3 King Edward VII Solid Silver Florin Coins 2 Shillings 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909

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Seller: Top-Rated Seller notinashyway (16,842) 99.7%, Location: Look at my other Items, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 401785607150 3 x Florin Coins from 1900s Sold Silver *** Over 100 Years Old *** ## FREE UK Delivery ## Made by the Royal Mint in London Three One Hundred year old Engllish Florin aka Two Shilling Coins from 1900s I cannot make out the years but King Edward VII reigned at the early part of the 20th Century so they could be from1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 or 1910 The florin obverse features the bare head of King Edward VII facing right, with the surrounding legend: 'EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F:D: IND: IMP:' The reverse shows the helmed Britannia standing at the bow of a ship, holding a trident, and supporting a shield. The main design is surrounded by a legend reading 'ONE FLORIN TWO SHILLINGS', with the date below. Monarch Edward VII (1902 - 1910) Edge reeded Weight 11.3 g Diameter 28.5 mm Composition 92.5% silver Minted London, England Mintage approx. 1,187,596 Scarcity scarce Solid 0.925 Silver In Good Condition for thier age Would make an Excellent Lucky Charm or Collectible Keepsake Souvenir I will have a lot of Old Coins on Ebay so CLICK HERE TO VISIT MY SHOP Bid with Confidence - Check My 100% Positive Feedback from over 14,000 Satisfied Customers I have over 5 years of Ebay Selling Experience - So Why Not Treat Yourself? I have got married recently and need to raise funds to meet the costs also we are planning to move into a house together I always combined postage on multiple items so why not > Check out my other items! I Always Leave instant Feedback Automatically on Receiving payment All Payment Methods in All Major Currencies Accepted. All Items Sent out within 24 hours of Receiving Payment. 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One Florin (Two shillings)United Kingdom Value 1⁄10 pound sterling Mass 11.31 g Diameter (1849) 28.0 mm (1851–1886) 30.0 mm (1887–1892) 29.5 mm (1893–1970) 28.5 mm Edge Milled Composition (1849–1919) 92.5% Ag (1920–1946) 50% Ag (1947–1970) Cupronickel Years of minting 1849–1970 Obverse British florin 1967 obverse.png Design Profile of the monarch (Elizabeth II design shown) Designer Mary Gillick Design date 1953 (portrait) 1954 ("BRITT OMN" removed) Reverse British florin 1967 reverse.png Design Various (floral design shown) Designer Edgar Fuller and Cecil Thomas Design date 1953 The British florin, or two shilling coin, was issued from 1849 until 1967, with a final issue for collectors dated 1970. Valued at one tenth of a pound (24 old pence), it was the last coin circulating immediately prior to decimalisation to be demonetised, in 1993, having for a quarter of a century circulated alongside the ten pence piece, identical in specifications and value. The florin was introduced as part of an experiment in decimalisation that went no further at that time. The original florins, dated 1849, attracted controversy for omitting a reference to God from Queen Victoria's titles; that type is accordingly known as the "Godless florin", and was in 1851 succeeded by the "Gothic florin", for its design and style of lettering. Throughout most of its existence, the florin bore some variation of either the shields of the United Kingdom, or the emblems of its constituent nations on the reverse, a tradition broken between 1902 and 1910, when the coin featured a windswept figure of a standing Britannia. In 1911, following the accession of George V, the florin regained the shields and sceptres design it had in the late Victorian Era, and kept that motif until 1937, when the national emblems were placed on it. The florin retained such a theme for the remainder of its run, though a new design was used from 1953, following the accession of Elizabeth II. In 1968, prior to decimalisation, the Royal Mint began striking the ten pence piece. The old two shilling piece remained in circulation until the ten pence piece was made smaller, and earlier coins, including the florin, were demonetised. History Background The drive for decimalisation of the currency in Britain dates as far back as 1682. Although nothing was done regarding early proposals, the adoption of a decimal currency in the United States, France and other nations in the late 18th and early 19th centuries renewed the call, and commissions in 1841 and 1843 called for its adoption.[1] In 1847, a motion was introduced in Parliament by Sir John Bowring calling for the introduction of a decimal currency and the striking of coins of one-tenth and one-hundredth of a pound. Bowring obtained surprisingly strong support for his motion,[2] and the Russell government promised that a coin valued at one-tenth of a pound (two shillings) would be produced to test public opinion, with consideration in future to be given to the introduction of other decimal coins.[3] There was much discussion about what the coin should be called—centum, decade, and dime being among the suggestions[4]—before florin was eventually settled upon, not because of the old English coin of that name, but because the Netherlands had a florin, or gulden, of about that size and value.[5] Victorian issues (1849–1901) Both sides of a silver coin, with a crowned woman on one side and shields on the other The 1849 "godless florin" The first florins were struck in 1849. They were in the Gothic style, and featured a portrait of Queen Victoria as a very young woman,[6] with the crowned cruciform shields of the United Kingdom shown on the reverse, and the nations' emblems in the angles. The new florin closely resembles the Gothic crown of 1847;[5][7] the obverse for both was designed by the Chief Engraver of the Royal Mint, William Wyon, while the reverse of both was designed by William Dyce.[4] Unlike the crown's Gothic script, the 1849 florin has Roman lettering.[8] The 1849 florin, issued in silver, weighed 11.3 grams and had a diameter of 28 millimetres.[4] The new coin made clear its value with the inscription ONE FLORIN ONE TENTH OF A POUND on the reverse.[9] To aid in the decimal experiment, the half crown (two shillings and sixpence, or one-eighth of a pound), near to the florin in size and value, was not issued between 1850 and 1874, when it was struck again at the request of the banks, and surveys found that both coins played useful parts in commerce. Each would continue to be struck, and would circulate together, until decimalisation.[9][10] These first coins were probably a shock to the public, as for the first time in nearly 200 years a British coin featured a portrait of the monarch wearing a crown. Even more of a shock, including (allegedly) to Queen Victoria herself, was the inscription on the obverse, VICTORIA REGINA 1849,[a] omitting the usual D G for Dei Gratia (By the Grace of God) from the coin's inscription.[4] This resulted in it being known as the "Godless florin". Further controversy was caused by the omission of the usual abbreviation F D for Fidei Defensor (Defender of the Faith): the Master of the Mint, Richard Lalor Sheil, an Irishman and a Roman Catholic, was suspected by some of plotting to overthrow the Protestant regime. The inscription had in fact been suggested by Albert, Prince Consort, Victoria's husband. Sheil stated in the House of Commons that the inscription had been a mistake, and the florin was redesigned for its next issue in 1851.[6] The revised florin's diameter was increased to 30 millimetres (the weight was unchanged), and all the lettering on the coin was in Gothic script, resulting in it being known as the Gothic florin. The coin was by the same designers; its date was rendered in Roman numerals. The bust of Victoria and the heraldry on the reverse were largely unchanged. The Latin inscription on the obverse read VICTORIA D G BRITT REG F D[b] with the date, while the reverse read ONE FLORIN ONE TENTH OF A POUND. Despite a Royal Commission, the drive for decimalisation soon died out; there was only lukewarm support for an 1855 motion in the Commons applauding the issuance of the florin and seeking further decimal coins.[11] The Gothic Florin was produced each year until 1887, excepting 1861 and 1882.[12] From 1864 until 1879, many florins were struck with die numbers on the obverse (found to the right of Victoria's brooch,[13] possibly part of a Mint investigation into how long it took coinage dies to wear out.[14] Beginning with some 1867 issues, BRIT on the obverse was rendered BRITT, following the Latin practice in abbreviations of doubling a final consonant for a plural. Thus, Victoria's title changed from "Queen of Britain" to "Queen of the Britains", including the colonies and other territories.[9] In 1887, as part of a coinage redesign for Victoria's Golden Jubilee, a new obverse design, showing the queen as an older woman, debuted on the gold and silver coinage. This was dubbed the "Jubilee Head" and was by Sir Joseph Boehm. The various flora were removed from the florin's reverse and were replaced by sceptres between the shields with a Garter Star in the centre.[15] The Jubilee Head quickly proved unpopular, due in part to the crown worn by the Queen, which was deemed ridiculously small.[16] The Jubilee florin shared its reverse with the short-lived double florin, which Gertrude Rawlings in 1898 described as "radiating kitchen pokers and tea trays".[17] The reverse design was created and engraved by Leonard Charles Wyon (who also engraved the obverse), though it was probably influenced by the gold coinage of Charles II designed by John Roettier.[4] The diameter was reduced to 29.5 millimetres. All the inscriptions were in Latin letters and Arabic numerals. The inscription on the obverse read VICTORIA DEI GRATIA, while the reverse read FID DEF BRITT REG,[c] with no indication of the value. The Jubilee florin was struck each year between 1887 and 1892.[18] A silver coin, with three shields on it 1899 florin designed by Sir Edward Poynter Given the unpopularity of the Jubilee bust, a committee was set up in February 1891 to recommend new designs. An obverse designed by Thomas Brock was selected, and the committee also recommended some new reverses.[19] This advisory committee recommended a different bust (also by Brock) be used on the florin to distinguish it from the half crown. The recommendation was not accepted, and the florin used the same "Veiled Head" or "Old Head" obverse that was introduced to the silver and gold coinage in 1893. To better distinguish it from the half crown, the diameter was reduced from 29 to 28.5 mm.[4][10] The obverse was inscribed VICTORIA DEI GRA BRITT REGINA FID DEF IND IMP,[d] together with a new reverse showing three shields separated by a rose, shamrock, and thistle (symbolising England, Scotland and Ireland) under a crown, and the inscription ONE FLORIN TWO SHILLINGS.