Edward VII

Edward VII
Edward in coronation robes holding a sceptre. A crown and orb are on the table to his right.
Portrait by Sir Luke Fildes, 1901
King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, Emperor of India
Reign22 January 1901 – 6 May 1910
Coronation9 August 1902
Imperial Durbar1 January 1903
SuccessorGeorge V
Prime MinistersSee list
Born(1841-11-09)9 November 1841
Buckingham Palace, London
Died6 May 1910(1910-05-06) (aged 68)
Buckingham Palace, London
Burial20 May 1910
Full name
Albert Edward
HouseSaxe-Coburg and Gotha
FatherPrince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
MotherQueen Victoria of the United Kingdom
SignatureEdward VII's signature

Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.

The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. He was heir apparent to the British throne and held the title of Prince of Wales for longer than any of his predecessors. He was heir presumptive to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha until he renounced his right to the duchy before his marriage. During the long reign of his mother, he was largely excluded from political power, and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite. He travelled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties, and represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were popular successes, but despite public approval his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother.

As king, Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War. He reinstituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialised. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called "Peacemaker", but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor. The Edwardian era, which covered Edward's reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis that was resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords.

Early life and education

Portrait of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, by Winterhalter, 1846

Edward was born at 10:48 in the morning on 9 November 1841 in Buckingham Palace.[1] He was the eldest son and second child of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was christened Albert Edward at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 25 January 1842.[a] He was named Albert after his father and Edward after his maternal grandfather Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. He was known as Bertie to the royal family throughout his life.[3]

As the eldest son of the British sovereign, he was automatically Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay at birth. As a son of Prince Albert, he also held the titles of Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke of Saxony. He was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on 8 December 1841, Earl of Dublin on 10 September 1849[4] or 17 January 1850,[5][6] a Knight of the Garter on 9 November 1858, and a Knight of the Thistle on 24 May 1867.[5] In 1863, he renounced his succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in favour of his younger brother, Prince Alfred.[7]

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were determined that their eldest son should have an education that would prepare him to be a model constitutional monarch. At age seven, Edward embarked on a rigorous educational programme devised by Prince Albert, and supervised by several tutors. Unlike his elder sister Victoria, Edward did not excel in his studies.[8] He tried to meet the expectations of his parents, but to no avail. Although Edward was not a diligent student—his true talents were those of charm, sociability and tact—Benjamin Disraeli described him as informed, intelligent and of sweet manner.[9] After the completion of his secondary-level studies, his tutor was replaced by a personal governor, Robert Bruce.

After an educational trip to Rome, undertaken in the first few months of 1859, he spent the summer of that year studying at the University of Edinburgh under, among others, the chemist Lyon Playfair. In October, he matriculated as an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford.[10] Now released from the educational strictures imposed by his parents, he enjoyed studying for the first time and performed satisfactorily in examinations.[11] In 1861, he transferred to Trinity College, Cambridge,[12] where he was tutored in history by Charles Kingsley, Regius Professor of Modern History.[13] Kingsley's efforts brought forth the best academic performances of Edward's life, and Edward actually looked forward to his lectures.[14]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: VII Eduard
Bân-lâm-gú: Edward 7-sè
беларуская: Эдуард VII
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Эдўард VII
български: Едуард VII
brezhoneg: Edouarzh VII
čeština: Eduard VII.
Deutsch: Eduard VII.
eesti: Edward VII
Esperanto: Eduardo la 7-a
français: Édouard VII
Gàidhlig: Eideard VII
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Edward 7-sṳ
հայերեն: Էդուարդ VII
हिन्दी: एडवर्ड VII
hrvatski: Edvard VII.
ქართული: ედუარდ VII
қазақша: VII Эдуард
latviešu: Eduards VII
lietuvių: Eduardas VII
македонски: Едвард VII
polski: Edward VII
русский: Эдуард VII
Gagana Samoa: Eteuati VII
संस्कृतम्: एडवर्ड ७
Scots: Edward VII
Simple English: Edward VII
slovenčina: Eduard VII.
slovenščina: Edvard VII. Britanski
српски / srpski: Едвард VII
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Edward VII od Ujedinjenog Kraljevstva
suomi: Edvard VII
Türkçe: VII. Edward
українська: Едуард VII
Tiếng Việt: Edward VII