A “previously undiscovered” letter, written by King George VI to his speech therapist just five days after his coronation, is to be auctioned off.
George VI was helped to overcome his stammer by Lionel Logue. The story inspired the film The King’s Speech.
In the letter, he reveals how anxious he was “to get my responses right in the abbey” and his gratitude and relief that the “great day” had gone smoothly.
The lot is to be sold in Salisbury next month, with a starting bid of £4,000.
Queen Elizabeth II’s father was thrust into the role when his elder brother, Edward VIII, abdicated to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
The then Duke of York dreaded public speaking and turned to maverick Australian Mr Logue to help him conquer his debilitating stammer.
In the letter sent from Windsor Castle on 17 May, 1937, he wrote about the “poor rehearsal” at his coronation “adding greatly” to his anxiety but his “mind was finally set at ease”.
“Not a moment’s hesitation or mistake,” he wrote.
“The same cannot be said of the bishops, of course, nor the pen I used to sign the oath; the ink got all over my fingers.
“The success was due to your expert supervision and unfailing patience with me over recent months, and I truly don’t know how I could have done it without you.”
Along with the letter, he enclosed a silver-gilt cigarette case.
Rupert Slingsby, from auctioneers Woolley and Wallis, said the letter and case had been given to a jeweller in lieu of a payment by Mr Logue’s brother.
“Whilst our vendor realised the historical significance of the items, I don’t think he appreciated quite how valuable they could be,” he said.
The case and letter will be auctioned on 29 April.