says. LIONEL I can cure your husband. But for my method to work there must be trust and total equality in the safety of my consultation room. No exceptions. ELIZABETH Well then, in that case... Pause. ELIZABETH (CONT’D) When can you start? EXT. SOUTH KENSINGTON STREET - LATE AFTERNOON

A well-used Morris Oxford pulls up, driven by Lionel’s eldest son - LAURIE. Lionel is the passenger. As he gets out: LIONEL Still sounds a bit rough.

11 LAURIE You make me drive too slowly, Dad! LIONEL Did you pick mum up from Bridge? LAURIE Yes, I’ve hardly been out of the car all day. They enter a modest dwelling. INT. DINING AREA OF LIVING-ROOM, LOGUE FLAT - EVENING

Lionel and MYRTLE are finishing up at the table with their three sons. As well as Laurie and ANTONY, there’s their studious middle son VALENTINE, 17, his nose buried in a stack of science books. Lionel is bursting to tell Myrtle something. LIONEL I had a special visitor today. ANTONY May I be excused? MYRTLE (to Lionel) Oh yes? LIONEL You must stay, bored stupid, listening to your parents’ inane conversation. ANTONY (grinning) Thanks, dad! And mum. And mum! LIONEL ANTONY

MYRTLE How special is special? Me too? A girl? What else? LAURIE LIONEL LAURIE

12 He and Antony start to leave. MYRTLE Take your plates. LIONEL Special to the point of someone I can’t really talk about. The boys grabs their plates and exit. Lionel looks at Valentine, nose still buried in his text. LIONEL (CONT’D) Doctor? Doctor? You can go as well. VALENTINE (still studying) I’m fine. Lionel clears Valentine’s plate. Valentine goes back to his book and scientific oblivion. MYRTLE Not too high and mighty I hope? Aah. LIONEL

Antony burst back in, model airplane in hand, doing barrel rolls with sound effects, bombing Valentine with a tea towel. MYRTLE Not someone who’d...call attention? Why bring it up if you can’t talk about it? Silence. LIONEL Myrtle, just a woman looking to help her husband. They realize from engine noises that Antony is under the table. LIONEL (CONT’D) (trying to make light of it, not quite succeeding) And I had a ‘call’. Oh yes. MYRTLE

Valentine looks up from his book. VALENTINE What’s the Illiotibial Tract, Dad?

13 LIONEL If you don’t know, look it up. Right. VALENTINE

Starts turning pages. LIONEL Could be fun. MYRTLE It always is. LIONEL They’re a highly regarded group. From Putney. MYRTLE I’m sure you’ll be splendid. EXT. YORK HOUSE, 145 PICADILLY - NIGHT

Lights are on in the upper windows. A double-decker bus passes on the wet street. ELIZABETH (V.O.) Tomorrow, Chapter IV. INT. CORRIDOR, 145 PICCADILLY - CONTINUOUS PAN OVER THE BACKS of 36 impeccably groomed horses. It takes a moment to realize they are toy horses, lined up with precision. ELIZABETH (V.O.) ‘The Flight’. BERTIE (V.O.) Oh, to fly away! INT. CHILDREN’S NURSERY, YORK HOUSE - CONTINUOUS Elizabeth, fashionably attired for an evening-out, is curled on a bearskin rug reading to a little girl - LILIBET, 10 who claps her hands primly, and her younger sister - MARGARET ROSE, 5. As Elizabeth closes the book (”Peter Pan”), Bertie, handsome in a tuxedo, comments: BERTIE Weren’t they lucky! Within his family Bertie’s stammer is virtually absent.

14 MARGARET ROSE Now Papa tell a story! BERTIE Could I be a penguin instead? He drops to his knees and waddles. In his tux he looks like a penguin. Margaret Rose giggles, but is undeterred. MARGARET ROSE Tell me a penguin story, please. Called upon to perform, the stammer returns slightly, but the girls listen raptly, ignoring their father’s minor impediment, and it fades. BERTIE There were once two princesses whose Papa had been turned into a penguin by the local witch. This was inconvenient because he loved to hold his princesses in his arms and you can’t do that if you’re a penguin, you have wings like herrings. MARGARET ROSE Herrings don’t have wings. BERTIE His wings were the shape of herrings. To make matters worse she sent him to the South Pole which is an awfully long walk if you can’t fly. LILIBET You can’t walk from the South Pole! Shh! ELIZABETH

BERTIE Exactly. When he reached the water and dived in he found he could fly. Fly through the depths. So fast, in fact, that he was in Southampton Waters by lunchtime. From there he caught the 2.30 to Weybridge, changed at Clapham Junction and asked a passing Mallard the way to Buckingham Palace. He swam up the Thames and came out of a plughole, giving Mama, the cook and Mrs Whittaker quite a shock. (MORE)

15 BERTIE (CONT'D) The princesses heard the commotion and hurried to the kitchen where they gave the penguin a good scrub, a mackerel and a kiss. And as they kissed him guess what he turned into? LILIBET AND MARGARET ROSE A handsome prince! BERTIE A short-tailed Albatross. With wings big enough to wrap around both his precious girls together. (He hugs them both together) ELIZABETH Now time for bed. BERTIE Take the saddles of your horsies, brush them, feed them and to bed. INT. STAIRCASE - CONTINUOUS As they leave for the night: ELIZABETH Will she be there? BERTIE My brother’s insisting. ELIZABETH Is he serious? BERTIE About our coming to dinner? ELIZABETH No. About her! BERTIE A married American? He can’t be. ELIZABETH She can. By the way I think I found someone rather interesting. On Harley Street. A doctor. BERTIE Out of the question. I’m not having this conversation again. The matter’s settled.

16 ELIZABETH His approach seems rather different.... INT. A STAGE - DAY

In a church or school hall, out of hours. Now? From the auditorium: Now! DIRECTOR (O.C.) MUFFLED VOICE (O.S.)

Lionel comes onstage. LIONEL “Now...” (begins again) “Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York.” His elocution is flawless. The acting is unconvincing. LIONEL (CONT’D) “And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house In the deep bosom of the ocean buried. Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths; Our bruised arms hung up for monuments...” Thank you. DIRECTOR

Lionel peers into the darkness, his eyes hoping. DIRECTOR (CONT’D) Lovely diction, Mr... LIONEL Logue. Lionel Logue. DIRECTOR Well, Lionel, I didn’t hear the cries of a deformed creature yearning to be King. Nor did I realize Richard the Third was King of the Colonies.

17 LIONEL I know the lines. I’ve played the role before. Sydney? Perth. DIRECTOR LIONEL

DIRECTOR Major theater town, is it? LIONEL Enthusiastic. Ah. DIRECTOR

LIONEL I was well reviewed. DIRECTOR Yes...well...Lionel, I think our dramatic society is looking for someone slightly younger and a little more regal. INT. GROUND FLOOR ENTRANCE, 146 HARLEY STREET The Yorks enter the tiny elevator. Bertie shuts the inner gate. ELIZABETH (indicating outer gate) No, darling, shut that one first. Bertie gets the gates closed and Elizabeth presses the button. BERTIE How did you find this...physician? ELIZABETH (poker-faced) Classifieds, next to “French model, Shepherd’s Market”. Bertie tries to smile despite his mood, but doesn’t make a job of it. ELIZABETH (CONT’D) He comes highly recommended. Charges substantial fees in order to help the poor. (realizes) Oh dear, perhaps he’s a Bolshevik?!

18 INT. LOGUE’S WAITING ROOM - DAY Bertie and Elizabeth enter. She explains in a whisper: ELIZABETH No receptionist. He likes to keep things simple. Elizabeth glances nervously at the lavatory door. ELIZABETH (CONT’D) (loudly) The Johnsons. From the inner office. LIONEL (O.S.) Finishing up. Elizabeth is relieved the voice isn’t coming from the lav. The consultation room door opens and a young boy - WILLY comes out. WILLY You can go in now, “Mr. Johnson”. (then to Elizabeth) Dr Logue says... Lionel! LIONEL (O.S.)

WILLY Lionel says...wait here if you wish, Mrs Johnson. Or, it being a ppleasant day, p-perhaps take a stroll. (to the consultation room) Was that alright...Lionel? Lionel appears at the door. LIONEL Bloody marvellous. You can stay here and wait for your mum. Mr. Johnson, do come in. Lionel nods at “Mrs Johnson”. The Yorks look at each other. Elizabeth takes a seat. INT. LOGUE’S CONSULTATION ROOM - DAY A different universe from the Spartan waiting area. A world of books - piles of them spilling everywhere. Two slightly shabby, but comfortable armchairs. Well-worn Turkish rug.

19 Hotplate and two chipped mugs. Recording apparatus. Model airplanes. LIONEL He’s a good lad, Willy. He could hardly make a sound, you know, when he first came to me. Lionel catches Bertie staring at the airplanes. LIONEL (CONT’D) My boys made those. Good, aren’t they. Please, make yourself comfortable. Bertie sits uneasily on an armchair. distance. Lionel goes to sit at a

LIONEL (CONT’D) I was told not not to sit too close. Bertie remains silent. LIONEL (CONT’D) I was also told, speaking with a Royal, one waits for the Royal to choose the topic. BERTIE Waiting for me to commence a conversation one can wait a rather long wait. [Although Bertie’s stammer in the consultation room will fade, it is a gradual process.] Silence. LIONEL Know any jokes? BERTIE Timing isn’t my strong suit. Silence. They stare at each other. Cuppa tea? LIONEL

BERTIE No thank you. LIONEL I think I’ll have one. Turns on the hot plate.

20 BERTIE Aren’t you going to start treating me Dr Logue? LIONEL Only if you’re interested in being treated. Please, call me Lionel. BERTIE I prefer Doctor. LIONEL I prefer Lionel. What’ll I call you? BERTIE Your Royal Highness, then Sir after that. LIONEL A bit formal for here. What about your name? BERTIE Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George? LIONEL How about Bertie? BERTIE (flushes) Only my family uses that. LIONEL Perfect. In here, it’s better if we’re equals. BERTIE If we were equal I wouldn’t be here. I’d be at home with my wife and no-one would give a damn. Bertie starts to light a cigarette from a silver case. LIONEL Don’t do that. Bertie gives him an astonished look. I’m sorry? BERTIE

LIONEL Sucking smoke into your lungs will kill you.

