Belfast Telegraph

King's Speech star awarded CBE

Hollywood royalty Colin Firth has been awarded a CBE by the Prince of Wales - whose grandfather the actor brought to life on the screen.

King George VI's battle to overcome a stutter was famously portrayed by Firth, who won a string of awards for his moving performance.

Playing the monarch in The King's Speech earned Firth a Bafta, Gold Globe and most notably the Best Actor Oscar, and garnered huge critical acclaim for the film.

The 51-year-old chatted briefly to Prince Charles after the presentation was made in Buckingham Palace's ballroom where the investiture ceremony was held.

But he declined to talk to waiting media before returning to his seat to watch other recipients receive their honours.

It was the sight of Firth emerging from a lake in a dripping wet shirt and britches during the BBC's Pride And Prejudice series that made him an instant heart-throb.

His role as the brooding hero Mr Darcy in 1995 caught the eye of a legion of female fans and film directors. It was the part that defined him for many years although he tried to distance himself from it, saying it was "just another role".

Six years after first playing Mr Darcy he took on a character with the same name in the film Bridget Jones's Diary opposite Renee Zellweger.

He revealed another side to his personality when he showed of his vocal cords as banker Harry Bright in the Abba-themed movie musical Mamma Mia! and earned his first Bafta for his portrayal of a suicidal English college professor living in Los Angeles in A Single Man.

But his role as George VI, who battles a speech impediment with the help of Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush, captured the imagination of the movie-going public.

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