[20][21] This reverse was created by Sir Edward Poynter, and was issued each year between 1893 and 1901, the year of Victoria's death.[18] Edward VII (1901–1910) Both sides of the florin were redesigned following the accession of Victoria's son, Edward VII, each design being created by the Chief Engraver of the Royal Mint, George William de Saulles. The florin of King Edward VII was minted every year from 1902 to 1910. Its specifications remained at 11.3 grams weight and 28.5 millimetres diameter. The obverse shows the right-facing head of the King, inscribed EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FD IND IMP,[e], while the other side features what Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins deems "a most unusual and original reverse".[22] It shows a windswept figure of Britannia standing holding a shield with her left hand and a trident with her right, and inscribed ONE FLORIN TWO SHILLINGS, with the date below.[22] Peter Seaby, in his history of British coinage, described the figure of Britannia as "standing on some mythical ancient ship which could hardly be sea-worthy under her weight", but "a pleasing composition".[23] De Saulles created the new florin in this manner to distinguish the coin from the half crown, as there had been complaints of confusion. He probably based the design on his British trade dollar (1895).[24] The sitter for the design was Susan Hicks-Beach, the daughter of Michael Hicks-Beach, 1st Earl St Aldwyn who had served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and ex officio Master of the Mint.[23] The modern-day Britannia coinage, bullion pieces struck by the Royal Mint for investors and collectors, has a reverse that strongly resembles that of the Edwardian florin.[25] George V (1910–1936) One side of a 1932-dated silver coin, with an arrangement of crowns and sceptres The 1932 florin Florins bearing a left-facing effigy of George V by Sir Bertram Mackennal were minted in each year of the King's reign (1910–1936) except 1910 and 1934.[26] The initial reverse design (1911–1926) was developed internally at the Royal Mint, and is intended to be that of the 1887 double florin, to which the Jubilee florin is very similar.[27] The weight and diameter of the coin were unchanged but, because of rises in the price of silver, the metallic composition was changed in 1920 from 0.925 silver to 50% silver, 40% copper, 10% nickel, then again in 1922 to 50% silver, 50% copper, and again in 1927 to 50% silver, 40% copper, 5% nickel, 5% zinc.[28] The changes in alloy after 1920 were due to the Mint trying to find a silver alloy that would remain attractive as it wore.[29] The inscriptions on the obverse of the original version of the George V florin were GEORGIVS V D G BRITT OMN REX F D IND IMP[f] and on the reverse were ONE FLORIN and the year of striking.[28] The modified florin, dated 1927 to 1936, was designed by George Kruger Gray and did not greatly alter the design of shields and sceptres, but removed the crowns from the shields and placed them on the sceptres. A "G", the King's initial, is at the centre of the design. The obverse inscription became GEORGIVS V DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX[g] and the reverse one was FID DEF IND IMP[h] with the date and denomination ONE FLORIN. The bust of the King on the obverse was slightly modified in 1927.[26] Edward VIII (1936) Throughout 1936, the year in which Edward VIII reigned, coins of all denominations continued to be struck using the designs of George V, pending preparation of the new monarch's coinage. No coins depicting Edward VIII were officially released to circulation. A pattern florin exists for King Edward, which would have been due to receive approval around the time that the King abdicated in December 1936. Although there is a tradition of alternating the direction the monarch faces with each reign, and George V had faced left, Edward believed that side more flattering. Thus, the obverse depicts the left-facing effigy of the King by Thomas Humphrey Paget inscribed EDWARDVS VIII D G BR OMN REX.[i] The reverse, by Kruger Gray, shows a crowned rose flanked by a thistle and shamrock, with E below the thistle and R below the shamrock, and the inscription FID DEF IND IMP[j] and TWO SHILLINGS 1937.[30][31] George VI (1936–1952) King George VI's florin, produced each year between 1937 and 1951, looks very much like the one planned for his brother Edward VIII. Like on the patterns for King Edward, the words ONE FLORIN are omitted; they would remain absent for the coin's remaining existence.[26] The obverse, by Thomas Humphrey Paget, shows the left-facing effigy of the King inscribed GEORGIVS VI D G BR OMN REX. The reverse, by Kruger Gray, depicts a crowned rose with a thistle and shamrock on either side. There is a G below the thistle and R below the shamrock, and the inscription FID DEF IND IMP TWO SHILLINGS date until 1948. From 1949, the coins were struck without the IND IMP, in acknowledgement of India's independence. From 1947, the metal content was changed, as for all British silver circulating coins, to 75% copper, 25% nickel.[32][33] This was due to the need for Britain to return Lend-Lease silver to the United States.[34] The florin's diameter and weight remained unchanged at 11.3 grams and 28.5 millimetres, despite the change of alloy.[32] Elizabeth II (struck 1953–1970) Florins were produced for Queen Elizabeth II each year between 1953 and 1967, with proof coins struck that were dated 1970. The obverse shows the Mary Gillick head of Queen Elizabeth, inscribed ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA BRITT OMN REGINA[k] (1953 only) or ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA[l] (all other years).