Prince of Wales says George VI's stammer 'cut him off' from family

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The Prince, who hosted a reception a his London home to celebrate the work of the country's only national stammering centre, was joined by Michael Palin and Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary.

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 Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children 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.

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