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Scots furious as King's Speech shows Firth wearing Irish tartan

Tartan experts in Scotland have been left speechless by the highland dress worn by actor Colin Firth in the Oscar-tipped movie The King's Speech. Historians believe the man who would be king is wearing an Irish kilt as he makes his way to Balmoral.

And the sporran adorning his royal frontage dates from a Lanarkshire manufacturer of the 21st century -- not the 1930s.

"They just get things spectacularly wrong," said Peter MacDonald, a kilt historian and head of research for the Scottish Tartans Authority.

"The kilt is not of any design I recognise which would have been available to the royals at that time," he added.

"Things like this really get me going. The expertise would have been available to the film makers if they had bothered to ask.


"They seem to pay great attention to other costumes in the film yet they select a tartan from the late 20th century.

"To be honest, it's just poor research and sloppy attention to detail."

The curious choice of highland dress -- the tartan is believed to be a 1997 Co Kerry -- has sparked a furious debate among the kilted cognoscenti world-wide. They have flooded the tartan lovers' website Xmarksthescot with their views.

Film-makers Momentum Pictures were unable to identify the tartan used. They said they had been unable to contact costume designer Jenny Beavan, who had less than two months to source historically accurate clothes for the cast.

Royals are known to favour The Balmoral Tartan when they retire to their Scottish residence.

Designed by Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert in 1853, it is described by the Scottish Tartans Authority as being "predominantly grey with overchecks of red and black".

However, it is a design that can only be worn by the royal family or with royal permission and Buckingham Palace confirmed film-makers had not sought approval for it to be used in The King's Speech.

Craig Halley, of Slanj Kilts in Glasgow had yet another revelation about Bertie's outfit.

"I had a laugh when I saw his sporran," said Craig.

"It's made by a company in East Kilbride called Art Pewter and has only been around for about five or six years."