[35] This change was made to acknowledge the evolving British Commonwealth, which by then contained some republics.[36] The reverse, by Edgar Fuller and Cecil Thomas, depicts a Tudor rose in the centre surrounded by thistles, shamrocks and leeks, with the Latin phrase FID DEF, the denomination and the date.[35] The designs were selected by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee following a public competition.[37] The artists' initials appear either side of the Welsh leek at the bottom of the reverse. When the reverse of the new coin was illustrated in the press, there was no consensus as to which way was up; numismatist H.W.A. Linecar has noted that the second L in SHILLINGS marks the bottom of the coin.[38] In accordance with the plan for decimalisation of the currency (120 years after this denomination was first introduced in the initial plan to introduce a decimal currency), from 1968 the ten pence coin was introduced of the same size, weight and metal composition as the florin. Thus, the florin ceased to be struck for circulation after the 1967-dated pieces. The new and the old circulated side by side as florins prior to Decimal Day (15 February 1971) and as ten pence pieces after.[39] Florins (usually dated 1947 or later) remained in circulation after Decimal Day. In 1987, following a study of the currency, the Thatcher government announced its intent to issue a new ten pence piece, reduced in size.[39] A smaller ten pence piece was issued in 1992, after which the old florin was demonetised on 30 June 1993. The florin, the first decimal coin, was the last coin in general circulation just prior to decimalisation to be withdrawn.[40] British coinage Decimal 1/2p 1p 2p 5p 10p 20p 50p £1 £2 Pre-decimal Quarter farthing (1/16d) Third farthing (1/12d) Half farthing (1/8d) Farthing (1/4d) Halfpenny (1/2d) Penny (1d) Three halfpence (1 1/2d) Twopence (2d) Threepence (3d) Fourpence (4d) Sixpence (6d) Shilling (1/-) Florin (2/-) Half crown (2/6d) Double florin (4/-) Crown (5/-) Quarter guinea (5/3d) Third guinea (7/-) Half sovereign (10/-) Half guinea (10/6d) Sovereign (£1) Guinea (£1/1s) Double sovereign (£2) Two guineas (£2/2s) Five pounds (£5) Five guineas (£5/5s) Non-circulating Commemorative 25p £5 £20 £50 £100 Maundy money Bullion Britannia Quarter sovereign Half sovereign Sovereign Lunar The Queen's Beasts Landmarks of Britain See also Pound sterling Coins of the pound sterling Banknotes of the pound sterling List of British banknotes and coins List of British currencies Scottish coinage Coins of Ireland List of people on coins of the United Kingdom 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 (more...) Reign 22 January 1901 – 6 May 1910 Coronation 9 August 1902 Imperial Durbar 1 January 1903 Predecessor Victoria Successor George V Prime Ministers See list Born 9 November 1841 Buckingham Palace, London Died 6 May 1910 (aged 68) Buckingham Palace, London Burial 20 May 1910 St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire Spouse Alexandra of Denmark (m. 1863) Issue Detail Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence George V Louise, Princess Royal Princess Victoria Maud, Queen of Norway Prince Alexander John of Wales Full name Albert Edward House Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Father Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Mother Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom Signature Edward 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. Contents 1 Early life and education 2 Early adulthood 3 Marriage 4 Heir apparent 5 Accession 6 "Uncle of Europe" 7 Political opinions 8 Constitutional crisis 9 Death 10 Legacy 11 Titles, styles, honours and arms 11.1 Titles and styles 11.2 Honours 11.2.1 Honorary foreign military appointments 11.3 Arms 12 Issue 13 Ancestry 14 See also 15 Notes 16 References 16.1 Bibliography 17 Further reading 18 External links 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] Early adulthood Edward at Niagara Falls, 1860 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.[15] 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. Prayers for the royal family were said in Trinity Church, New York, for the first time since 1776.[15] 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.[16] Edward had hoped to pursue a career in the British Army, but his mother vetoed an active military career.[17] He had been gazetted colonel on 9 November 1858[18]—to his disappointment, as he had wanted to earn his commission by examination.[11] 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. Queen Victoria 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.[19] Edward's elder sister, acting upon instructions from their mother, had met Princess 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.[20] From this time, Edward gained a reputation as a playboy. Determined to get some army experience, Edward 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.[21] 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.[22] 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."[23] Marriage Once widowed, Queen Victoria effectively withdrew from public life. Shortly after Prince Albert's death, the queen arranged for Edward to embark on an extensive tour of the Middle East, visiting Egypt, Jerusalem, Damascus, Beirut and Constantinople.