21 BERTIE My physicians say it relaxes the throat. LIONEL They’re idiots. BERTIE They’ve all been knighted. LIONEL Makes it official then. My ‘castle’, my rules. What was your earliest memory? BERTIE What an earth do you mean? LIONEL First recollection. BERTIE (stammer growing in intensity) I’m not here to discuss personal matters. LIONEL Why’re you here then? BERTIE (exploding - stammer free) Because I bloody well stammer! Temper. LIONEL

BERTIE One of my many faults. LIONEL When did the defect start? BERTIE I’ve always been this way! LIONEL (quietly) I doubt that. BERTIE Don’t tell me! It’s my defect! LIONEL (calmly) It’s my field. I assure you, no infant starts to speak with a stammer. When did it start?

22 BERTIE (annoyed) Four or five. LIONEL That’s typical. BERTIE So I’ve been told. (quickly adds) I can’t remember not doing it. LIONEL That I believe. Do you hesitate when you think? BERTIE Don’t be ridiculous. LIONEL One of my many faults. How about when you talk to yourself? Bertie is silent. LIONEL (CONT’D) Everyone natters occasionally, Bertie. BERTIE Stop calling me that! LIONEL I’m not going to call you anything else. BERTIE Then we shan’t speak! Silence. The kettle whistles. tea. Lionel makes himself a cup of

BERTIE (CONT’D) Are you charging for this, Doctor? LIONEL A fortune. So, Bertie...when you talk to yourself, do you stammer? BERTIE Of course not! LIONEL Thus proving your impediment isn’t a permanent part of you. What do you think was the cause?

23 BERTIE I don’t know! I don’t care! I stammer. And no one can fix it. LIONEL Bet you, Bertie, you can read flawlessly, right here, right now. Bertie snorts dismissively. LIONEL (CONT’D) And if I win, I get to ask questions. BERTIE And if I win? LIONEL You don’t have to answer. BERTIE One usually wagers money. LIONEL A bob each to sweeten it? See your shilling. BERTIE I don’t carry cash. LIONEL I had a funny feeling you mightn’t. Logue fishes two coins from his pocket and puts them on the table. LIONEL (CONT’D) Stake you. Pay me back next time. BERTIE If there is a next time. LIONEL (nods) I haven’t agreed to take you on. Logue has uncovered a piece of apparatus, a recording device with earphones. He sets a blank disc onto the turntable and positions a microphone, then hands Bertie an open book. Bertie glares at it defiantly. BERTIE I can’t possibly read this. LIONEL Then you owe me a shilling for not trying.

24 Furious, Bertie opens the book and reads, stammers badly and gets worse. BERTIE “To be or not to be, That is the question. Whether it is wiser...” There! He hands the book back to Lionel. BERTIE (CONT’D) I can’t read! LIONEL I haven’t finished yet. Lionel returns the book to Bertie and turns to some recording apparatus on a nearby table. LIONEL (CONT’D) I’m going to record your voice and then play it back to you on the same machine. This is brilliant. It’s the latest thing from America: a Silvertone. He hands Bertie a pair of heavily padded earphones. doesn’t want to take them. LIONEL (CONT’D) There’s a bob in this, mate. You can go home rich! Bertie reluctantly puts them on. Logue turns a dial. LOUD MUSIC is heard. Bertie takes off the earphones. The music stops. BERTIE You’re playing music. I know. LIONEL Bertie

BERTIE How can I hear what I’m saying?! LIONEL Surely a Prince’s brain knows what its mouth is doing? BERTIE You’re not well acquainted with Royal Princes, are you? Bertie replaces the earphones. Again, the LOUD MUSIC. His mouth moves as he reads, but all that can be heard is the music.

25 Finished, Bertie takes off the earphones and the music ceases. Bertie reaches for the coins, but Logue snatches them. BERTIE (CONT’D) Hopeless. Hopeless! LIONEL You were sublime. Would I lie to a prince of the realm to win twelvepence? BERTIE I’ve no idea what an Australian might do for that sort of money. LIONEL Shall I play it? No. BERTIE

LIONEL If you prefer, we’ll just get on to the questions. BERTIE Thank you Doctor, I don’t feel this is for me. He heads for the door. Logue puts the record in a brown paper dust jacket and hands it to Bertie. LIONEL Sir? The recording is free. Please keep it as a souvenir? Lionel opens the door for Bertie and closes it behind him INT. LOGUE’S WAITING ROOM - DAY Elizabeth looks up at Bertie hopefully. No BERTIE

Elizabeth nods and rises. They walk towards the door together. Ah well. EXT. ELIZABETH

SANDRINGHAM ESTATE - DAY

Establishing shot in the snow.

26 A cold and commanding voice is heard: KING GEORGE V (O.S.) For the present, the work to which we are all equally bound, is to arrive at a reasoned tranquillity... INT. THE KING’S STUDY, SANDRINGHAM ESTATE - CONTINUOUS The King’s study, which resembles an orderly naval captain’s cabin, except for a desk littered with stamp albums, has been converted into an ad hoc broadcasting studio. KING GEORGE V is a barrel-chested man with Naval beard and uniform. He is giving his Christmas address via the radio. KING GEORGE V (CONT’D) ...within our borders, to regain prosperity in this time of depression without self-seeking and to carry with us those whom the burden of past years has disheartened or overborne. To all, to each, I wish a Happy Christmas. God bless you. The red light next to him goes out, indicating the broadcast is complete. Robert Wood, the BBC technician from Wembley, stands by as well as an official photographer. King George V looks at Bertie, who is standing next to him. KING GEORGE V (CONT’D) Easy when you know how. Sir? PHOTOGRAPHER

Bertie moves away and the photographer captures the King, seated at his desk. KING GEORGE V (to Bertie) Have a go yourself. WOOD Congratulations, Sir. KING GEORGE V Ah, Mr Wood. Splendid fellow. Chap taught me everything I know: let the microphone do the work. Sir. WOOD

27 KING GEORGE V

Thank you.

Wood and the photographer take that as their cue to leave. KING GEORGE V (CONT’D) 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. Bertie regards the BBC microphone as though it were an alien creature. BERTIE D-d-don’t thu-thu-think I c-c-can. In the presence of his father, Bertie’s stammering returns in full form, his breathing short and shallow, the neck muscles in spasms. KING GEORGE V This devilish device will change everything if you won’t. In the past all a King had to do was look respectable in uniform and not fall off his horse. 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! BERTIE Papa, we’re not a family, we’re a firm. His father shoots Bertie a surprised look: does the lad have a brain after all? KING GEORGE V The most successful institution in history. Our cousins wear crowns throughout Europe. A dozen of them! Sitting on thrones is our business! Yet any moment some of us may be out of work. Your darling brother... The only wife he appears interested in is invariably the wife of another! BERTIE (tries to brighten things) He’s broken off with Lady Furness.

28 KING GEORGE V And taken up a Mrs Simpson, a woman with two husbands living! Had the audacity to present her to me at Georgie’s wedding. I told him straight no divorced person could ever be received at court. He said she made him sublimely happy. I imagined that was because she was sleeping with him. “I give you my word we’ve never had immoral relations,” he replied. Stared square into his father’s eyes... and lied. Bertie groans. KING GEORGE V (CONT’D) When I’m dead that boy will ruin himself, this family, and this nation, within twelve months. Who’ll pick up the pieces? Herr Hitler, intimidating half of Europe, Marshall Stalin the other half? Who’ll stand between us, the jackboots, and the proletarian abyss? You? With your older brother shirking his duties, you’re going to have to do a lot more of this. (nodding towards the microphone) Have a go yourself. Bertie tries to read the King’s speech. BERTIE Through one of the mKING GEORGE V Get it out boy! BERTIE ...m-marvels of mKING GEORGE V Modern - just take your time - form your words carefully BERTIE Science, I am enabled, this CKING GEORGE V Relax! (off Bertie’s continued inability) Just try it!

29 BERTIE ...this Christmas Day, to speak to all my pKING GEORGE V (all patience lost) Do it! INT. BERTIE’S STUDY, YORK HOUSE - NEW NIGHT Bertie lies on a chaise longue, smoking. BERTIE (to himself) Lying bastard. Bertie gets up and retrieves the recording he made with Lionel. He walks to a Victoria stand, lifts the arm, places the steel needle. It slips and slides across the records surface, as steel needles do. But what he hears is poetic and flowing: BERTIE’S RECORDED VOICE “To be, or not to be, - that is the question: Elizabeth enters, unseen by Bertie and listens. BERTIE’S RECORDED VOICE (CONT’D) “...whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them..” Hold on Elizabeth, stunned: Unable to hear himself, her husband speaks perfectly for the very first time. INT. LOGUE’S CONSULTATION ROOM - NEW DAY

Bertie and Elizabeth have returned to the consultation room. BERTIE Strictly business. No personal nonsense. ELIZABETH I thought I’d made that very clear in our interview. Logue is silent, then: LIONEL Got the shilling you owe me?

30 BERTIE No I don’t! LIONEL Didn’t think so. BERTIE Besides, you tricked me! LIONEL No, I showed you what you can do. (tries to get them to understand) What you’re asking will only deal with the surface of the problem. ELIZABETH That’s sufficient. My husband has difficulties with his speech. Just deal with that. BERTIE I’m willing to work hard, Doctor Logue... Lionel. LIONEL

BERTIE Are you willing to do your part? Logue considers, then tells Bertie: LIONEL Alright. You want mechanics? We need to relax your throat muscles and strengthen your tongue. By repeating tongue twisters for example. “I am a thistle-sifter. I have a sieve of sifted thistles and a sieve of unsifted thistles. Because I am a thistle sifter.” Fine. BERTIE

LIONEL You have a flabby tummy, we must build up the strength in your diaphragm. Simple mechanics. ELIZABETH That is all we ask. LIONEL And that’s about a shilling’s worth.

31 BERTIE Forget about the blessed shilling! (calm again) Perhaps, upon occasion, I shall request some assistance in coping with a minor event. Will that be agreeable? Of course. LIONEL

ELIZABETH That will be the full extent of your services. BERTIE Shall I see you next week? LIONEL I shall see you every day. On Bertie, reacting. MONTAGE Many different sessions, many different days, all in the consultation room. CU of Bertie’s mouth. Humming. LIONEL (CONT’D) Hum for as long as you like. Hmmmmmmmmmm. And when you’re ready, “Mother”. BERTIE Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmother. Beaut. LIONEL CUT TO: LIONEL (CONT’D) A simple outward breath. “FFFFF” Wait for the “aa”. “FFFFFather”. Just slide into it. BERTIE FFFFFFFFFFFFather. CUT TO: LIONEL Feel the loosening of the jaw

32 Bertie and Lionel both have their individual hands clasped and are shaking them, vibrating their chest and loosening their jaw. As their jaws wobble, they omit a vibrating sound. BERTIE Ahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahah. LIONEL (at the same time) Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, CUT TO: Bertie lies on the floor LIONEL (CONT’D) Deep breath. Expand your chest...lift your diaphragm...allow the column of air into your stomach...How do you feel? BERTIE Full of hot air. LIONEL Isn’t that what public speaking is all about? Bertie inhales deeply. CUT TO: Some fast cuts. Lionel handing him a cup of tea. Bertie doing slow breathing exercises. Bertie shouting something in frustration. BERTIE I will never get that. LIONEL Yes you can, come on, come on. CUT TO: Bertie’s on the floor again. LIONEL (CONT’D) Deep breath. Hold. He turns to Elizabeth. LIONEL (CONT’D) Now Ma’am, while you are here, you could again be of great assistance. If you’d kindly sit on your husband’s stomach.

33 ELIZABETH

Oh yes?

LIONEL Gently of course. Elizabeth sits gingerly on Bertie’s stomach, asking solicitously: ELIZABETH Are you alright, Bertie? Bertie nods. LIONEL Now exhale slowly...can you feel that resistance, Bertie? Down goes your Royal Highness...inhale slowly...and...up comes your Royal Highness. Exhale and down. Yes. Inhale and up. You get the idea. ELIZABETH This is actually quite good fun, Bertie. LIONEL Do it at home. Doesn’t have to be you, of course, but I thought he’d prefer you to one of the staff. Lionel encourages Bertie to move as he reads a joke out. LIONEL (CONT’D) Move, rock back and forth on the balls of your feet, keep the movement continuous and flowing. CUT TO: Bertie stands framed by the open window. LIONEL (CONT’D) I want you to release the five vowel sounds, each to last no less than 15 seconds. BERTIE Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa... LIONEL (tapping him on the diaphragm) Let’s connect the toned diaphragm with your relaxed throat. Ma’am, would you be so kind as to be the timekeeper?

34 Lionel hands her a stop watch. BERTIE ....aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..... High up in the wall at the back of the building, a Harley Street physician peers out the window. LIONEL Anyone who can vibrate loudly in full view of the world can learn to give a speech. ELIZABETH That’s right, Bertie. (checking watch) Now Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee... Lionel joins in. LIONEL Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..... BERTIE Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..... The sound of “eeee” becomes the roar of machinery INT. MIDLAND FACTORY - NEW DAY

Huge industrial wheels whir noisily in neutral as WORKERS line up dutifully to hear the visiting Royal. Bertie’s lips move, but due to the racket he cannot be heard. Elizabeth watches in relief. A FOREMAN, trying to be helpful, signals. The machinery halts, the factory falls silent. At first, the momentum of speaking without being heard carries Bertie forward. BERTIE I assure you that my wife and I... Hearing his own voice reverberate through the cavernous factory Bertie’s stammer returns. BERTIE (CONT’D) ...ar-ar-are glad to vis-visvisit... Bertie pauses. Takes a breath. Relaxes. BERTIE (CONT’D) ...are glad to visit this important manufacturing district and see for ourselves one or two of the industries which have made it famous...

35 He gets back into his stride, despite the silence. Bertie relaxes a little. From Elizabeth, a huge smile of relief. The sound of an approaching aircraft engine. EXT. PRIVATE LANDING STRIP, SANDRINGHAM ESTATE - NEW DAY

Bertie waits beside a shooting break, a stiff breeze whipping his coat, as a small plane lands and taxis. While he waits Bertie practises breathing exercises. The cockpit canopy slides back and - DAVID - leaps out, removing his leather helmet and goggles, gold hair gleaming, a sun god descended from the skies. DAVID Hello, Bertie. Been waiting long? BERTIE Where’ve you been? Bertie stammers badly in the presence of his brother. Been busy. DAVID

BERTIE So was I. Elizabeth has pneumonia. DAVID I’m sorry. She’ll recover. Bertie shoots him a look. BERTIE Father won’t. DAVID I’ll drive. INT./EXT. CAR (SHOOTING BREAK) ON SANDRINGHAM LANE CONTINUOUS David drives. Badly. DAVID Old bugger’s doing this on purpose. Dying? BERTIE Bertie grabs the

The vehicle almost careens off the lane. wheel and straightens it.

36 DAVID Departing prematurely to complicate matters. BERTIE Oh for heaven’s sake, David. You know how long he’s been ill. DAVID Wallis explained. She’s terribly clever. INT. KING’S BEDROOM, SANDRINGHAM - DAY

The King is propped up in his armchair, wrapped in his favorite faded Tibetan dressing gown. He’s attended by six members of his Privy Council - ARCHBISHOP LANG, LORD DAWSON his personal physician, LORD WIGRAM his private secretary, together with RAMSAY MACDONALD, LORD HAILSHAM and SIR JOHN SIMON. Also present is SIR MAURICE HANKEY, the Clerk to the Council. The King’s sons and daughter are in attendance. SISTER BLACK his nurse, stands beside the King. Lord Wigram is reading out the Order for the Council for the State. The King constantly interjects. He is confused and frail. LORD WIGRAM ... whereas by letters patent under the Great Seal, bearing date of Westminster, the eleventh June 1912 his Majesty King George V did constitute, order and declare that there should be a guardian, Custos Regni, in the form of Councillors of State. Off King George V’s confusion LORD WIGRAM (CONT’D) It’s the order of the Council for the State, Sir. So we may act on your behalf. Wigram presents a tray with papers and pen. KING GEORGE V I’m still confused... Approved. Thank you. LORD WIGRAM KING GEORGE V

37 Lord Dawson holds the pen as the King makes his ‘mark’. NURSE Feeling a little better Sir? KING GEORGE V No. I’m not feeling any better. I feel dreadful. Queen Mary enters. KING GEORGE V (CONT’D) Have you been skating? QUEEN MARY No, George. INT. LIBRARY, SANDRINGHAM - CONTINUOUS

David is on the phone. Bertie enters. DAVID I’m on with Wallis! (continues as though Bertie didn’t exist) I know, darling, a talk, even a lovely long talk, is a poor substitute for holding tight and making drowsy. Nor making our own drowsies either, as we’ve had to do far too often lately. (kisses the phone and hangs up) Wallis misses me terribly. BERTIE Mother says you’re late for dinner. David glares at a clock. DAVID She forgets Papa’s bloody clocks were always half an hour fast! He sets it back. INT. DINING HALL, SANDRINGHAM - CONTINUOUS

David enters and sits between Lord Dawson and Archbishop Lang. DAVID (to Dawson) How is my father? I hope he is not in pain.

38 LORD DAWSON No, no, he’s quieter now. The butler enters and whispers to Lord Dawson and Lord Wigram. They both exit. QUEEN MARY If your father were well, tardiness would not be tolerated. None of this..unpleasantness would be tolerated Pause. COSMO LANG (to David) You know Sir, I appreciate that you are different from your father in your outlook and temperament. I want you to know that whenever the King questioned your conduct, I tried in your interest to present it in a most favourable light. DAVID (ironic) I can always trust you to have my best interests at heart. Awkward silence. QUEEN MARY All my children, at the same table. Yes, Mama. GEORGE

Lord Wigram enters and whispers to Queen Mary. QUEEN MARY It seems our vigil will not be of long duration. INT. KING’S BEDROOM, SANDRINGHAM - NIGHT Lord Dawson closes the King’s eyes. COSMO LANG We commend our brother George to the mercy of God, our Maker and Redeemer. Queen Mary takes her eldest son’s hand and kisses it. Then Bertie the same. QUEEN MARY Long live the King.

39 DAVID (very emotional) I hope I will make good as he has made good. David falls into his mother’s arms, sobbing. He runs from the room. INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE KING’S BEDROOM - NIGHT

David stands, smoking. Bertie comes from the bedroom to comfort him. David looks broken-hearted. BERTIE What on earth was that? DAVID Poor Wallis. Now I’m trapped! INT. LOGUE’S CONSULTATION ROOM - NEW DAY

Lionel is at his desk listening to the radio. A news reader is talking about the death of King George V. Two of his sons sprawl on the floor. Valentine is studying for the School Certificate. Antony, the youngest, is taking a break from homework, building a model airplane. He switches off the wireless. Dad? What? ANTONY LIONEL

ANTONY Time for a Shake, dad? LIONEL (flattered) You sure? Allright put your thinking caps on. VALENTINE (looking up from his book) Go on, Dad. This was, and still is, a much loved ritual. Lionel disappears behind a door.. ANTONY Bet its the Scottish Play.

40 VALENTINE No, I bet it’s Othello. It’s always Othello. LIONEL (OOMING OUT) “Art thou afeard?” VALENTINE (Without even looking up) Caliban! LIONEL Oh! For heaven’s sake.. that was a lucky guess! ANTONY Don’t listen to egghead. Go on, Dad. Lionel has a pillow stuffed into his jacket to create a monstrous hunchback. His acting, performed just for his lads, is quite magical. LIONEL “Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not. Sometimes a thousand twanging instruments Will hum about mine ears; and sometimes voices, That, if then I had waked after long sleep, Will make me sleep again:” (to Valentine) Alright, clever clogs, what comes next? VALENTINE “..and then, in dreaming, The clouds methought would open, and show riches Ready to drop upon me; that...” LIONEL (overlapping) ...when I waked, I cried to dream again.” It’s such a sad thought. A KNOCK at the door. Lionel is not expecting anyone. LIONEL (CONT’D) Next patient must be early. You better go lads, I’m sorry. (to the door) Won’t be a moment, Clifford.

