Prince Charles: 'Grandfather George VI's speech problems cut him off from family'

The Prince of Wales spoke today about how his grandfather's speech problems "cut him off" from his family as he joined Michael Palin and Schools Secretary Ed Balls in praising the work of the UK's only national stammering centre.

Charles hosted a reception at his London home to celebrate staff and supporters of the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children.



Before the event Mr Balls pledged £500,000 to a national appeal for a new institution in the north of England to assess and treat youngsters with the speech problem.



His department has already made half a million pounds available to the Palin Centre in Islington, north London.



Speaking about George VI the prince told his guests who included the centre's staff and supporters: "His stammer cut him off I think in so many ways from his parents and his brothers and sisters and drove him into himself as I suspect so many stammerers will understand.



"I think above all he experienced that awful fear of feeling different from others."



He joked with the audience about how the Monarch's speech problem would be dealt with in a forthcoming film about his grandfather called The King's Speech, with Colin Firth in the title role and Helena Bonham Carter as his wife.



Charles added: "My grandfather was fortunate enough to receive speech therapist services which enabled him to overcome the condition."



The royal is patron of the appeal launched by the Association for Research into Stammering in Childhood (ARSC), which jointly established the Palin Centre in Islington, north London.



The ARSC is hoping to raise £2 million, in addition to the £1 million from the Schools Secretary, from public donations to improve services for youngsters suffering from speech problems.



Mr Balls, who attended the reception along with Palin, suffered from a stammer when younger and has worked to overcome it. While the Monty Python star's father had the same condition.



The politician said: "I've had a stammer all my life, I had a stammer when I was a child - it never goes away.



"When I was young I never really got any help - it didn't exist back then - but I've been pretty persistent and I've done some things the hard way."



The cabinet minister said he has been able to achieve high office and give speeches despite the problem and others could too.



Mr Balls, who described the Palin centre as brilliant, said: "But only to have one in London for the whole country means people making really long journeys from North Wales and Newcastle and sometimes needing to make that journey two or three times a week.



"And I think if we have a second hub in Leeds-Bradford serving the northern part of the country that will make it much, much easier for families - there is definitely a demand for it."



The Palin Centre was founded in 1993 and the comic actor and travel presenter agreed to the institution being named after him following his role as a stammering character called Ken in the hit movie A Fish Called Wanda.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy