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  #61  
Old 12-28-2010, 07:27 PM
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I'm re-reading (well, more like skimming) The Reluctant King again and it's just heartbreaking to read about George's childhood, whatwith the abusive nanny, the knock-knees, the stomach problems and the stammer. He was known to have a fierce temper; I wonder how much of that is just inherited (seems like his father and grandfather were pretty explosive) and how much due to frustration - frustration that started when he was a little boy.

What's amazing is this sense of insecurity he had about his elder brother, something I'm not sure ( based on what I've read) that he ever completely got over. He apparently spoiled Princess Margaret because he didn't ever want her to feel the sense of inadequacy that he did, the sense that he was forever in his brother's shadow based on the 18 month age difference I know there's a distance always between the royal family and the general public, but George VI seems like an awfully human king- perhaps that's one reason why he was beloved.
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  #62  
Old 01-23-2011, 05:43 PM
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Just saw Colin Firth as King George VI Makes me respect him all the more If The Prince of Wales wants to be known as George VII I Can see why :)
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  #63  
Old 01-23-2011, 11:58 PM
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I absolutely loved "The King's Speech", and I thought Colin Firth was brilliant.

I also saw an interview Mr. Firth gave on his promo tour of this movie, and he's really a fan of George VI. He said in his interview that the reason he most wanted to do the movie was because he felt George's story needed to be told.. that it was one of the lesser known stories of that period of history.. and he's quite right! I learned a lot about George VI that I didn't know before.

Mr. Firth also said, and I agree, that George VI was a great man who got lost among the other "great" figures of the period.. like Churchill, Hitler, Mussolini and Roosevelt.. that George was overlooked because those other guys were the main players on the world stage during WWII. As a constitutional monarch not directly involved with government, no one paid much attention to him because of his relatively minor role in the world events of the time.

Yet the king showed his own bravery, both personal and public, by refusing to give in to his private difficulties and in standing with his people throughout the ordeal of war - sometimes at great risk to himself and his family, especially when bombs were falling on London. Beloved indeed by his people, who recognized his great courage at home.. while the rest of the world has been oblivious to the man he truly was.

I have new respect for George VI.. and I am so grateful that his story and the story of his remarkable speech therapist will now be known by a wider audience.

(And if the Academy is listening.. Colin Firth and this film both deserve the Oscar!)
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  #64  
Old 01-24-2011, 02:53 AM
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  #65  
Old 01-24-2011, 08:49 PM
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I Agree 100%!
As do I - well said HM Queen Catherine!
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  #66  
Old 01-24-2011, 09:12 PM
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George VI was not a great man, but a good one. He was decent, loving and kind. He didn't have the "gift" for greatness, but was able to use his decency and goodness to help others. He was a gift to England in her dark hours to be a persona of a good and kind man. He was not a leader, nor was that his fault. He rose to his station and above. Being king was hard enough for him.
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  #67  
Old 02-03-2011, 10:31 PM
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Can anyone suggest biographies of George VI that have the most accurate information.
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  #68  
Old 02-03-2011, 10:56 PM
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There's The Reluctant King by Sarah Bradford and also A Spirit Undaunted by Robert Rhodes James. Both of these are very good.


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Can anyone suggest biographies of George VI that have the most accurate information.
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  #69  
Old 02-20-2011, 01:42 PM
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I heard a radio report on National Public Radio a few weeks ago which stated that there might be a genetic cause for a stammer. This would contradict past beliefs that forcing a child to write with his or her right hand, instead of the left hand, can cause stammering. I think I read somewhere that King George VI was naturally left-handed, and being forced to use his right hand was believed by some to give rise to his stammer.
No, the two are not mutually exclusive. Quite a few genetically based problems have environmental triggers. I think most people who study stammering think there may be an underlying gene. But whether or not there are environmental triggers (such as switching handedness) is still unclear.

An example of illness that does not always express itself, (even if one has one of the several genes associated with it) is schizophrenia. The incidence of schizophrenia in a person who has only one of the three main genes for it goes way down if they avoid certain environmental triggers. Secondary autism is probably in the same category.