41 INT. WAITING ROOM TO LOGUE’S CHAMBERS - CONTINUOUS The door opens. Bertie is on the other side. The two men stare at each other, not sure what to say. LIONEL Bertie, they told me not to expect you. (beat) Sorry about your father. BERTIE I don’t wish to intrude.. (gesturing towards the consultation room) May I? LIONEL Of course. Please come in. BERTIE I’ve been practising. One hour a day. In spite of everything. (notices Lionel’s hump) What’s going on there? LIONEL I was, sorry, mucking around with my kids. Lionel hastily removes the pillow, tossing it away. Realizes Bertie has entered the consultation room. INT. LOGUE’S CONSULTATION ROOM - CONTINUOUS LIONEL Do you feel like working today? Bertie notices the plane left behind by Logue’s sons. BERTIE A Curtis bi-plane. LOGUE I’ll put on some hot milk. BERTIE Logue, I’d kill for something stronger. LIONEL I wasn’t there for my father’s death. Still makes me sad. BERTIE I can imagine so.

42 Lionel passes Bertie a brandy. BERTIE (CONT’D) What did you father do? A brewer. Oh. LIONEL BERTIE

LIONEL At least there was free beer. Pause. LIONEL (CONT’D) Here’s to the memory of your father. They sit. BERTIE I was informed, after the fact, my father’s last words were: “Bertie has more guts than the rest of his brothers put together.” He couldn’t say that to my face. Silence. BERTIE (CONT’D) (blurts) My brother. That’s why I’m here. LIONEL What’s he done? Can’t say. BERTIE I can’t puh-puh-puh...

His jaw and throat muscles constrict. LIONEL Try singing it. Pardon? BERTIE

LIONEL Know any songs? Songs? Yes songs. BERTIE LIONEL

43 BERTIE “Swanee River”. LIONEL I love that song. BERTIE Happens to be my favorite. LIONEL Sing it then. Give me the chorus. BERTIE Certainly not. (fascinated by the plane) Always wanted to build models. Father wouldn’t allow it. He collected stamps. I had to collect stamps. No. LIONEL You can finish that off. Bertie eagerly reaches for some balsa. LIONEL (CONT’D) If you sing. (to “Swanee River”) “When I was a boy with David...upon the Swanee River.” BERTIE I can’t sit here singing! LIONEL You can with me. BERTIE Because you’re peculiar. LIONEL I take that as a compliment. BERTIE I’m not crooning “Swanee River!” LIONEL Try “Camptown Races” then. (sings) “My brother D, he said to me, doodah doo-dah...” Continuous sound will give you flow. Does it feel strange, now that David’s on the throne? BERTIE It was a relief... Knowing I wouldn’t be King.

44 Reaches into his jacket for his cigarette case. Then remembers, puts it away. LIONEL But unless he produces an heir, you’re next in line. And your daughter, Elizabeth, would then succeed you. BERTIE “You’re barking up the wrong tree now, Doctor, Doctor.” LIONEL “Lionel, Lionel.” You didn’t stammer. BERTIE Of course I didn’t stammer, I was singing! (realises) Oh... LIONEL Well, as a little reward, you get to put some glue on these struts. BERTIE David and I were very close. Young bucks... You know. LIONEL Chase the same girls? BERTIE David was always very helpful in arranging introductions. We shared the expert ministrations of “Paulette” in Paris. Not at the same time of course. An uncomfortable silence. Too much has been said. LIONEL Did David tease you? BERTIE They all did. “Buh-buh-buh-Bertie”. Father encouraged it. “Get it out, boy!” Said it would make me stop. Said...”I was afraid of my father, and my children are damn well going to be afraid of me”. Lionel has been watching Bertie work on the model. LIONEL Naturally right handed?

45 BERTIE Left. I was punished. Now I use the right. LIONEL Yes, that’s very common with stammerers. Anything other corrections? BERTIE Knock knees. Lionel waits. BERTIE (CONT’D) Metal splints were made...worn night and day. LIONEL That must have been painful. BERTIE Bloody agony. Straight legs now. LIONEL Who were you closest to in your family? BERTIE Nannies. Not my first nanny, though..she loved David...hated me. When I was presented to my parents for the daily viewing, she’d... The stammering produced by the memory halts him. Sing it. LIONEL

BERTIE (tunelessly) “She pinch me so I’d cry, and be sent away at once, then she wouldn’t feed me, far far away.” (speaks) Took three years for my parents to notice. As you can imagine, it caused some stomach problems. Still. LIONEL What about your brother Johnnie? Were you close to him? BERTIE Sweet boy. Epilepsy...and...he was ’different’. (MORE)

46 BERTIE (CONT'D) Died at 13, hidden from view. Too embarrassing for the family. (nervous) I’ve been told it’s not catching. LIONEL Do you want a top-up? Please. BERTIE

Lionel gets up to pour another drink. BERTIE (CONT’D) You know, Lionel, you’re the first ordinary Englishman... LIONEL Australian. BERTIE ...I’ve ever really spoken to. Sometimes, when I ride through the streets and see, you know, the Common Man staring at me, I’m struck by how little I know of his life, and how little he knows of mine. LIONEL What’re friends for. BERTIE I wouldn’t know. ARCHIVE FOOTAGE OF KING GEORGE V’S STATE FUNERAL The common man, and woman, en masse. Thousands of them, solemn in their bereavement. Funereal bagpipes wail, joining the measured drum-rolls. Ranks upon ranks of military personnel slow-stepping the ceremonial death march. Muffled cannons bark their salute. Startled, a large flock of blackbirds rise up and streak across the wintery sky. A Naval squad pulls a gun carriage that carries the King’s coffin draped with the Royal standard, on which rests the Royal crown topped by a jeweled Maltese Cross. On Whitehall, the gun carriage passes the Cenotaph.

47 PATHE NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER All salute as they pass the Cenotaph. One million died for him...as King George died for them. We see naval cadets salute to their right. END ARCHIVE FOOTAGE. EXT. WHITEHALL - DAY David, very solemn, Bertie - pale and fragile, their brothers Henry and George all salute as they pass the Cenotaph. The crowd is silent. Lionel, Myrtle, and all three boys are part of the crowd, half a dozen rows back. Antony and Valentine have mirrors on sticks to see over the heads. LIONEL (whispers a running commentary to the boys) That’s the Prince of Wales. He’s now King because he’s the oldest. Lionel spots... Bertie, in the procession passing by. Lionel stares at him. Tries to make eye contact. In the midst of this pomp and ceremony the immense potential importance of his client sinks in. Of course, Bertie doesn’t see him. LIONEL (CONT’D) Quite an irony...all this. MYRTLE Why’s that? LIONEL His children weren’t too fond of him. MYRTLE Lionel! What a thing to say. Where’d you pick that up? LIONEL Heard it...at work. Lionel points, to distract. LIONEL (CONT’D) Think the German will make it?

48 Return to archive footage, a contorted limping German is seen. The procession of dignitaries continues. PATHE NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER ....fifteen Kings of Europe and eleven Princes of the Realm are here... EXT. AUSTIN DRIVING THRU SCOTTISH ESTATE - NEW DAY BERTIE (O.S.) “I sifted seven thick-stalked thistles through strong thick sieves. I sifted seven...” ELIZABETH (O.S.) Bertie, isn’t that enough? BERTIE (O.S.) I have to keep saying it. This is your fault. CHOP! CHOP! CHOP! The sound of an axe.

Fallen trees start to litter the roadside. INT. AUSTIN, ROYAL COUNTRY ESTATE - CONTINUOUS

Bertie and Elizabeth are dressed for a party. Outside, fallen trees, and more falling. They’re aghast. ELIZABETH Five hundred year old oaks...removed to improve the view! BERTIE Nonetheless...we must try to be pleasant towards Mrs Simpson. ELIZABETH You know she calls me “The Fat Scottish Cook”? BERTIE You’re not fat. ELIZABETH I’m getting plump. BERTIE You seldom cook. She gives her husband a look, but realizes he’s teasing. She gasps and points: POV - more trees being felled.

49 BERTIE (CONT’D) I sifted seven. Shut up!! INT. ELIZABETH

BALLROOM, BALMORAL - DAY

A weekend house party. Drinks at teatime. Five or six friends dance to a gramophone. A couple are already drunk. At the epicenter, David, the very picture of insouciance, and WALLIS, clinging to his arm, dripping in jewelry. Wallis’ most attractive physical feature is her back, displayed fully by her choice of dress. Surrounded by their entourage, they are the apex of chic. A FOOTMAN announces: FOOTMAN Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of York. Elizabeth freezes as Wallis sweeps forward to greet them. WALLIS How lovely to see you both. Welcome to our little country shack. Elizabeth stares at her, incredulous, then sails past, announcing to no one in particular: ELIZABETH I came at the invitation of the King. Wallis is wrongfooted. Elizabeth and Bertie reach David. Elizabeth curtsies to David, and Bertie gives David a nod. BERTIE Hello David. DAVID Hello Bertie. Hello Elizabeth. David kisses Elizabeth on both cheeks. BERTIE I see you’re making some changes to the garden. DAVID I am. I am not quite finished. David’s eyes are drawn by Wallis. David! WALLIS

50 She taps her champagne glass. A footman goes into action, but Wallis waves him off. David leaves instead. DAVID (calling to Wallis) Just be a sec, darling! Bertie pursues him. One of the guests - WINSTON CHURCHILL - nursing a glass of champagne moves up to Elizabeth. INT. DRAWING ROOM/PORTRAIT GALLERY, BALMORAL - DAY

Elizabeth is standing in front of a canvas of George IV when Churchill arrives at her side. ELIZABETH Don’t tell me I behaved badly, Mr Churchill. WINSTON CHURCHILL On the contrary, your Royal Highness. Etiquette decrees royalty must be greeted by the official host: in this case: the King. Not a commoner. You behaved impeccably. As always. Thank you. ELIZABETH

WINSTON CHURCHILL I’m always amused when you’re referred to as being a commoner. As common as the Scottish kings from whom you descend. ELIZABETH Your flattery is profound. What is your agenda, Mr Churchill? WINSTON CHURCHILL (pause, then) Did she actually say what I thought she said? ELIZABETH You know she did. WINSTON CHURCHILL What is her hold on him?

51 ELIZABETH Apparently she has certain...skills, which she learnt in an establishment in Shanghai. Churchill almost spills his new champagne. WINSTON CHURCHILL Mam, I’d not realized you were so well versed in such matters. They catch a distant glimpse of David hurrying down a corridor, followed by Bertie, determined to catch up. INT. CORRIDOR, BALMORAL - CONTINUOUS Bertie catches his brother. BERTIE I’ve been trying to see you... DAVID I’ve been terribly busy. BERTIE Doing what? Kinging. DAVID

BERTIE Really? Kinging? Kinging is a precarious business! Where is the Tsar of Russia? Where is Cousin Wilhelm? DAVID You’re being dreary. BERTIE Is Kinging laying off eighty staff at Sandringham and buying yet more pearls for Wallis while there are people marching across Europe singing “The Red Flag”? DAVID Stop your worrying. Herr Hitler will sort that lot out. BERTIE Who’ll sort out Herr Hitler? David hurries down some stairs.

