Seidler was born in Britain and raised in the United States; director Tom Hooper's mother is Australian. The writer and director "agreed that there was no way an English therapist could have succeeded, because if you're English, you're basically stuck with being in awe of royalty. Look at me, I have an American passport, I'm an American citizen. But I'm British-born, and I also have a British passport and am a British citizen. When the Queen Mother [George VI's widow] said, 'Mr. Seidler, please, don't tell this story in my lifetime, it would be too painful' – I waited."