|Birth Day:||November 9, 1841|
|Death Date:||May 6, 1910 (age 68)|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Edward VII died on May 6, 1910 (age 68).
Before ascending to the throne, he studied at the University of Edinburgh; Christ Church, Oxford; and Trinity College, Cambridge.
Edward was born at 10:48 in the morning on 9 November 1841 in Buckingham Palace. 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. 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.
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 17 January 1850, a Knight of the Garter on 9 November 1858, and a Knight of the Thistle on 24 May 1867. In 1863, he renounced his succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in favour of his younger brother Prince Alfred.
In 1860, Edward undertook the first tour of North America by a Prince of Wales. His genial good humour and confident bonhomie made the tour a great success. He inaugurated the Victoria Bridge, Montreal, across the St Lawrence River, and laid the cornerstone of Parliament Hill, Ottawa. He watched Charles Blondin traverse Niagara Falls by highwire, and stayed for three days with President James Buchanan at the White House. Buchanan accompanied the Prince to Mount Vernon, to pay his respects at the tomb of George Washington. Vast crowds greeted him everywhere. He met Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Prayers for the royal family were said in Trinity Church, New York, for the first time since 1776. The four-month tour throughout Canada and the United States considerably boosted Edward's confidence and self-esteem, and had many diplomatic benefits for Great Britain.
After an educational trip to Rome, undertaken in the first few months of 1859, Edward 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. Now released from the educational strictures imposed by his parents, he enjoyed studying for the first time and performed satisfactorily in examinations. In 1861, he transferred to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was tutored in history by Charles Kingsley, Regius Professor of Modern History. Kingsley's efforts brought forth the best academic performances of Edward's life, and Edward actually looked forward to his lectures.
Edward had hoped to pursue a career in the British Army, but his mother vetoed an active military career. He had been gazetted colonel on 9 November 1858—to his disappointment, as he had wanted to earn his commission by examination. In September 1861, Edward was sent to Germany, supposedly to watch military manoeuvres, but actually in order to engineer a meeting between him and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the eldest daughter of Prince Christian of Denmark and his wife Louise. The Queen and Prince Albert had already decided that Edward and Alexandra should marry. They met at Speyer on 24 September under the auspices of his elder sister, Victoria, who had married the Crown Prince of Prussia in 1858. Edward's sister, acting upon instructions from their mother, had met Alexandra at Strelitz in June; the young Danish princess made a very favourable impression. Edward and Alexandra were friendly from the start; the meeting went well for both sides, and marriage plans advanced.
Edward gained a reputation as a playboy. Determined to get some army experience, he attended manoeuvres in Ireland, during which he spent three nights with an actress, Nellie Clifden, who was hidden in the camp by his fellow officers. Prince Albert, though ill, was appalled and visited Edward at Cambridge to issue a reprimand. Albert died in December 1861 just two weeks after the visit. Queen Victoria was inconsolable, wore mourning clothes for the rest of her life and blamed Edward for his father's death. At first, she regarded her son with distaste as frivolous, indiscreet and irresponsible. She wrote to her eldest daughter, "I never can, or shall, look at him without a shudder."
Once widowed, Queen Victoria effectively withdrew from public life. Shortly after Prince Albert's death, she arranged for Edward to embark on an extensive tour of the Middle East, visiting Egypt, Jerusalem, Damascus, Beirut and Constantinople. The British Government wanted Edward to secure the friendship of Egypt's ruler, Said Pasha, to prevent French control of the Suez Canal if the Ottoman Empire collapsed. It was the first royal tour on which an official photographer, Francis Bedford, was in attendance. As soon as Edward returned to Britain, preparations were made for his engagement, which was sealed at Laeken in Belgium on 9 September 1862. Edward married Alexandra of Denmark at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 10 March 1863. He was 21; she was 18.
The couple established Marlborough House as their London residence and Sandringham House in Norfolk as their country retreat. They entertained on a lavish scale. Their marriage met with disapproval in certain circles because most of Queen Victoria's relations were German, and Denmark was at loggerheads with Germany over the territories of Schleswig and Holstein. When Alexandra's father inherited the throne of Denmark in November 1863, the German Confederation took the opportunity to invade and annex Schleswig-Holstein. The Queen was of two minds as to whether it was a suitable match, given the political climate. After the marriage, she expressed anxiety about their socialite lifestyle and attempted to dictate to them on various matters, including the names of their children.
In 1869, Sir Charles Mordaunt, a British Member of Parliament, threatened to name Edward as co-respondent in his divorce suit. Ultimately, he did not do so but Edward was called as a witness in the case in early 1870. It was shown that Edward had visited the Mordaunts' house while Sir Charles was away sitting in the House of Commons. Although nothing further was proven and Edward denied he had committed adultery, the suggestion of impropriety was damaging.
In vain, the King urged Conservative leaders Arthur Balfour and Lord Lansdowne to pass the Budget, which Lord Esher had advised him was not unusual, as Queen Victoria had helped to broker agreements between the two Houses over Irish disestablishment in 1869 and the Third Reform Act in 1884. On Asquith's advice, however, he did not offer them an election (at which, to judge from recent by-elections, they were likely to gain seats) as a reward for doing so.
In 1870 republican sentiment in Britain was given a boost when the French emperor, Napoleon III, was defeated in the Franco-Prussian War and the French Third Republic was declared. However, in the winter of 1871, a brush with death led to an improvement in both Edward's popularity with the public and his relationship with his mother. While staying at Londesborough Lodge, near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, Edward contracted typhoid fever, the disease that was believed to have killed his father. There was great national concern, and one of his fellow guests (Lord Chesterfield) died. Edward's recovery was greeted with almost universal relief. Public celebrations included the composition of Arthur Sullivan's Festival Te Deum. Edward cultivated politicians from all parties, including republicans, as his friends, and thereby largely dissipated any residual feelings against him.
During Queen Victoria's widowhood, Edward pioneered the idea of royal public appearances as they are understood today—for example, opening the Thames Embankment in 1871, the Mersey Tunnel in 1886, and Tower Bridge in 1894—but his mother did not allow him an active role in the running of the country until 1898. He was sent summaries of important government documents, but she refused to give him access to the originals. Edward annoyed his mother, who favoured the Germans, by siding with Denmark on the Schleswig-Holstein Question in 1864 and in the same year annoyed her again by making a special effort to meet Giuseppe Garibaldi. Liberal Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone sent him papers secretly. From 1886, Foreign Secretary Lord Rosebery sent him Foreign Office despatches, and from 1892 some Cabinet papers were opened to him.
On 26 September 1875, Edward set off for India on an extensive eight-month tour; on the way, he visited Malta, Brindisi and Greece. His advisors remarked on his habit of treating all people the same, regardless of their social station or colour. In letters home, he complained of the treatment of the native Indians by the British officials: "Because a man has a black face and a different religion from our own, there is no reason why he should be treated as a brute." Consequently, Lord Salisbury, the Secretary of State for India, issued new guidance and at least one resident was removed from office. He returned to England on 11 May 1876, after stopping off at Portugal. At the end of the tour, Queen Victoria was given the title Empress of India by Parliament, in part as a result of the tour's success.
Edward was a patron of the arts and sciences and helped found the Royal College of Music. He opened the college in 1883 with the words, "Class can no longer stand apart from class ... I claim for music that it produces that union of feeling which I much desire to promote." At the same time, he enjoyed gambling and country sports and was an enthusiastic hunter. He ordered all the clocks at Sandringham to run half an hour ahead to provide more daylight time for shooting. This so-called tradition of Sandringham Time continued until 1936, when it was abolished by Edward VIII. He also laid out a golf course at Windsor. By the 1870s the future king had taken a keen interest in horseracing and steeplechasing. In 1896, his horse Persimmon won both the Derby Stakes and the St Leger Stakes. In 1900, Persimmon's brother, Diamond Jubilee, won five races (Derby, St Leger, 2,000 Guineas Stakes, Newmarket Stakes and Eclipse Stakes) and another of Edward's horses, Ambush II, won the Grand National.