[24] 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.[25] Edward married Princess Alexandra of Denmark at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 10 March 1863. He was 21; she was 18. Edward and Alexandra on their wedding day, 1863 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. Queen Victoria was of two minds whether it was a suitable match given the political climate.[26] 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.[27] Edward had mistresses throughout his married life. He socialised with actress Lillie Langtry; Lady Randolph Churchill;[b] Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick; actress Sarah Bernhardt; noblewoman Lady Susan Vane-Tempest; singer Hortense Schneider; prostitute Giulia Beneni (known as "La Barucci"); wealthy humanitarian Agnes Keyser; and Alice Keppel. At least fifty-five liaisons are conjectured.[29] How far these relationships went is not always clear. Edward always strove to be discreet, but this did not prevent society gossip or press speculation.[30] Keppel's great-granddaughter, Camilla Parker Bowles, became the mistress and subsequent wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, Edward's great-great-grandson. It was rumoured that Camilla's grandmother, Sonia Keppel, was fathered by Edward, but she was "almost certainly" the daughter of George Keppel, whom she resembled.[31] Edward never acknowledged any illegitimate children.[32] Alexandra was aware of his affairs, and seems to have accepted them.[33] 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.[11][34] Heir apparent During Queen Victoria's widowhood, Edward pioneered the idea of royal public appearances as we understand them today—for example, opening the Thames Embankment in 1871, the Mersey Tunnel in 1886, and Tower Bridge in 1894[35]—but his mother did not allow Edward an active role in the running of the country until 1898.[36][37] He was sent summaries of important government documents, but she refused to give him access to the originals.[11] He annoyed his mother by siding with Denmark on the Schleswig-Holstein Question in 1864 (she was pro-German) and in the same year annoyed her again by making a special effort to meet Giuseppe Garibaldi.[38] Liberal Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone sent him papers secretly.[11] From 1886, Foreign Secretary Lord Rosebery sent him Foreign Office despatches, and from 1892 some Cabinet papers were opened to him.[11] 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.[39] 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.[11] 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.[40] Edward (front centre) in India, 1876 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."[41] Consequently, Lord Salisbury, the Secretary of State for India, issued new guidance and at least one resident was removed from office.[11] He returned to England on 11 May 1876, after stopping off at Portugal.[42] 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.[43] Edward was regarded worldwide as an arbiter of men's fashions.[44][45] He made wearing tweed, Homburg hats and Norfolk jackets fashionable, and popularised the wearing of black ties with dinner jackets, instead of white tie and tails.[46] He pioneered the pressing of trouser legs from side to side in preference to the now normal front and back creases,[47] and was thought to have introduced the stand-up turn-down shirt collar, created for him by Charvet.[48] A stickler for proper dress, he is said to have admonished Lord Salisbury for wearing the trousers of an Elder Brother of Trinity House with a Privy Councillor's coat. Deep in an international crisis, Salisbury informed the Prince that it had been a dark morning, and that "my mind must have been occupied by some subject of less importance."[49] The tradition of men not buttoning the bottom button of waistcoats is said to be linked to Edward, who supposedly left his undone because of his large girth.[11][50] His waist measured 48 inches (122 cm) shortly before his coronation.[51] He introduced the practice of eating roast beef and potatoes with horseradish sauce and yorkshire pudding on Sundays, a meal that remains a staple British favourite for Sunday lunch.[52] He was not a heavy drinker, though he did drink champagne and, occasionally, port.[53] 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."[43] 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.[54] 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)[55] and another of Edward's horses, Ambush II, won the Grand National.[56] Edward (right) with his mother (centre) and Russian relations: Tsar Nicholas II (left), Empress Alexandra and baby Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, 1896 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.[57] 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.[58] Usually, Edward's outbursts of temper were short-lived, and "after he had let himself go ... [he would] smooth matters by being especially nice".[59] 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".[60] 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".[61] 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.[62] 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.[63] Accession 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.[64] He chose to reign under the name Edward VII, instead of Albert Edward—the name his mother had intended for him to use[c]—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".[65] 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".