Wembley Stadium - Scene of Duke of York's 1925 Speech

Wembley Stadium - Scene of Duke of York's 1925 Speech Geography Famous Historical Events Famous People Government Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs World History

In 1925, King George V asked his second son, the Duke of York (also known as Bertie or Prince Albert) to close the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley Stadium.  This is the location of that speech (in the old Wembley Stadium).

The speech did not go well, because of the Duke's stammer.  Soon after that humiliating event, Bertie began to work with an Australian speech therapist called Lionel Logue.

The old Wembley Stadium - where huge crowds could gather for all types of events - was new in the 1920s.  It was an important place, even during its early years.  The Oxford History of Britain (at page 607) notes that:

The 1925 Empire Exhibition at the new Wembley Stadium was an occasion for much national pride.

The Times reported on the opening of the Exhibition, in 1925, with glowing words:

It is doubtful if the Stadium at Wembley or any other great parade ground has ever seen a finer, more stately ceremony than that of Saturday.  It is difficult to say which was the most thrilling moment. 

When the King [George V], accompanied by the Queen [Mary], arrived, heralded by the royal trumpeters in the gorgeousness of their scarlet and gold, and, in the open State coach, swept around the arena amid the clatter of accoutrements, the glitter of steel and the white waving plumes of the Life Guards' escort, while the roar of cheering ran from block to block of the huge enclosure where, banked from ground-level to roof, were massed 100,000 spectators.  (The Times, 11 May 1925, quoted in Football and European Identity: Historical Narratives through the Press, by Liz Crolley and David Hand, page 28.)

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jan 24, 2020

Media Credits

Photo of the old Wembley Stadium, where the Duke of York delivered his British Empire Exhibition speech in 1925.  Photo taken in 1998 by Geni.  Online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

License:  This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License. In short: You are free to share and make derivative works of it under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license identical to this one.


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