In 1891 Edward was embroiled in the royal baccarat scandal, when it was revealed he had played an illegal card game for money the previous year. The Prince was forced to appear as a witness in court for a second time when one of the participants unsuccessfully sued his fellow players for slander after being accused of cheating. In the same year Edward was involved in a personal conflict, when Lord Charles Beresford threatened to reveal details of Edward's private life to the press, as a protest against Edward interfering with Beresford's affair with Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick. The friendship between the two men was irreversibly damaged, and their bitterness would last for the remainder of their lives. Usually, Edward's outbursts of temper were short-lived, and "after he had let himself go ... [he would] smooth matters by being especially nice".
In late 1891, Edward's eldest son, Albert Victor, was engaged to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck. Just a few weeks later, in early 1892, Albert Victor died of pneumonia. Edward was grief-stricken. "To lose our eldest son", he wrote, "is one of those calamities one can never really get over". Edward told Queen Victoria, "[I would] have given my life for him, as I put no value on mine". Albert Victor was the second of Edward's children to die. In 1871, his youngest son, Alexander John, had died just 24 hours after being born. Edward had insisted on placing Alexander John in a coffin personally with "the tears rolling down his cheeks".
On his way to Denmark through Belgium on 4 April 1900, Edward was the victim of an attempted assassination when fifteen-year-old Jean-Baptiste Sipido shot at him in protest over the Second Boer War. Sipido, though obviously guilty, was acquitted by a Belgian court because he was underage. The perceived laxity of the Belgian authorities, combined with British disgust at Belgian atrocities in the Congo, worsened the already poor relations between the United Kingdom and the Continent. However, in the next ten years, Edward's affability and popularity, as well as his use of family connections, assisted Britain in building European alliances.
When Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901, Edward became King of the United Kingdom, Emperor of India and, in an innovation, King of the British Dominions. He chose to reign under the name of Edward VII, instead of Albert Edward—the name his mother had intended for him to use—declaring that he did not wish to "undervalue the name of Albert" and diminish the status of his father with whom the "name should stand alone". The numeral VII was occasionally omitted in Scotland, even by the national church, in deference to protests that the previous Edwards were English kings who had "been excluded from Scotland by battle". J. B. Priestley recalled, "I was only a child when he succeeded Victoria in 1901, but I can testify to his extraordinary popularity. He was in fact the most popular king England had known since the earlier 1660s."
Edward's coronation had originally been scheduled for 26 June 1902. However, two days before he was diagnosed with appendicitis. The disease was generally not treated operatively. It carried a high mortality rate, but developments in anaesthesia and antisepsis in the preceding 50 years made life-saving surgery possible. Sir Frederick Treves, with the support of Lord Lister, performed a then-radical operation of draining a pint of pus from the infected abscess through a small incision (through 4 ⁄2-inch thickness of belly fat and abdomen wall); this outcome showed thankfully that the cause was not cancer. The next day, Edward was sitting up in bed, smoking a cigar. Two weeks later, it was announced that he was out of danger. Treves was honoured with a baronetcy (which the King had arranged before the operation) and appendix surgery entered the medical mainstream. Edward was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 9 August 1902 by the 80-year-old Archbishop of Canterbury, Frederick Temple, who died only four months later.
Edward refurbished the royal palaces, reintroduced the traditional ceremonies, such as the State Opening of Parliament, that his mother had foregone, and founded new honours, such as the Order of Merit, to recognise contributions to the arts and sciences. In 1902, the Shah of Persia, Mozzafar-al-Din, visited England expecting to receive the Order of the Garter. The King refused to bestow the honour on the Shah because the order was meant to be in his personal gift and the Foreign Secretary, Lord Lansdowne, had promised it without his consent. He also objected to inducting a Muslim into a Christian order of chivalry. His refusal threatened to damage British attempts to gain influence in Persia, but Edward resented his ministers' attempts to reduce his traditional powers. Eventually, he relented and Britain sent a special embassy to the Shah with a full Order of the Garter the following year.
