Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Lovely Evelyn Laye, CBE

Photograph by Bassano Studio, 1917.
Having mentioned Evelyn Laye (1900-1996), here she is singing 'I'll See You Again' from Noel Coward's 'Bitter Sweet':


More about her later but, for now: Prince Albert (later George VI) first saw her on stage when she was nineteen and was so overwhelmed that he sent out for flowers in the London night and presented them to her backstage, stammering that he'd like to invite her out but that their families would not have allowed it. However, they remained friends for the rest of his life and it was Evelyn Laye who was responsible for the introduction of Lionel Loag (the speech therapist) and she also gave the King breathing and singing exercises. The Queen Mother seems to have known of his remote infatuation and humorously tolerated it, referring to her as 'your girlfriend'. When Evely Laye was nearing the end of her long life, the Queen Mother suggested to the then Prime Minister, John 'Dimbo' Major, that she be made a Dame of the British Empire but, useless lump that he was, he did nothing about it: he was probably caught up with banging the fragrant Edwina Curry.


  1. Yes, I agree, it is. I have this wish to make the next book about British stars of musical comedy from 1915 to 1945. That would be yet another crowd pleaser!

  2. That comment about John Major made me laugh. I'd buy your book.