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‘When I started to read through the papers I didn’t think, “Hey, this is Oscar material,”’ Mark recalls. I knew very little about him so it was a personal voyage of discovery.’ And it has continued to this day: for over recent months, 45-year-old Mark has delved further into his grandfather’s royal friendship, You loved the film, but the events that came after King George VI made that speech were even more poignant travelling across the globe to trace his family history and uncover what turned Logue into the man we meet in the film.The results can be seen in a revealing documentary that extends Lionel’s story beyond the end of the film and gives the viewer access to the hitherto unseen letters and diaries. He says he first ‘met’ his grandfather on screen, in the form of Geoffrey Rush, who he also interviews in the documentary.As director Tom Hooper memorably revealed in his Oscar acceptance speech in February, the script had been flagged to him as a future film project by his mother Meredith, who had sat through a read-through in London.
There were all these document folders packed with what seemed to be quite random stuff,’ Mark recalls.
We did have autographed photographs of the then Duke and Duchess of York, with Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, but I had no idea of the existence of an archive.’ That, in fact, had been guarded by Mark’s Uncle Valentine, before being passed onto Mark’s father after his death in the late 1990s.
When Anthony died, it fell to Mark to become its custodian.
Busy with his young family, Mark promised himself he would take a proper look at a later date.
It took five years for him to make good that vow, but what Mark found then both astonished him and moved him.