As king, Edward's main interests lay in the fields of foreign affairs and naval and military matters. Fluent in French and German, he reinvented royal diplomacy by numerous state visits across Europe. He took annual holidays in Biarritz and Marienbad. One of his most important foreign trips was an official visit to France in May 1903 as the guest of President Émile Loubet. Following a visit to Pope Leo XIII in Rome, this trip helped create the atmosphere for the Anglo-French Entente Cordiale, an agreement delineating British and French colonies in North Africa, and ruling out any future war between the two countries. The Entente was negotiated in 1904 between the French foreign minister, Théophile Delcassé, and the British foreign secretary, Lord Lansdowne. It marked the end of centuries of Anglo-French rivalry and Britain's splendid isolation from Continental affairs, and attempted to counterbalance the growing dominance of the German Empire and its ally, Austria-Hungary.
Edward was rarely interested in politics, although his views on some issues were notably progressive for the time. During his reign he said use of the word "nigger" was "disgraceful", despite it then being in common parlance. In 1904, during an Anglo-German summit in Kiel between Wilhelm II and Edward, Wilhelm with the Russo-Japanese War in mind started to go on about the "Yellow Peril", which he called "the greatest peril menacing ... Christendom and European civilisation. If the Russians went on giving ground, the yellow race would, in twenty years time, be in Moscow and Posen". Wilhelm went on to attack his British guests for supporting Japan against Russia, suggesting that the British were committing "race treason". In response, Edward stated that he "could not see it. The Japanese were an intelligent, brave and chivalrous nation, quite as civilised as the Europeans, from whom they only differed by the pigmentation of their skin". Although Edward lived a life of luxury often far removed from that of the majority of his subjects, they expected it, and his personal charm with all levels of society and his strong condemnation of prejudice went some way to assuage republican and racial tensions building during his lifetime.
Edward habitually smoked twenty cigarettes and twelve cigars a day. In 1907, a rodent ulcer, a type of cancer affecting the skin next to his nose, was cured with radium. Towards the end of his life he increasingly suffered from bronchitis. He suffered a momentary loss of consciousness during a state visit to Berlin in February 1909. In March 1910, he was staying at Biarritz when he collapsed. He remained there to convalesce, while in London Asquith tried to get the Finance Bill passed. The king's continued ill health was unreported, and he attracted criticism for staying in France while political tensions were so high. On 27 April he returned to Buckingham Palace, still suffering from severe bronchitis. Alexandra returned from visiting her brother, King George I of Greece, in Corfu a week later on 5 May.
In April 1908, during Edward's annual stay at Biarritz, he accepted the resignation of British Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. In a break with precedent, Edward asked Campbell-Bannerman's successor, H. H. Asquith, to travel to Biarritz to kiss hands. Asquith complied, but the press criticised the action of the King in appointing a prime minister on foreign soil instead of returning to Britain. In June 1908, Edward became the first reigning British monarch to visit the Russian Empire, despite refusing to visit in 1906, when Anglo-Russian relations were strained in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War, the Dogger Bank incident, and the Tsar's dissolution of the Duma. The previous month, he visited the Scandinavian countries, becoming the first British monarch to visit Sweden.
The King lent support to Fisher, in part because he disliked Beresford, and eventually Beresford was dismissed. Beresford continued his campaign outside of the navy and Fisher ultimately announced his resignation in late 1909, although the bulk of his policies were retained. The King was intimately involved in the appointment of Fisher's successor as the Fisher-Beresford feud had split the service, and the only truly qualified figure known to be outside of both camps was Sir Arthur Wilson, who had retired in 1907. Wilson was reluctant to return to active duty, but Edward persuaded him to do so, and Wilson became First Sea Lord on 25 January 1910.
The King was displeased at Liberal attacks on the peers, which included a polemical speech by David Lloyd George at Limehouse. Cabinet minister Winston Churchill publicly demanded a general election, for which Asquith apologised to the King's adviser Lord Knollys and rebuked Churchill at a Cabinet meeting. Edward was so dispirited at the tone of class warfare—although Asquith told him that party rancour had been just as bad over the First Home Rule Bill in 1886—that he introduced his son to Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane as "the last King of England". After the King's horse Minoru won the Derby on 26 July 1909, he returned to the racetrack the following day, and laughed when a man shouted: "Now, King. You've won the Derby. Go back home and dissolve this bloody Parliament!"
