The unseen, unused footage – The King’s Speech – 1938

I came across this from British Pathé. King George VI opening The Empire Exhibition in 1938. I am actually searching for footage for another unrelated item. Although unused this piece is clearly heavily edited in an attempt to disguise the Kings’ severe voice impediment and nerves. It’s painful to watch even after the edits. Historically quite interesting even more so as it never saw the light of day in this form.

This is a ‘preview version’, no vision for the first 6 seconds, no audio at the end (full details here):

British Pathé have this to say in their item description:

Unused / unissued material – no paperwork – dates unclear or unknown

King George VI opens an exhibition in Scotland – this shows the King (formerly the Duke of York) stuttering and stammering very badly.

This is an Empire Exhibition at Ibrox Park, Glasgow, Scotland.

Title reads : “Empire Exhibition Opened By H.M. The King” – Pathe Gazette.

GV Royal carriage arrives. Large cheering crowds fill the stand. MV Cheering crowds – lots of waving. The Royal carriage pulls up to the dais.

King George VI (formerly Prince Albert, Duke of York) and Queen Elizabeth (Queen Mother, formerly Duchess of York, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon) get out of carriage. They are greeted by Lord Elgin, the President of the Exhibition. The King salutes as the National Anthem is played.

Lord Elgin welcomes the Royal Couple to the Exhibition. (Nat Sound). Cut aways to the King and Queen.

King George VI makes speech (various cut aways to people in the crowd). His speech is somewhat laboured and he has problems getting some of his words out.

Various shots of Union Jack flags flying, planes doing a fly over and some buildings of the exhibition. Good shots of children waving flags.

The King and Queen return to their carriage and are cheered as they leave the stadium. (Sound missing for this section on this copy).

Ian Waugh