52 INT. SERVANT’S CORRIDOR/WINE CELLAR - DAY David is hunting for a bottle of champagne for Wallis in the wine cellar. BERTIE And you’ve put that woman into our mother’s suite? DAVID Mother’s not still in the bed, is she? BERTIE That’s not funny. David finds the bottle he was looking for. DAVID Wally likes the very best. BERTIE I don’t care what woman you carry on with at night, as long as you show up for duty in the morning! He exits. Bertie follows. INT. HALLWAY BALMORAL - DAY DAVID This is not just some woman I am carrying on with. This is the woman I intend to marry Excuse me? BERTIE

DAVID She’s filing a petition for divorce. Good God. BERTIE

INT. HALLWAY/DRAWING ROOM, BALMORAL - DAY BERTIE Can’t you just give her a nice house and a title? DAVID I won’t have her as my mistress.

53 BERTIE David, the Church does not recognise divorce and you are the head of the Church. DAVID Haven’t I any rights? BERTIE Many privileges... DAVID Not the same thing. Your beloved Common Man may marry for love, why not me? BERTIE If you were the Common Man, on what basis could you possibly claim to be King?! DAVID Sounds like you’ve studied our wretched constitution. BERTIE Sounds like you haven’t. DAVID Is that what this is all about? Is that why you’ve been taking elocution lessons? BERTIE I’m attempting t-t... DAVID That’s the scoop around town. Yearning for a larger audience are we, B-b-b-bertie? BERTIE D-don’t say such a thDAVID Young brother trying to push older brother off throne...Positively medieval. DBERTIE

Bertie is completely locked. David heads for Wallis, leaving his brother totally distraught. He pours her a glass of champagne. She shows she is pleased with him.

54 INT. LOGUE’S CONSULTATION ROOM, HARLEY STREET - NEW DAY Bertie stands shattered, lost in painful memory. BERTIE All that work, down the drain. My own brother... I couldn’t say...I could say...I couldn’t say a word in reply! LIONEL Why do you stammer more with David than you do with me? BERTIE Because you’re bloody well paid to listen! The latter, angry, sentence is flawless. LIONEL I’m not a geisha girl. BERTIE Stop trying to be so bloody clever! LIONEL What is it about David that stops you speaking? BERTIE What the bloody hell is it that makes you bloody well want to go on about David? LIONEL Vulgar but fluent. You don’t stammer when you swear. BERTIE Bugger off! LIONEL Is that the best you can do? BERTIE Well bloody bugger to you, you beastly bastard. LIONEL A public school prig can do better than that. BERTIE Shit then. Shit, shit, shit!

55 LIONEL See how defecation flows trippingly from the tongue? BERTIE Because I’m angry! LIONEL Ah. Know the f-word? BERTIE Fornication? Bertie. LIONEL

Lionel gives him a look. BERTIE Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck! LIONEL Yes! You see! Not a hesitation! BERTIE Bloody, bloody, bloody! Shit, shit, shit! Bugger, bugger, bugger! Fuck, fuck, fuck! A knocking on the wall. ANTONY (O.S.) Dad? What’s going on? LIONEL (calls) Sorry. Finish your homework. Bertie laughs. LIONEL (CONT’D) Well that’s a side of you we don’t get to see that often. BERTIE No. No we’re not supposed to really, not publicly. LIONEL Can’t joke, can’t laugh? (then referring to Antony on the other side of the wall) Let’s get some air. BERTIE No Logue, I don’t think that’s a good idea.

56 Lionel throws him his hat and scarf. LIONEL Put on your spy clobber. EXT. REGENT’S PARK ORNAMENTAL GARDEN - DAY Bertie and Logue come into view talking. Bertie with his homburg pulled low, scarf wrapped high. The park is empty and bleak on this winter’s day. One can feel the cold chill; puffs of steam punctuating their words like smoke signals. LIONEL What’s wrong? What’s got you so upset? BERTIE Logue, you have no idea. My brother is infatuated with a woman who’s been married twice - and she’s American. LIONEL Some of them must be loveable. BERTIE (shoots him a look) She’s asking for a divorce and David is determined to marry her. Mrs Wallis Simpson of Baltimore. LIONEL That’s not right. Queen Wallis of Baltimore? BERTIE Unthinkable. LIONEL Can he do that? BERTIE Absolutely not. But he’s going to anyway. All hell’s broken loose. LIONEL Can’t they carry on privately? BERTIE If only they would. LIONEL Where does that leave you?

57 BERTIE I know my place! I’ll do anything within my power to keep my brother on the throne. LIONEL Has it come to that? But the way things are going, your place may be on the throne. BERTIE I am not an alternative to my brother. LIONEL If you had to you could outshine David... Lionel reaches out and gives Bertie a pat of comfort on the shoulder. Bertie pulls back in offended shock. BERTIE Don’t take liberties! That’s bordering on treason. LIONEL I’m just saying you could be King. You could do it! BERTIE That is treason! They face each other, as though in combat. LIONEL I’m trying to get you to realise you need not be governed by fear. BERTIE I’ve had enough of this! LIONEL What’re you afraid of? BERTIE Your poisonous words! LIONEL Why’d you show up then? To take polite elocution lessons so you can chit-chat at posh tea parties? BERTIE Don’t instruct me on my duties! I’m the brother of a King...the son of a King...we have a history that goes back untold centuries. You’re the disappointing son of a brewer! (MORE)

58 BERTIE (CONT'D) A jumped-up jackeroo from the outback! You’re nobody. These sessions are over! Bertie strides off in a fury. Lionel, equally angry, goes in the other direction. Two men moving apart in the cold wintery landscape, the ground mist rising. The Lionel stops. Turns. POV - Bertie has disappeared from view. CLOSE ON LIONEL as he realises...he’s no longer therapist to a man who might have to become King. EXT. BACK GARDEN ENTRANCE, 10 DOWNING STREET/HORSE GUARDS PARADE - DAY A car pulls up. A bundled figure hurries out and slips in thru the garden entrance. INT. BALDWIN’S STUDY, 10 DOWNING STREET - DAY

Bertie is with Prime Minister STANLEY BALDWIN, a stocky man with his hair parted straight down the middle. Their conversation in progress. BALDWIN It’s not just because she’s an American. It’s that she is soon to be a twice divorced American, and the King can not marry a divorced woman. I apologize for the nature of this, but... according to Scotland Yard, the King does not possess exclusive rights to Mrs. Simpson’s favours and affections, sharing them with a married used car salesman, a certain Mr Guy Trundle. In addition, it is rumoured that Hitler’s ambassador, Count von Ribbentrop, sends her 17 carnations every day...... Silence. BALDWIN (CONT’D) Should your brother continue to ignore the advice of His Government, He must abdicate. Otherwise His Government has no choice but to resign. BERTIE Prime Minister, you’d leave the country without a government?

59 BALDWIN Does the King do what he wants, or does he do what his people expect him to do? INT. LIVING ROOM, LOGUE APARTMENT - NIGHT The family is listening to a favorite radio show. MYRTLE What’s the matter, love? Nothing. LIONEL

Lionel shrugs helplessly, glances at the boys. MYRTLE You look a bit blue. LIONEL Just trouble with a client. Oh yes. MYRTLE

LIONEL Frightened of his own shadow. MYRTLE Isn’t that why they come to you? LIONEL But this chap... Yes? MYRTLE

LIONEL This chap truly could be somebody great, and he’s fighting me. MYRTLE Perhaps he doesn’t want to be great. Lionel is silent. MYRTLE (CONT’D) Perhaps that’s what you want. LIONEL I might have overstepped the mark.

60 MYRTLE Apologize, Lionel. Do you both good. Sometimes you do push a bit hard. INT. HALLWAY, 145 PICCADILLY - CONTINUOUS Lionel is shown to a chair in the hall to wait. Footsteps echo. Bertie’s Equerry, dressed in military uniform, comes in. He is scrupulously polite. EQUERRY I’m very sorry, Mr Logue, the Duke is terrible busy. LIONEL I’m happy to wait. Or I could come back later. EQUERRY As I said, the Duke is busy. The steward opens the door. Both wait. Lionel reluctantly withdraws. INT. BERTIE’S STUDY, 145 PICCADILLY - NIGHT

Bertie and Chuchill sit on either side of Bertie’s desk. WINSTON CHURCHILL But there were other reasons for concern, Sir. He was careless with state papers. He lacked commitment and resolve. There were those that worried where he would stand when war with Germany comes. BERTIE We’re not coming to that? WINSTON CHURCHILL Indeed we are, Sir. Prime Minister Baldwin may deny this, but Hitler’s intent is crystal clear. War with Germany will come, and we will need a King behind whom we can all stand united. Silence. WINSTON CHURCHILL (CONT’D) Have you thought what you will call yourself?

