Bertie has a far greater interest in the history of his own nation than does his brother, with a comprehensive understanding of the laws, traditional, and judicial practices of England. He reminds David of these things in his interaction with him in the country. He also has a tremendous respect for “precedent,” ranging from his disapproval over his brother’s marital prospects (an American divorcee) to his dislike of Lionel treating him as an equal (which he comes to tolerate and enjoy) to his respect for St. Andrew’s chair, which represents the Seat of English Power. Bertie has tremendous apprehension about becoming king, since he understands what a symbolic responsibility it is, as well as the numerous practical duties he’ll be called on to perform. He has a genuine interest in politics, although he would much rather remain on the sidelines, and discusses the realistic potential fall-out of Hitler’s rise to power with the retiring Prime Minister. Bertie does not care for his brother’s refusal to put aside his passions and affairs and settle down into the monarchy. He is far more dedicated to his role as the king’s son than David, who simply wants a pleasurable life. Because of the great tension and strain he is under, Bertie spends a lot of time in an emotional state, being uncompromising, short-tempered, and reactive. He refuses to play Lionel’s games, he storms out on his first speech therapy session (calling it hopeless), and he can become self-pitying, but he also finds it difficult to talk about his feelings. After his father’s death, though frightened about the future, Bertie seeks out Lionel hoping to talk about other things. He shyly and shamefully admits to his mistreatment as a child, implying he never said a word about it to his parents. Though somewhat cowed initially by his staff, Bertie stands up to them when he insists on having Lionel continue his education, sit in the royal box at his coronation, and assist him with his speech. His repeated public humiliations and failures in giving speeches have caused him to develop a fatalistic attitude that he can ever change. It takes Lionel and his unorthodox teaching methods to give Bertie any hope for a different and more secure future.

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Bertie never wanted power, and feels a tremendous sense of anxiety when David forces it upon him. Lionel believes him unnecessarily “afraid.” This anxiety manifests openly in general nervousness, but more often turns into bouts of ill humor. Bertie burns off his anxious feelings by swearing, telling off his therapist, and becoming belligerent. But the more Lionel stands up to him, the more respect he has for him, and the more faith Bertie has that Lionel’s friendship and guidance can carry him through difficult times. Though skeptical at first of his methods, Bertie comes to rely upon them with great success. He can also be witty, good-humored, and teasing when he feels at ease, showing the 6’s warm hearted and funny side. A sense of duty, moral obligation, and faithfulness drives all his decisions. His 5 wing is introverted and withdrawn, not forthcoming with his deeper emotions, and extremely knowledgeable about England. Bertie seems to have learned a great deal about everything just in case.