Monday, February 28, 2011

Convene at the Movies: The King's Speech

Congratulations to last night's Academy Award winner for Best Picture -- The King's Speech. So, by the way, anyone notice the event that kicks the movie's plot into gear? It's a speech that Prince Albert gives -- or tries to give -- at the closing of the British Empire Exhibition in 1925. This is how the movie chooses to demonstrate the scope of the future King George VI's stuttering problem: He can't properly address the crowd at an exhibition! It's something that the real-life figure would struggle with for years -- as you'll see (and hear) in the newsreel above, which shows George VI speaking at the 1938 British Empire Exhibition in Glasgow. A neat piece of history in its own right, but also a pretty cool indicator of the ceremonial power of public events.

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