The Finance Bill passed the Commons on 5 November 1909, but was rejected by the Lords on 30 November; they instead passed a resolution of Lord Lansdowne's stating that they were entitled to oppose the bill as it lacked an electoral mandate. The King was annoyed that his efforts to urge passage of the budget had become public knowledge and had forbidden Knollys, who was an active Liberal peer, from voting for the budget, although Knollys had suggested that this would be a suitable gesture to indicate royal desire to see the Budget pass. In December 1909, a proposal to create peers (to give the Liberals a majority in the Lords) or give the prime minister the right to do so was considered "outrageous" by Knollys, who thought the King should abdicate rather than agree to it.
The January 1910 election was dominated by talk of removing the Lords' veto. During the election campaign Lloyd George talked of "guarantees" and Asquith of "safeguards" that would be necessary before forming another Liberal government, but the King informed Asquith that he would not be willing to contemplate creating peers until after a second general election. Balfour refused to be drawn on whether or not he would be willing to form a Conservative government, but advised the King not to promise to create peers until he had seen the terms of any proposed constitutional change. During the campaign the leading Conservative Walter Long had asked Knollys for permission to state that the King did not favour Irish Home Rule, but Knollys refused on the grounds that it was not appropriate for the monarch's views to be known in public.
Alexandra refused to allow Edward's body to be moved for eight days afterwards, though she allowed small groups of visitors to enter his room. On 11 May, the late king was dressed in his uniform and placed in a massive oak coffin, which was moved on 14 May to the throne room, where it was sealed and lay in state, with a guardsman standing at each corner of the bier. Despite the time that had elapsed since his death, Alexandra noted the King's body remained "wonderfully preserved". On the morning of 17 May, the coffin was placed on a gun carriage and drawn by black horses to Westminster Hall, with the new king, his family and Edward's favourite dog, Caesar, walking behind. Following a brief service, the royal family left, and the hall was opened to the public; over 400,000 people filed past the coffin over the next two days. As Barbara Tuchman noted in The Guns of August, his funeral, held on 20 May 1910, marked "the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last." A royal train conveyed the king's coffin from London to Windsor Castle, where Edward was buried at St George's Chapel.
Historian R. C. K. Ensor, writing in 1936, praised the King's political personality:
Before his accession to the throne, Edward was the longest-serving heir apparent in British history. He was surpassed by his great-great-grandson Prince Charles on 20 April 2011. The title Prince of Wales is not automatically held by the heir apparent; it is bestowed by the reigning monarch at a time of his or her choosing. Edward was the longest-serving holder of that title until surpassed by Charles on 9 September 2017; Edward was Prince of Wales between 8 December 1841 and 22 January 1901 (59 years, 45 days). Charles was created Prince of Wales on 26 July 1958 (62 years, 110 days ago).
Edward was the second child born to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Edward's marriage to Princess Alexandra of Denmark resulted in six children, including George V and Maud, Queen of Norway.
|#1||Maud of Wales||Daughter||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#2||Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom||Daughter||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#3||Albert, Prince Consort||Father||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||42||Prince|
|#4||George VI||Grandson||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||56||King|
|#5||Edward VIII||Grandson||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||77||King|
|#6||Queen Elizabeth II||Great-granddaughter||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||$64.5 million||94||Historical Personalities|
|#7||Queen Victoria||Mother||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||81||Queen|
|#8||Wilhelm II||Nephew||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||82||Historical Personalities|
|#9||Victoria, Princess Royal||Sister||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#10||Princess Alice of the United Kingdom||Sister||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||35||Historical Personalities|
|#11||Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale||Son||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#12||George V||Son||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||70||King|
|#13||Alexandra of Denmark||Spouse||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||80||Historical Personalities|
Currently, Edward VII is 181 years, 4 months and 11 days old. Edward VII will celebrate 182nd birthday on a Thursday 9th of November 2023. Below we countdown to Edward VII upcoming birthday.