[11] 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."[66] Caricature in Puck magazine, 1901 He donated his parents' house, Osborne on the Isle of Wight, to the state and continued to live at Sandringham.[67] He could afford to be magnanimous; his private secretary, Sir Francis Knollys, claimed that he was the first heir to succeed to the throne in credit.[68] Edward's finances had been ably managed by Sir Dighton Probyn, Comptroller of the Household, and had benefited from advice from Edward's financier friends, some of whom were Jewish, such as Ernest Cassel, Maurice de Hirsch and the Rothschild family.[69] At a time of widespread anti-Semitism, Edward attracted criticism for openly socialising with Jews.[70][71] Edward's coronation had originally been scheduled for 26 June 1902. However, two days before, on 24 June, he was diagnosed with appendicitis.[72] Appendicitis was generally not treated operatively and carried a high mortality rate, but developments in anaesthesia and antisepsis in the preceding 50 years made life-saving surgery possible.[73] 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 1⁄2-inch thickness of belly fat and abdomen wall); this outcome showed thankfully that the cause was not cancer.[74] The next day, Edward was sitting up in bed, smoking a cigar.[75] Two weeks later, it was announced that the King was out of danger. Treves was honoured with a baronetcy (which the King had arranged before the operation)[76] and appendix surgery entered the medical mainstream.[73] 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.[72] Edward refurbished the royal palaces, reintroduced the traditional ceremonies, such as the State Opening of Parliament, that his mother had forgone, and founded new honours, such as the Order of Merit, to recognise contributions to the arts and sciences.[77] In 1902, the Shah of Persia, Mozzafar-al-Din, visited England expecting to receive the Order of the Garter. Edward 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. Edward also objected to inducting a Muslim into a Christian order of chivalry. His refusal threatened to damage British attempts to gain influence in Persia,[78] but Edward resented his ministers' attempts to reduce the King's traditional powers.[79] Eventually, he relented and Britain sent a special embassy to the Shah with a full Order of the Garter the following year.[80] "Uncle of Europe" Edward VII relaxing at Balmoral Castle, photographed by his wife, Alexandra 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.[81] He took annual holidays in Biarritz and Marienbad.[54] 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.[82] Edward was related to nearly every other European monarch, and came to be known as the "uncle of Europe".[36] German Emperor Wilhelm II and Emperor Nicholas II of Russia were his nephews; Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden, Crown Princess Marie of Romania, Crown Princess Sophia of Greece, and Empress Alexandra of Russia were his nieces; King Haakon VII of Norway was both his nephew and his son-in-law; kings Frederick VIII of Denmark and George I of Greece were his brothers-in-law; kings Albert I of Belgium, Ferdinand of Bulgaria, and Charles I and Manuel II of Portugal were his second cousins. Edward doted on his grandchildren, and indulged them, to the consternation of their governesses.[83] However, there was one relation whom Edward did not like: Wilhelm II. Edward's difficult relationship with his nephew exacerbated the tensions between Germany and Britain.[84] 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.[85] 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.[86] The previous month, Edward visited the Scandinavian countries, becoming the first British monarch to visit Sweden.[87] Political opinions Edward depicted in naval uniform by Vanity Fair magazine, 1902 While Prince of Wales, Edward had to be dissuaded from breaking with constitutional precedent by openly voting for W. E. Gladstone's Representation of the People Bill (1884) in the House of Lords.[11][88] On other matters he was less progressive: he did not, for example, favour giving votes to women,[11][89] although he did suggest that the social reformer Octavia Hill serve on the Commission for Working Class Housing.[90] He was also opposed to Irish Home Rule, instead preferring a form of dual monarchy.[11] As Prince of Wales, he had come to enjoy warm and mutually respectful relations with Gladstone, whom his mother detested.[91] But the statesman's son, Home Secretary Herbert Gladstone, angered the King by planning to permit Roman Catholic priests in vestments to carry the Host through the streets of London, and by appointing two ladies, Lady Frances Balfour and Mrs H. J. Tennant, to serve on a Royal Commission on reforming divorce law—Edward thought divorce could not be discussed with "delicacy or even decency" before ladies. Edward's biographer Philip Magnus suggests that Gladstone may have become a whipping-boy for the King's general irritation with the Liberal government. Gladstone was sacked in the reshuffle the following year and the King agreed, with some reluctance, to appoint him Governor-General of South Africa.[92] Edward involved himself heavily in discussions over army reform, the need for which had become apparent with the failings of the Boer War.[93] He supported the redesign of army command, the creation of the Territorial Force, and the decision to provide an Expeditionary Force supporting France in the event of war with Germany.