Edward VII (b. 1841 r. 1901-1910)
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Edward VII (b. 1841 r. 1901-1910)

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Edward VII inherited the throne from his mother Queen Victoria, in 1901, when he was 59 years of age. He established the tradition of the State Opening of Parliament each year, and was known as the 'Peacemaker' because of his efforts to bring about good relations with the rest of Europe. Edward died in 1910.

This portrait is a copy, probably by Joseph B Pratt, of the Coronation State Portrait of Edward VII exhibited by Sir Luke Fildes at the Royal Academy in 1902. (The original is now in Buckingham Palace.) The King is shown in Parliamentary robes, with the Garter insignia and the ribbon of the Royal Victorian Order.

The greatest monarch we've ever had - on the racecourse.
- Lord Northcliffe, attrib.

(2) Edward VII (b. 1841 r. 1901-1910)

Additional Information on
Edward VII (b. 1841 r. 1901-1910)

Edward inherited the throne of his mother Queen Victoria in 1901, when he was fifty nine years of age. He had to endure a long apprenticeship, during which he was not given a great deal to do. Victoria had not trusted his discretion and so had not involved him in domestic political duties, hence his engagements in the pleasurable events of high society, and his reckless reputation. Edward was a sociable person who preferred human company to books - particularly female company. He often travelled abroad, especially to France. His sporting pursuits included shooting, hunting, horse racing and yachting.

Despite all this, Edward's ascension was celebrated, and his death nine years later was mourned by all. Edward was a stately king who adored ceremony and public affairs, and so established the tradition of the monarch opening Parliament on a regular basis. He was also very concerned for the conditions of the poor.

Although Edward was said to have an 'affectionate' relationship with his wife Alexandra, he indulged in many affairs with actresses and society beauties throughout his marriage. Alexandra showed amazing tolerance of this behaviour, claiming that 'he always loved me the best'.

Society was changing rapidly at this point in history. Edward's reign saw the rising of the suffragette movement - wanting parliamentary votes for women. He earned the title 'the peacemaker' because of his efforts to bring about good relations with the rest of Europe. This was exemplified by his role in the diplomacy that led to the construction of the Triple Entente between England, France and Germany.


He had many romantic occupations. He went betting and visited Paris and was sometimes late for dinner; in addition he was merry with actresses and kind to gypsies.
W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman, 1066 And All That.

He wasn't clever, but he always did the right thing, which is better than brains.
- Lord Fisher, letter to Reginald McKenna, 14 May 1910.

Poor Bertie - his is not a nature made to bear sorrow, or a life without amusement and excitement: he gets bitter and irritable.
- Queen Victoria, letter to the Empress Frederick, 12 June 1892.

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