61 Bertie struggles to speak with the shock of the question. WINSTON CHURCHILL (CONT’D) Certainly not Albert, Sir. Too Germanic. Pause. WINSTON CHURCHILL (CONT’D) What about George? After your father? George the sixth. It has rather a nice continuity to it, don’t you think. INT. DAVID’S DRAWING ROOM, THE FORT - DAY

Bertie waits nervously for David. David enters, looking sunken. BERTIE David! Thank God. You look exhausted! How are you bearing up? DAVID Bertie. I have to go. The decision’s been made. BERTIE I cannot accept that. You are in no condition to make that decision. DAVID I’m afraid there’s no other way. I must marry her. My mind’s made up. I’m... sorry. BERTIE That’s a terrible thing to hear. David, nobody wants that. I least of all. INT. - DRAWING ROOM, THE FORT - DAY DAVID (V.O. RADIO FILTER) At long last I am able to say a few words of my own. I have never wanted to withhold anything, but until now, it has not been constitutionally possible for me to speak. A few hours ago I discharged my last duty as King and Emperor. (MORE)

62 DAVID (V.O. RADIO FILTER) (CONT'D) Now that I have been succeeded by my brother, the Duke of York my first words must be to declare my allegiance to him. This I do with all my heart. Bertie, Henry and George are there to witness David signing the abdication document. Silence. The scratching of a fountain pen. He finally signs his name. The others sign. Bertie signs. HOLD ON Bertie’s face. INT. STUDY, WINDSOR CASTLE - NIGHT David sits at his desk on which sits a BBC microphone. As always he speaks with beautiful fluency. DAVID (V.O. RADIO FILTER) You all know the reasons which have impelled me to renounce the throne. But you must believe me when I tell you I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love... INT. DRAWING ROOM, YORK HOUSE - NIGHT

ANOTHER WIRELESS being listened to by Elizabeth and Bertie. DAVID (V.O. RADIO FILTER) ..This decision has been made less difficult to me by the sure knowledge that my brother, with his long training in the public affairs of this country... Bertie battles his emotions. Elizabeth takes Bertie’s hand supportively. INT. HALLWAY. 145 PICCADILLY - NEW DAY Bertie is in full regalia of an Admiral of the Fleet’s uniform. DAVID (V.O. RADIO FILTER) ...and with his fine qualities...

63 EXT. 145 PICCADILLY - CONTINUOUS DAVID (V.O. RADIO FILTER) ...will be able to take my place forthwith without interruption or injury to the life and progress of the empire. Grimly, Bertie gets in to a waiting Rolls. Framed in the car window he looks terrified as the car edges from the curb. On the pavement, kept back by police, a crowd of onlookers. On the edge of the group...Lionel. Bertie peers out of the window of the Rolls. Their eyes meet. Bertie looks away. The Rolls drives on. INT. ANTECHAMBER, ST JAMES PALACE - THAT DAY Bertie waits nervously. At a signal from his attendants he enters the Accession Council Chamber INT. ACCESSION COUNCIL CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

The Council is made up of Privy Councillors, members of the House of Lords, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Aldermen of the City of London and the High Commissioners of some Commonwealth countries. Standing before them, Bertie is handed his Accession speech. All of Bertie’s old symptoms reappear: the tightening of the neck muscles, the protruding Adam’s apple, the jaw locking. BERTIE I meet you today in circumstances which are Bertie has come to a complete muscle-locked halt. He bows his head in humility. And shame. INT. HALLWAY, YORK HOUSE - THAT DAY

Elizabeth is with her daughters, preparing for the move to Buckingham Palace. The girls are tidying away their toy horses. LILLIBET Mama, will we have space for our horses in our new home?

64 ELIZABETH Of course we will, darling, we’ll have a palace of rooms. Bertie appears, still in full regalia, straight from the Accession Council. He tries to put on a brave front, but it doesn’t quite work. He desperately needs the comfort of his family. He holds his arm out, expecting his daughters to run to him for a hug and kiss, his solace after the ordeal. LILLIBET (to her sister, on seeing her father) Curtsey. MARGARET Your Majesty. They remain where they are and curtsy formally. Bertie is devastated. ELIZABETH How was it? Bertie shakes his head imperceptibly. INT. BERTIE’S STUDY, YORK HOUSE - NIGHT

Bertie valiantly tries to make sense of his new dispatch box filled with state papers, seated at his desk. It is late at night. Elizabeth enters, in night clothes. BERTIE I’m trying to familiarise myself with what a state paper looks like. He picks up a series of papers. BERTIE (CONT’D) A despatch from Mr Baldwin which I don’t understand a word of. David’s finances. The Christmas broadcast I think that might be a mistake. ELIZABETH Don’t do it then. BERTIE Plans for the Coronation - I think that’s an even bigger mistake. I’m not a King. I’m a naval officer. Its the only thing I know about.

65 And Bertie breaks down; fierce, wracking sobs. Elizabeth speaks softly, with growing strength, having already accepted and adapted to the situation. ELIZABETH Dear, dear man... I refused your first two marriage proposals, not because I didn’t love you, but because I couldn’t bear the royal cage. Could bear the idea of a life of tours and public duties, a life that no longer was really to be my own. Then I thought...he stammers so beautifully...they’ll leave us alone. She takes his anguished face in her hands tenderly. ELIZABETH (CONT’D) But if I must be Queen, I intend be a very good Queen. Queen to a very great King indeed. EXT. LOGUE HOME, SOUTH KENSINGTON - NEW DAY Re-establishing shot. Two large cars wait at the curb-side. INT. PARLOUR, LOGUE APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS A knock at the front door. Two figures can be seen outlined in the frosted glass door. Lionel opens it. Bertie and Elizabeth are standing there. BERTIE Waiting for a king to apologize, one can wait rather a long wait. ELIZABETH I’m afraid we’re slightly late. Beat. LIONEL This is home. Myrtle’s at bridge. I’ve made sure the boys are out. ELIZABETH (stepping in) It’s lovely. Absolutely lovely. Lionel pulls out a chair for her to sit down.

66 LIONEL Would you like some tea, Ma’am? ELIZABETH Yes. I’ll help myself. (then) Off you go now. Or must I knock your heads together? INT. LOGUE’S STUDY - CONTINUOUS The two men enter and sit down. A moment of uncertainty. Then Bertie blurts. BERTIE Here’s your shilling, Logue (puts shilling down) I understand what you were trying to say, Logue. LIONEL I went about it the wrong way. I’m sorry. BERTIE Now here I am. Is the nation ready for two minutes of radio silence? LIONEL Every stammerer always fears they will fall back to square one. I don’t let that happen. You won’t let that happen. BERTIE If I fail in my duty... David could come back. I’ve seen the placards “Save Our King!” They don’t mean me. Every other monarch in history succeeded someone who was dead, or about to be. My predecessor is not only alive, but very much so. What a bloody mess! I can’t even give them a Christmas Speech. LIONEL Like your Dad used to do? Precisely. BERTIE

LIONEL Your father. He’s not here. BERTIE Yes he is. He’s on that bloody shilling I gave you.

67 LIONEL Easy enough to give away. You don’t have to carry him around in your pocket. Or your brother. You don’t need to be afraid of things you were afraid of when you were five. A pause LIONEL (CONT’D) You’re very much your own man, Bertie. Your face is next, mate. There’s a noise outside the door. Lionel? Myrtle! MYRTLE (O.S.) LIONEL

Lionel stands and pressed himself up against the wall. BERTIE Are you alright, Lionel? Yes. LIONEL

Bertie stands and makes towards the door. BERTIE Shall we go through? LIONEL (not moving) Trust me it’s important. BERTIE What is it? INT. PARLOUR, LOGUE APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS Myrtle has entered, she is flabbergasted. MYRTLE Your... your... ELIZABETH It’s “Your Majesty”, the first time. After that, “Ma’am”, as in ham, not Ma’lm as in palm.

68 INT. LOGUE’S STUDY - CONTINUOUS Lionel, still pressed against the wall, is explaining his reticence to Bertie. LIONEL I haven’t told her.. about us. Sit down, relax. Bertie, bemused, sits. INT. PARLOUR, LOGUE APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS ELIZABETH I’m informed your husband calls my husband Bertie and my husband calls your husband Lionel. I trust you won’t call me Liz. MYRTLE Your Majesty, you may call me Mrs Logue, Ma’am. ELIZABETH Very nice to meet you, Mrs Logue Myrtle is taken aback. INT. LOGUE’S STUDY - CONTINUOUS The men listen to their wives’ conversation. BERTIE Logue, we can’t stay here all day. LIONEL Yes we can. Logue.. BERTIE

LIONEL Look, I need to wait for the opportune moment. BERTIE (realizing) You’re being a coward! LIONEL You’re damn right. Decisive, Bertie stands and throws open the door. BERTIE Get out there, man!

69 And Bertie ushers Lionel into the parlour. INT. PARLOUR, LOGUE APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS Logue enters, pretending total innocence and surprise, followed by Bertie. LIONEL Oh! Hello, Myrtle darling! You’re early.(indicating Elizabeth) I believe you two have met! I don’t believe you know....King George VI? BERTIE It’s very nice to meet you. Myrtle stares at Lionel and takes her revenge. MYRTLE Will their Majesties be staying for dinner? Logue and Bertie look panic-stricken. Elizabeth comes to the rescue. ELIZABETH We would love to, such a treat, but alas...a previous engagement. What a pity. On Lionel’s relief. EXT. WESTMINSTER ABBEY - DAY To establish. Preparations are being made in the street for the coronation - spectator stands are complete and fabric is being dressed. INT. WESTMINSTER ABBEY - DAY

The center piece of the Coronation staging is the throne of Edward the Confessor. Scaffolding has been erected to supply seating. Technicians work to erect film cameras, lights, radio microphones. They stop short as they see Cosmo Lang waiting to greet them, flanked by the Dean of Westminster and a couple of flunkies. There is a distinct drop in temperature. BERTIE Archbishop.

70 COSMO LANG Welcome your Majesty. (referring to the cathedral, but it’s double-edge) What a glorious transformation, Sir. I hope you’ll forgive us if we continue our preparations. Allow me to guide you through the ceremony. They begin to walk together, Lionel a few paces behind. COSMO LANG (CONT’D) We begin, of course at the West Door, then into the nave. BERTIE I see all your pronouncements are to be broadcast, Archbishop. Cosmo sees Bertie staring at the microphones. COSMO LANG Ah, yes, wireless is indeed a Pandora’s Box. I’m afraid I’ve also had to permit the newsreel cameras. The product of which I shall personally edit. LIONEL Without momentary hesitation. BERTIE Doctor Lionel Logue of Harley Street, my speech specialist. COSMO LANG Specialist?! Had I known Your Majesty was seeking assistance I would’ve made my own recommendation. BERTIE Dr. Logue is to be present at the Coronation. COSMO LANG Well of course I shall speak to the Dean, but it will be extremely difficult. BERTIE I should like the Doctor to be seated in the King’s Box. COSMO LANG But members of your Family will be seated there, Sir.

