The King’s SpeechYou’ve heard about the award winning film – which has just been nominated for 12 Oscars – now you can view the original transcript of the King’s Speech, which was sent to Scotland Yard in 1939, announcing that Britain was going to war.
The transcript – which was broadcast to the nation on 3 September 1939 – can be viewed free at the Metropolitan Police’ Historical Collection – along with hundreds of other documents, artefacts and images detailing the history of policing since 1829.
The King’s Speech – starring Colin Firth – tells the inspiring story of George V1 who overcomes his stammer as he reluctantly takes the throne when his brother, Edward VIII abdicates in 1936 over his plans to marry twice divorced Wallis Simpson.
A series of announcements by the King and Prime Minister were broadcast to the country asking police for their help in getting people to follow air raid precautions and wear gas masks. A war cabinet was also formed and people were asked to stand firm and resolute in the battle ahead.
In his first speech, on 3 September 1939, King George V1 said: “In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in our history, for the second time in the lives of most of us we are at War. 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. The task will be hard. There may be dark days ahead and war is no longer confined to the battlefield.”
The new King quickly won the respect of his ministers and his people and his hard work and conscientious manner eventually brought him respect in his war torn country.