The part of the brain that controls speech is on the left side of the brain, so that a right handed person's motor cortex is naturally closely related to that brain center. Perhaps the wiring is a bit different in left-handed people. I haven't reviewed the literature on genes and stammering recently - but I intend to!
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:38 PM
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I was interested in an earlier post that discussed the height of George VI. I think that we like to endow Royal males with height because it affords them greater prescence. However, since Queen Victoria there has been a dearth of men with extra physical inches. Of QV there is a book entitled "Her little Majesty" - worth reading for it's psychological insights. Edward VII was, I believe 5'7", Alexandra was about the same, give or take an inch either side but may have appeared much taller because she was slender. Of their children, the one who may have achieved greater stature was Albert Victor although it could be that his elongated head and neck deceive the eye. George V was around the same height as his father. Queen Mary, with her wonderful deportment, spectacular crowns and false hair (a friend's mother made these false pieces for her) could have reached towering proportions but I feel her to be close to her husband heightwise. Their eldest son, David was incredibly slight and probably no more than 5'6" and whilst George may have been only an inch or two taller he married a tiny woman, Elizabeth Bowes Lyon was only 5'1"- even in her "killer" heels she remained much shorter than he. Their daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret were 5'3" and 5'2" respectively and for this reason the men they both the men they married appeared so much taller. I seem to think that the young Philip was seen as being a Greek god and we all know that they don't come in a short variety! Prince Charles I imagine to not exceed 5'9" but thanks to the introduction of new genes courtesy of Diana the next generation of Windsors is likely to achieve much greater heights but as previous generations have so ably proved, great height doth not great rulers make.
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  #71  
Old 04-17-2011, 10:57 AM
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  #72  
Old 04-20-2011, 06:42 AM
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Bertie was a very handsome man!
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  #73  
Old 06-02-2011, 01:32 AM
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Without doubt one of the best British monarchs. A man who symbolised national resistance to nazi evil, a man who stood for millions of people both at home and overseas protecting Britain. Let's not forget the fact that it was neither Moscow nor New York City that burnt those five long years. It was London. We had something like a 9/11 almost every day. Never was so much owed by so many to so few - thank you George VI, thank you everyone who defended our freedom!
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  #74  
Old 06-02-2011, 08:42 PM
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Without doubt one of the best British monarchs. A man who symbolised national resistance to nazi evil, a man who stood for millions of people both at home and overseas protecting Britain. Let's not forget the fact that it was neither Moscow nor New York City that burnt those five long years. It was London. We had something like a 9/11 almost every day. Never was so much owed by so many to so few - thank you George VI, thank you everyone who defended our freedom!
Bravo! Well stated!
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  #75  
Old 06-02-2011, 11:23 PM
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He quite possibly may have been the best of his siblings same with his Daughter the Queen
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  #76  
Old 06-03-2011, 01:32 AM
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Let's not forget the fact that it was neither Moscow nor New York City that burnt those five long years. It was London.
I'm not sure that characterization of the Soviet Union's war experience is valid. Moscow was the subject of a months-long occupation attempt, a large part of the USSR was occupied by Germany, and the city of Stalingrad was home to one of the bloodiest battles in recorded history (in which the Soviet Union lost more soldiers than Britain did in the entire war). The number of Soviet military deaths in the war as a whole was around 20 times the number of British military deaths, and the number of Soviet civilian deaths was around 200 times the number of British civilian deaths.
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:46 PM
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I agree wbenson, parts of the Soviet Union got pummeled by the German army and they still never penetrated. I can't remember exactly how long Germany's attempted siege on Russia lasted but the country did take a lot of hits and arguably suffered more than England. The only WWII victor country that went virtually unscathed was America.
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  #78  
Old 06-24-2011, 08:42 PM
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How tall or short was George VI? At the beginning of this thread there are a lot of quotes from people who met him mentioning his height. He always seems rather tall to me but in most pix I have seen he is by himself or next to his wife. I always thought George and Edward were about the same height.
Anyway, I like George VI and Edward VIII, I feel sorry for George but I really admire him for facing his fear and doing it for 12yrs even.
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  #79  
Old 06-24-2011, 09:44 PM
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I'm not sure that characterization of the Soviet Union's war experience is valid. Moscow was the subject of a months-long occupation attempt, a large part of the USSR was occupied by Germany, and the city of Stalingrad was home to one of the bloodiest battles in recorded history (in which the Soviet Union lost more soldiers than Britain did in the entire war). The number of Soviet military deaths in the war as a whole was around 20 times the number of British military deaths, and the number of Soviet civilian deaths was around 200 times the number of British civilian deaths.

Not to mention the 900 day seige of Leningrad.
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:54 AM
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Without doubt one of the best British monarchs. A man who symbolised national resistance to nazi evil, a man who stood for millions of people both at home and overseas protecting Britain. Let's not forget the fact that it was neither Moscow nor New York City that burnt those five long years. It was London. We had something like a 9/11 almost every day. Never was so much owed by so many to so few - thank you George VI, thank you everyone who defended our freedom!
AFAIK the British engineers fairly soon developped new techniques to recognice German bombers approaching in WWII and thus had an enormous advantage. Especially as the German preferred terror to the South of Britain and London by bombing the countryside and city instead of destroying important militarian aims (especially RAF airbases) first. Thus after the first successes of the German Luftwaffe the RAF took over and protected London from The Blitz.

So in reality London only "burned" from 7.9.1940 when the first bombs fell onto London soil till the 31.10.1940 when the bombings of London ended. In May 1941 the Battle of Britain was finally won when the Germans send their planes from France to Russia. Britain was save from bombings after that.

So London burnt "only" for 2 months. OTOH due to British bombing attacks which were designed to burn and kill as much as possible sent Germany's towns burning for close to two years (Operation Gomorra and others as part of The Firestorm).
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