ROYALTY - George VI speech & Abdication of Edward VIII (as featured in the film The King's Speech)

The Listener chronicles British monarchy in the modern era and documents the relationship between the monarchy and the media and how the two became interlinked.


"In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in history, I send to every household of my peoples, both at home and overseas, the 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. For the second time in the lives of most of us, we are at war".

Extract from The King's Message to His Peoples (George VI speech at the outbreak of WWII) September 17, 1939

Listen to the original recording from the BBC Archive collection




"You all know the reasons which have impelled me to renounce the Throne. But I want you to understand that in making up my mind I did not forget the country or the Empire which as Prince of Wales, and lately as King, I have for twenty-five years tried to serve. But you must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love."

Extract from Prince Edward's Farewell,  (Edward VIII's Abdication Speech), December 16, 1936

Listen to the original recording from the BBC Archive collection