Royal letter about ‘shy’ future king up for sale

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit families at Peckham Central School Community Centre
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit families at Peckham Central School Community Centre. Credit: Fox Photos/Getty

Father’s note shows intimate portrait of King George VI as a young boy, defending his shy nature against ‘too forward’ boys of the day

King George VI – portrayed by Colin Firth in the 2010 film The King’s Speech – was seen as a shy man with a stammer. He was king during the Second World War, just before the current Queen. And now a letter by his father defending his shyness against the over confidence of boys of the day is up for sale.

The letter was written two years before his father, Prince George, would become king, and a day after the future King George VI (then Prince Albert) had been to an interview for the Royal Navy cadets. The prince was just 12 at the time. The letter is addressed to Admiral Sir Wilmot Hawksworth Fawkes, president of the interview committee for entry as a cadet to the Royal Navy.

The letter, which is dated 1908, reads: ‘It was very kind of you writing to tell me about my second son having been up before the interview committee yesterday of which you were the president. The princess and I are both delighted to hear that you were pleased with the way in which he answered the questions put to him.’

It continues: ‘I am sorry that in spite of all you did, you were unable to put him at his ease, he has always been rather shy, but I think it is better than being too forward, which many boys are in our days.’

The letter is being sold by Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers in Essex. it is expected to sell for £800 to £1,200.

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