71 BERTIE That why it’s suitable. LIONEL And now, if you don’t mind, we need the premises. COSMO LANG My dear fellow, this is Westminster Abbey! The Church must prepare his Majesty. LIONEL My preparations for Bertie are equally important. The two men stare each other down. LIONEL (CONT’D) With complete privacy. If you don’t mind. BERTIE Those are my wishes, Your Grace. COSMO LANG (sniffs) I shall place the Abbey at Your Majesty’s disposal...this evening. Your Majesty. Lang nods curtly and exits. INT. WESTMINSTER ABBEY - THAT NIGHT

Footsteps resonate. Lionel enters. Ahead, he sees Cosmo Lang quietly conferring with Bertie. As Lionel approached, Cosmo Lang slips away. LIONEL I can’t believe I’m walking on Chaucer and Handel and Dickens. Everything alright? Let’s get cracking. Bertie, seated on a ceremonial chair, does not rise. BERTIE I’m not here to rehearse, Doctor Logue. PauseBERTIE (CONT’D) True, you never called yourself ‘Doctor’. I did that for you. (MORE)

72 BERTIE (CONT’D) No diploma, no training, no qualifications. Just a great deal of nerve. LIONEL Ah, the star chamber inquisition, is it? BERTIE You asked for trust and total equality. LIONEL Bertie, I heard you at Wembley, I was there. I heard you. My son Laurie said “Do you think you could help that poor man?” I replied “If I had the chance”. BERTIE What, as a failed actor!? LIONEL It’s true, I’m not a doctor, and yes I acted a bit, recited in pubs and taught elocution in schools. When the Great War came, our boys were pouring back from the front, shell-shocked and unable to speak and somebody said, “Lionel, you’re very good at all this speech stuff. Do you think you could possibly help these poor buggers”. I did muscle therapy, exercise, relaxation, but I knew I had to go deeper. Those poor young blokes had cried out in fear, and no-one was listening to them. My job was to give them faith in their voice and let them know that a friend was listening. That must ring a few bells with you, Bertie. BERTIE You give a very noble account of yourself. LIONEL Make inquiries. It’s all true. BERTIE Inquiries have been made! You have no idea who I have breathing down my neck. I vouched for you and you have no credentials.

73 LIONEL But lots of success! I can’t show you a certificate - there was no training then. All I know I know by experience, and that war was some experience. May plaque says, ‘L. Logue, Speech Defects’. No Dr., no letters after my name. (with mock seriousness) Lock me in the Tower. BERTIE I would if I could! LIONEL On what charge? BERTIE Fraud! With war looming, you’ve saddle this nation with a voiceless King. Destroyed the happiness of my family...all for the sake of ensnaring a star patient you knew you couldn’t possibly assist! His desperation spills out. He pulls himself out the chair, striding past Lionel. BERTIE (CONT’D) It’ll be like mad King George the Third, there’ll be Mad King George the Stammerer, who let his people down so badly in their hour of need! Lionel sits down on the chair of Edward the Confessor. BERTIE (CONT’D) What’re you doing? Get up! You can’t sit there! OverlappingLIONEL Why not? It’s a chair. BERTIE No, it’s not, that is Saint Edward’s ChairLIONEL People have carved their initials into it! BERTIE That chair is the seat on which every King and Queen-

74 LIONEL It’s held in place by a large rock! BERTIE That is the Stone of Scone, you are trivialising everythingLIONEL I don’t care. I don’t care how many Royal arses have sat in this chairOverlappingBERTIE Listen to me... ! LIONEL Listen to you?! By what right? BERTIE Divine right, if you must! I’m your King!!! LIONEL Noooo you’re not! Told me so yourself. Said you didn’t want it. So why should I waste my time listening to you? BERTIE Because I have a right to be heard! LIONEL Heard as what?! BERTIE A man! I HAVE A VOICE!!! LIONEL (quietly) Yes you do. You have such perseverance, Bertie, you’re the bravest man I know. And you’ll make a bloody good king. Bertie stares at him. A familiar voice is heard from the shadows. VOICE What on earth’s going on, Sir? BERTIE It’s all right, Archbishop. The Archbishop of Canterbury.

75 COSMO LANG Mr Logue, you should know that I have found a replacement English specialist with impeccable credentials. Hence, your services will no longer be required. I’m sorry? BERTIE

COSMO LANG Your Majesty’s function is to consult and be advised. You didn’t consult, but you’ve just been advised. BERTIE Now I advise you: in this personal matter I will make my own decision. COSMO LANG My concern is for the head upon which I must place the crown. BERTIE I appreciate that Archbishop, but it’s my head! COSMO LANG Your humble servant. Lang turns on his heel and is gone, leaving Bertie shaken, with both anger, and fear. LIONEL Thank you Bertie. Shall we rehearse? Bertie sits in the ceremonial chair once more. LIONEL (CONT’D) As soon as you and Elizabeth enter the West door, you’ll be greeted with the hymn “I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me.” You won’t actually be that glad, because they sing it for a great long time. Then your friend the Archbishop will ponce up and say, “Sir, is Your Majesty willing to take The Oath?” You say.. BERTIE “I am willing”.

76 LIONEL Course you are! I’ll see what it sounds like from the cheap seats so even your old nanny can hear. “Will you govern your peoples of Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand according to their lands and customs?” BERTIE "I solemnly promise so do so." LIONEL LOUDER! I can’t hear you up the back. BERTIE “I SOLEMNLY PROMISE TO DO SO!” LIONEL Very good! "Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgements?" BERTIE "I will." “I WILL!” LIONEL Then a long bit about upholding the faith, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. To which you finally say... BERTIE “These things which I have herebefore promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.” LIONEL That’s all you have to say. Four short responses, kiss the book and sign the oath. There you are: you’re King. Easy. The faint CLICKING WHIR of a film projector is heard. INT. SCREENING ROOM, BUCKINGHAM PALACE - NEW DAY On the screen: archive - Pathe newsreel footage of the Coronation. The Royal Family watches: Bertie, Elizabeth, Lilibet and Margaret. Cosmo Lang and his assistant are in attendance. There is a projectionist also.

77 MARGARET ROSE You nearly crowned him backwards Archbishop! Lang steps in front of the screen, eager to explain COSMO LANG Someone had removed the thread that was marking the front of the Crown, Sir. BERTIE Try not lose the thread, Archbishop. LILLIBET (peering around Lang) Archbishop, your missing Papa. We see Bertie giving two of his responses. ELIZABETH Very good, very good. Archbishop. COSMO LANG Well, I hope Your Majesties are thrilled with the result. The Coronation footage finishes. The next segment of the newsreel is entitled “Hitler in Nuremberg!” and shows him viewing troops doing the goose-step amidst immense crowds. We then see Hitler’s mad eloquence, mesmerizing all. COSMO LANG (CONT’D) (to the projectionist) You can turn that off now. ELIZABETH No, wait, keeping going. LILLIBET Do have a seat, Archbishop. They watch the footage. LILIBET What’s he saying, Papa? BERTIE I don’t know, but he seems to be saying it rather well. Off the roar of the crowds on the screen. Bertie’s face as he watches Hitler.

78 INT. MEETING ROOM, BUCKINGHAM PALACE - NEW DAY Baldwin enters, looking pale and tired, to see Bertie. BERTIE Good Morning Mr Baldwin. BALDWIN Good Morning your Majesty. Congratulations on your Coronation. It went splendidly. BERTIE Thank you, Prime Minister. Luckily I only had to repeat a few short oaths. I may not be so fortunate in the future. BALDWIN Sir, I have asked to see you today in order to tender my resignation as Prime Minister. BERTIE I am so sorry to hear that, Mr Baldwin. BALDWIN Neville Chamberlain will take my place as Prime Minister. It’s a matter of principal. I was mistaken. I have found it impossible to believe that there is any man in the World so lacking in moral feeling as Hitler, but the world might be hurled for a second time into the abyss of destructive War. Churchill was right all along. This was always Hitler’s intention. I am only sorry to leave you in this time of crisis. I am afraid Sir, your greatest test is yet to come. INT. LOGUE’S PARLOUR - DAY The Logue family are sat around the wireless. CHAMBERLAIN I am speaking to you from the cabinet room of 10 Downing Street. (MORE)

79 CHAMBERLAIN (CONT'D) This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note stating that unless we heard from them by 11 o’clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany. INT. BUCKINGHAM PALACE, BERTIE’S STUDY - DAY 3rd September 1939. Bertie, in uniform, is at his desk going through paperwork. HARDINGE, the King’s Private Secretary, enters briskly. HARDINGE At last. Here it is. You are live at six. I’ve timed it at just under nine minutes. The wording is fully approved. The Prime Minister will be joining you for the broadcast which will go out live to the Nation, the Empire and to our Armed Forces. BERTIE Get Logue here immediately. Hardinge exits. Bertie is left contemplating the speech. Nervous as hell. INT. - LOGUE’S CAR - DAY Laurie drives Logue. Out the window he sees sandbags being piled round government buildings. LIONEL (peering up into the sky) Look, there are the barrage balloons. They got them up there quickly. An air raid siren is heard. LAURIE Should we pull over and find shelter?

80 LOGUE No, just go straight on. We’ll be alright. CUT TO: INT./EXT. LOGUE’S CAR, OUTSIDE BUCKINGHAM PALACE Logue’s ID is checked. EXT. QUADRANGLE, BUCKINGHAM PALACE Logue hurries into the Palace. The car pulls away. INT. COATROOM, BUCKINGHAM PALACE Logue hangs up umbrella, coat and gas mask. INT. STAIRCASE, BUCKINGHAM PALACE Logue is met on the stairs by Hardinge who hands him a speech. HARDINGE The King’s Speech. We have about forty minutes until the broadcast. Lionel hurries up the stairs. INT. BERTIE’S STUDY, BUCKINGHAM PALACE - DAY

Bertie (dressed in his naval uniform) and Logue (dressed in black tie) are rehearsing. BERTIE (stammering very badly) “There may be dark days ahead, and w-w-wa...” Try again. LIONEL

BERTIE “There may be dark days ahead, and w-... ” LIONEL Turn the hesitations into pauses, and say to yourself, “God save the King”.

81 BERTIE I say that continually, but apparently no one’s listening. LIONEL Long pauses are good: they add solemnity to great occasions. BERTIE Then I’m the solemnest king who ever lived. Lionel, I can’t do this! LIONEL Bertie, you can do this! BERTIE If I am to be King...where is my power? May I form a Government, levy a tax or declare a war? No! Yet I am the seat of all authority. Why? Because the Nation believes when I speak, I speak for them. Yet I cannot speak! As though none of this had happened: LIONEL Let’s take it from the top. “In this grave hour...” BERTIE (hesitates, then) “In this grave hour fuck fuck fuck perhaps the most fateful in our history bugger shit shit (singing) I send to every household of my p-pThe letter‘P’ is always difficult. LIONEL Bounce onto it ‘a-peoples both at home and’ BERTIE “a-peoples both at home and overseas,...” Beaut. LIONEL

BERTIE (singing) “... this message, doo-dah, doodah....spoken with the same depth of feeling...for each one of you as if I were to fuck shit bugger cross your threshold and speak to you mmy - ...”

