Friday, 28 January 2011

The King's Speech

Following another non-stop afternoon in the office, we went out to the cinema at Chapter Arts Centre to view 'The King's Speech'. The main auditorium was full, and the showing was preceded by a talk from a man who trains speech therapists at UWIC. This was a fine touch, as it helped underline the significance and value of the story that was about to be told, of King's George VI's accession to the throne, his personal battle to overcome a terrible stammer, and his relationship with an Australian speech therapist. 

In every way, I think this film is a masterpiece, in its portrayal of a man and his wife burdened reluctantly with high office, and the compulsion of duty to the nation that drives him to work on and overcome his own worst fears. It's a eye opener into a piece of recent history, in a time I recall my parents talking to me about when I was a child, before any of this really appeared in the school curriculum. 

Despite the portrayal of all the human frailties and failings that were and still are part of the heritage of our Royal family, this film's disclosure of the the monarch's role in sustaining good national governance leaves me glad to be British, proud of the service offered by our royals to the country and Commonwealth. Our constitution may be quirky in this turbulent era of democratic republics, but it works. Monarchy gives continuity and breadth in the service of the common good. Long may it flourish!

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