[94] Reform of the Royal Navy was also suggested, partly due to the ever-increasing Naval Estimates, and because of the emergence of the Imperial German Navy as a new strategic threat.[95] Ultimately a dispute arose between Admiral Lord Charles Beresford, who favoured increased spending and a broad deployment, and the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir John Fisher, who favoured efficiency savings, scrapping obsolete vessels, and a strategic realignment of the Royal Navy relying on torpedo craft for home defence backed by the new dreadnoughts.[96] 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.[97] 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.[98] 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.[99] Edward was rarely interested in politics, although his views on some issues were notably liberal for the time. During his reign he said use of the word "nigger" was "disgraceful", despite it then being in common parlance.[100] 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".[101] 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".[101] Edward lived a life of luxury that was often far removed from that of the majority of his subjects. However, his personal charm with people at all levels of society and his strong condemnation of prejudice went some way to assuage republican and racial tensions building during his lifetime.[11] Constitutional crisis Bust by Francis Derwent Wood Profile of Edward VII on a halfpenny, 1902 In the last year of his life, Edward became embroiled in a constitutional crisis when the Conservative majority in the House of Lords refused to pass the "People's Budget" proposed by the Liberal government of Prime Minister H. H. Asquith. The crisis eventually led—after Edward's death—to the removal of the Lords' right to veto legislation. The King was displeased at Liberal attacks on the peers, which included a polemical speech by David Lloyd George at Limehouse.[102] 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".[103] 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!"[104] 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.[105] 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.[106] 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[107] and had forbidden his adviser Lord 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.[108] 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.[109] 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.[11][110] 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.[111] 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.[112] The election resulted in a hung parliament, with the Liberal government dependent on the support of the third largest party, the Irish nationalists. The King suggested a compromise whereby only 50 peers from each side would be allowed to vote, which would also redress the large Conservative majority in the Lords, but Lord Crewe, Liberal leader in the Lords, advised that this would reduce the Lords' independence as only peers who were loyal party supporters would be picked.[112] Pressure to remove the Lords' veto now came from the Irish nationalist MPs, who wanted to remove the Lords' ability to block the introduction of Irish Home Rule. They threatened to vote against the Budget unless they had their way (an attempt by Lloyd George to win their support by amending whiskey duties was abandoned as the Cabinet felt this would recast the Budget too much). Asquith now revealed that there were no "guarantees" for the creation of peers. The Cabinet considered resigning and leaving it up to Balfour to try to form a Conservative government.[113] The King's Speech from the Throne on 21 February made reference to introducing measures restricting the Lords' power of veto to one of delay, but Asquith inserted a phrase "in the opinion of my advisers" so the King could be seen to be distancing himself from the planned legislation.[114] The Commons passed resolutions on 14 April that would form the basis for the 1911 Parliament Act: to remove the power of the Lords to veto money bills, to replace their veto of other bills with a power to delay, and to reduce the term of Parliament from seven years to five (the King would have preferred four[111]). But in that debate Asquith hinted—to ensure the support of the nationalist MPs—that he would ask the King to break the deadlock "in that Parliament" (i.e. contrary to Edward's earlier stipulation that there be a second election). The Budget was passed by both Commons and Lords in April.[115] By April the Palace was having secret talks with Balfour and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who both advised that the Liberals did not have sufficient mandate to demand the creation of peers. The King thought the whole proposal "simply disgusting" and that the government was "in the hands of Redmond & Co". Lord Crewe announced publicly that the government's wish to create peers should be treated as formal "ministerial advice" (which, by convention, the monarch must obey) although Lord Esher argued that the monarch was entitled in extremis to dismiss the government rather than take their "advice".[116] Esher's view has been called "obsolete and unhelpful".[117] Death Main article: Funeral of King Edward VII Drawing of Edward on his deathbed in Buckingham Palace by Sir Luke Fildes, 1910 File:4125s2.ogvPlay media Funeral procession of King Edward VII, London, 1910 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.