82 LIONEL In your head, now: “I have a right to be bloody well heard!” BERTIE Bloody well heard, bloody well heard, bloody well heard myself! LIONEL Now Waltz. Move! Get continuous movement. BERTIE (waltzing and singing) “For the second time in the lives of most of us we are at wa - ...” Bertie jams and comes to a halt. LIONEL Pause. “we are...” Take a pause. BERTIE I can’t do this. LIONEL Bertie, you can do it. Have a look at the last paragraph. ELIZABETH Bertie...it’s time. Bertie and Lionel glance at each other. Bertie approaches the door. He pauses. Down a long perspective of rooms we see ahead the waiting microphone. Like a tunnel. Like Wembley. Bertie begins the long walk, flanked by his wife and his speech specialist. INT. STATE ROOMS, BUCKINGHAM PALACE - CONTINUOUS Bertie, Lionel, and Elizabeth walk towards the microphone. A corgi barks as they approach. The first room has a large speaker and chairs arranged for listening to the broadcast. Lang, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Churchill are in attendance.

83 BERTIE Prime Minister. Nice to see you again, so soon. Good of you to be here, I’m sure you’ve had rather a busy day. CHAMBERLAIN Let’s hope we have no more interruptions from those damned sirens, Sir. BERTIE Or the wretched dogs. (to Churchill) Congratulations. First Lord of the Admiralty. WINSTON CHURCHILL Your Majesty. BERTIE (nodding towards the recording room) The long walk. Churchill detaches himself from Lang and walks with Bertie. WINSTON CHURCHILL Good luck, Sir. I too dread this...apparatus. Had a speech impediment myself, you know. I didn’t. BERTIE

WINSTON CHURCHILL Family secret. Tongue-tied. An operation was considered too dangerous. I eventually made an asset of it. A moment of silent recognition between the two men. BERTIE Thank you, Mr Churchill. Churchill nods, then goes to his seat, as Bertie passes into the next room. BERTIE (CONT’D) How long, Logue? LIONEL Just under three minutes, Sir. Ahead is the microphone set up on a grand desk in a beautifully ornate state room.

84 Next to it is now revealed a stills camera and lights - all set for a photo op. Bertie, Logue and Elizabeth, ignoring it, pass right by, turn a corner and we now see a perspective of much smaller rooms leading to a microphone framed in a doorway, hung at head height. A tumble of cables stretch through the rooms. We pass through two rooms of audio equipment with eight technicians all wearing black tie, all set for the broadcast. Bertie’s tension builds. At the door to the broadcasting booth he is met by the BBC’s Wood. Bertie greets him Mr Wood. BERTIE

WOOD Good luck, Your Majesty. Logue, Bertie and Elizabeth enter the booth. INT. BROADCASTING BOOTH - DAY The dreaded BBC microphone, in a surprisingly small room. It is arranged so Bertie can stand up as he speaks, the way Logue likes it. The ceiling has been lowered and it has been decorated in cheerful colours. As a podium for the speech an old school desk has been propped up on wooden blocks so it’s the right height for Bertie. Logue immediately opens the window to get the air circulating. Bertie says nothing, but goes up and inspects the looming microphone. He spreads the fingers of one hand, touches the apparatus with the little finger, thumb to chin. BERTIE I am thistle sifter, I have a sieve of sifted thistles and a sieve on unsifted thistles.. ELIZABETH Bertie, darling, make sure it’s not switched on!

85 LIONEL Remember the red light will blink three times and then I’ve asked them to turn it off, because we don’t want that evil eye staring at you all the way through. ELIZABETH I am sure you will be splendid. WOOD One minute, sir. Elizabeth steps back with a wonderful smile as Wood closes the door, sealing Bertie and Logue in the booth. BERTIE No matter how this turns out, I don’t know how to thank you for what you’ve done. LIONEL Knighthood? They smile. WOOD (O.S.) Twenty seconds. LIONEL Forget everything else and just say it to me. Say it to me, as a friend. The red light in the booth flashes. The red light flashes for the second time. Bertie concentrates. The red light flashes for the third time. The red light now goes steady red. Lionel opens his arms wide and mouths, “Breathe!”. On Air. Bertie’s hands begin to shake, the pages of his speech rattle like dry leaves, his throat muscles constrict, the Adam’s apple bulges, his lips tighten...all the old symptoms reappear. Several seconds have elapsed. It seems an eternity.

86 INT. CONTROL ROOM, BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE - DAY The technicians in their suits, ties and scientific looking white overcoats, wearing bulky headphones, monitoring daunting banks of valves and dials listen with growing apprehension to the silence broken only by crackling static. INT. KING’S STUDY/BROADCAST ROOM, BUCKINGHAM PALACE - DAY The tension is more than palpable. Bertie and Logue stare at each other. Logue smiles, perfectly calm, totally confident in the man he’s worked with. His confidence is contagious. Bertie takes a deep breath, lets it out slowly. His throat muscles relax, his hands steady - all the things he’s practiced. BERTIE In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in our history, I send to every household of my peoples, both at home and overseas this message spoken with the same depth of feeling for each one of you as if I were able to cross your threshold and speak to you myself. His cadence is slow and measured, not flawless, but he does not stop. INT - STATE ROOMS - DAY In the listening room: Elizabeth grasps the sides of her chair and then slowly relaxes as Bertie’s calm, measure voice comes over the speakers. INT./EXT. MONTAGE OF VARIOUS LOCATIONS The assembled dignitaries at Buckingham Palace, Myrtle with two of the boys, people listening to radios in homes, pubs, factories. A group of soldiers, including Antony Logue. Queen Mary sitting in her State Apartments, David and Wallis listening dolefully in a villa in the South of France, the crowds assembled outside Buckingham Palace, listening on loud speakers. Cutting continually back to Bertie as he grows in confidence BERTIE (V.O. ON RADIO) For the second time in the lives of most of us we are at war. (MORE)

87 BERTIE (V.O. ON RADIO) (CONT'D) Over and over again we have tried to find a peaceful way out of the differences between ourselves and those who are now our enemies. But it has been in vain. We have been forced into a conflict. For we are called, with our allies, to meet the challenge of a principle which, if it were to prevail, would be fatal to any civilized order in the world. Such a principle, stripped of all disguise, is surely the mere primitive doctrine that might is right. For the sake of all that we ourselves hold dear, and of the world’s order and peace, it is unthinkable that we should refuse to meet the challenge. It is to this high purpose that I now call my people at home and my peoples across the seas, who will make our cause their own. I ask them to stand calm and firm, and united in this time of trial. The task will be hard. There may be dark days ahead, and war can no longer be confined to the battlefield. But we can only do the right as we see the right and reverently commit our cause to God. INT. BROADCASTING BOOTH, BUCKINGHAM PALACE - CONTINUOUS

Bertie, in his quiet way is totally in command, and utterly magnificent. Everyone in the room is awed as he concludes: BERTIE (CONT’D) If one and all we keep resolutely faithful to it, then, with God’s help, we shall prevail. INT. STATE ROOMS, BUCKINGHAM PALACE - CONTINUOUS In the listening room we see the elated faces of Elizabeth, Churchill, Lang. INT. CONTROL ROOM, BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE - DAY Technicians break in to spontaneous applause. INT. BROADCASTING BOOTH, BUCKINGHAM PALACE - CONTINUOUS Lionel and Bertie stare at each other.

88 Silence. LIONEL That was very good, Bertie. Lionel closes the window. LIONEL (CONT’D) You still stammered on the “w”. BERTIE Had to throw in a few so they knew it was me. Wood opens the door. WOOD Congratulations, your Majesty. A true broadcaster. BERTIE Thank you, Mr Wood. Bertie and Lionel pass out of the booth to the sounds of applause. They pause at the desk, which is set up with a microphone. Bertie sits and has his official photograph taken. LIONEL Your first war time speech. Congratulations. BERTIE Expect I shall have to do a great deal more. Thank you, Logue. Bertie stands and takes Lionel’s hand BERTIE (CONT’D) Thank you. My friend. LIONEL Thank you... Your Majesty. INT. STATE ROOMS, BUCKINGHAM PALACE - CONTINUOUS Bertie heads towards the listening room. Elizabeth goes to Bertie and kisses him tenderly on the cheek. ELIZABETH (whispered, emotional) I knew you’d be good.

89 Elizabeth looks at Lionel. ELIZABETH (CONT’D) Thank you... (for the first time) ...Lionel. Onwards? BERTIE

Bertie continues on, and is greeted by Lang, Churchill and Chamberlain. WINSTON CHURCHILL Couldn’t have said it better myself, Sir The ultimate Churchillian compliment. Lang next.

COSMO LANG Your Majesty, I’m speechless. CHAMBERLAIN Congratulations, Sir BERTIE Thank you, Gentlemen. Bertie sweeps Lillibet into his arms. BERTIE (CONT’D) So how was Papa? LILLIBET Halting at first, but you got much better Papa. He kisses her. BERTIE Bless you. (picking Margaret up) And how about you? MARGARET You were just splendid, Papa. BERTIE Of course I was. Bertie readies himself to step out on to the balcony; waiting crowds are glimpsed through the windows. Across the room, Bertie’s eyes meet Logue’s. A brief nod. A moment of recognition.

90 EXT. BALCONY, BUCKINGHAM PALACE - DAY The King, his Queen and their children wave to the crowds, receiving their adulation and love. Bertie glances upwards. POV - silver dirigibles hover protectively. ON THE BALCONY - Bertie and Elizabeth, King and Queen, wave to their people and receive their approbation. Lionel watches from the shadow. CARD: King George VI made Lionel Logue a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1944. This high honour from a grateful King made Lionel part of the only order of chivalry that specifically rewards acts of personal service to the Monarch. Lionel was with the King for every wartime speech. Through his broadcasts, George VI became a symbol of national resistance. Lionel and Bertie remained friends for the rest of their lives. THE END…...

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