A/N: Hey guys! This is my first fanfic for the King's Speech.
Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own the King's Speech
"Bertie. It's time."
Those three, simple words spoken from the mouth of my dearest wife Elizabeth have threatened to send my heart into the throes of palpitations so violent, that they had the potential to bring me to a premature death.
My poor, innocent, unsuspecting daughter Lilibet; destined to become Queen of England at the tender age of thirteen because her father the cowardly King didn't have the courage to give a mere ten minute speech! It's just as well; she would certainly perform the job much better than I!
Dear lord! Now I am most certainly in a bind! I find it downright inconceivable that I, King George the Sixth must deliver a speech which will be broadcast to not only the nation but also to countless others that make up the established British colonies overseas! Of course my father, King George the Fifth had no trouble, and neither did my brother. I mean to say, while I can concede that the content of David's speech was none too easy, what with his abdicating from the throne on which I reluctantly now reside, he is highly eloquent when he speaks, an enviable quality which I most certainly do not possess! Oh, what I wouldn't give for him to be standing in my place at this moment, staring down a long corridor which inevitably leads to the royal broadcasting studio!
Good Lord! I feel as if I am a man walking towards his death, rather than a high King preparing to rally his people together in anticipation of a war! No, my own personal war always seems to be waged against the microphone, or rather, my own pitifully debilitating stutter. If it weren't for Logue, bless the man, I certainly would be in a much worse state than I am now! My own tongue and throat are my enemies, the obstacles blocking my pathway to victory, and Lionel is my chief strategist in this battle between stutter and speech. It is solely because of him, that I am able to even have a modicum of control over my own voice.
"Now remember, the red light will blink four 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."
Humph. Evil eye indeed. It's a smart idea of Lionel's to turn that blasted light off. When I find myself delivering any speech (albeit poorly so), it transforms itself into a glaring beacon of terror and foreboding, challenging me to utter a single sentence aloud that does not come with a stutter or pause in between the words.
"Forty seconds sir."
Oh, good God! Forty seconds! Only forty seconds? Whatever am I to do? I know I have practiced the speech for what must by now be thousands of times, but still! All of the gruesome scenarios that could occur in mere seconds! Dear me, I have no idea how I ever became King... Why, if my ancestors looked upon me now, surely, they'd be turning over in their graves! I should just stop now, quit while I'm ahead...or, at least try to salvage what little dignity I have left. Maybe I'm the one who should have been forced to abdicate the throne after all!
"Forget everything else, and just say it to me. Say it to me as a friend."
Right; Logue is here, and I am not alone. Lionel Logue, the Australian son of a brewer. Dr. Logue, the speech therapist. Lionel, my friend. Surely, I can recite my speech to him without utterly humiliating myself! After all, that is what I've been doing for the past couple of hours. C'mon Bertie! Get it together man, you are King now! King of England and the whole of the United Kingdom. King of practically a third of the globe. You are King George VI, and most importantly of all, you have a voice! That sentence alone brings an immediate memory to mind, one that has the overwhelming power to strengthen my resolve and bolster my confidence. I find that this single, vivid memory will give me the courage to begin the speech which will rally my people together.
I whirl around in frustration as I realize the infuriating Lionel Logue isn't listening to a word I'm saying. I vouched for him to the Archbishop of Canterbury, convincing him that Lionel was a credible, trustworthy, qualified speech therapist, despite his precise lack of credentials, and this is how the man repays me? With ignorance? Why, I should lock him in the Tower of London for his impertinence! The sight which greeted me when I turned around to face him however, made the situation much worse.
"What are you doing? Get up! You can't sit there! GET UP!"
"Why not? It's a chair."
"No, that...It is not a chair. T-that... that is Saint Edward's chair."
"People have carved their names on it."
"That... chair... is the seat on which every king and queen has... You ah-are trivializing everything. You trivialize... –"
"I don't care about how many royal highnesses have sat in this chair."
"Listen to me. LISTEN TO ME!"
"Listen to you? By what right?"
"By divine right if you must, I am your king."
"No you're not, you told me so yourself. You didn't want it. Why should I waste my time listening?"
"Because I have a right to be heard. I HAVE A VOICE!"
"Yes, you do.
"You have such perseverance Bertie, you're the bravest man I know."
I find that those fateful words said on that day, the day before my coronation, had come from somewhere deeper than the recesses of my mind. I believe that they came from my very soul, that some part of me, despite being afflicted with a stuttering problem, desperately wished to be a good leader to my country. Those words, and those words alone, had made me realize that I was ready to become King. And now, those same words let me know that I am ready to begin my first wartime speech. Because I have a voice. And it will be bloody well heard.
"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..."
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