[118] Towards the end of his life he increasingly suffered from bronchitis.[11] He suffered a momentary loss of consciousness during a state visit to Berlin in February 1909.[119] 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.[11] 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. The following day, the King suffered several heart attacks, but refused to go to bed, saying, "No, I shall not give in; I shall go on; I shall work to the end."[120] Between moments of faintness, his son the Prince of Wales (shortly to be King George V) told him that his horse, Witch of the Air, had won at Kempton Park that afternoon. The King replied, "Yes, I have heard of it. I am very glad": his final words.[11] At 11:30 p.m. he lost consciousness for the last time and was put to bed. He died 15 minutes later.[120] Alexandra refused to allow the King's body to be moved for eight days afterwards, though she allowed small groups of visitors to enter his room.[121] 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 stood at each corner of the bier. Despite the time that had elapsed since his death, Alexandra noted the King's body remained "wonderfully preserved".[122] 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 and his family 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.[123] 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 VII was buried at St George's Chapel.[124] Legacy Further information: Cultural depictions of Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Royal eponyms in Canada Statue in Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne Statue outside Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Statue of King Edward VII, Bangalore, India Statues of Edward can be found throughout the former empire. Memorial to Edward VII in St Jude's Church, Hampstead Garden Suburb 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.[125] 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.[126] 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 (60 years, 322 days ago).[126][127][128] As king, Edward VII proved a greater success than anyone had expected,[129] but he was already past the average life expectancy and had little time left to fulfil the role. In his short reign, he ensured that his second son and heir, George V, was better prepared to take the throne. Contemporaries described their relationship as more like affectionate brothers than father and son,[130] and on Edward's death George wrote in his diary that he had lost his "best friend and the best of fathers ... I never had a [cross] word with him in my life. I am heart-broken and overwhelmed with grief".[131] Edward has been recognised as the first truly constitutional British sovereign and the last sovereign to wield effective political power.[132] Though lauded as "Peacemaker",[133] he had been afraid his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, would tip Europe into war.[134] Four years after Edward's death, World War I broke out. The naval reforms he had supported and his part in securing the Triple Entente between Britain, France and Russia, as well as his relationships with his extended family, fed the paranoia of the German Emperor, who blamed Edward for the war.[135] Publication of the official biography of Edward was delayed until 1927 by its author, Sidney Lee, who feared German propagandists would select material to portray Edward as an anti-German warmonger.[136] Lee was also hampered by the extensive destruction of Edward's personal papers; Edward had left orders that all his letters should be burned on his death.[137] Subsequent biographers have been able to construct a more rounded picture of Edward by using material and sources that were unavailable to Lee.[138] Historian R. C. K. Ensor, writing in 1936, praised the King's political personality: he had in many respects great natural ability. He knew how to be both dignified and charming; he had an excellent memory; and his tact in handling people was quite exceptional. He had a store of varied, though unsystematized, knowledge gathered at first-hand through talking to all sorts of eminent men. His tastes were not particularly elevated, but they were thoroughly English; and he showed much (though not unfailing) comprehension for the common instincts of the people over whom he reigned. This was not the less remarkable because, though a good linguist in French and German, he never learned to speak English without a German accent.[139] Ensor rejects the widespread notion that the King exerted important influence on British foreign policy. Ensor believed Edward gained that reputation by making frequent trips abroad, with many highly publicized visits to foreign courts, but surviving documents paint a different picture of "how comparatively crude his views on foreign policy were, how little he read, and of what naïve indiscretions he was capable."[140] Edward received criticism for his apparent pursuit of self-indulgent pleasure, but he received great praise for his affable manners and diplomatic tact. As his grandson Edward VIII wrote, "his lighter side ... obscured the fact that he had both insight and influence."[141] "He had a tremendous zest for pleasure but he also had a real sense of duty", wrote J. B. Priestley.[142] Lord Esher wrote that Edward was "kind and debonair and not undignified—but too human".[143] Titles, styles, honours and arms Titles and styles 9 November – 8 December 1841: His Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall 8 December 1841 – 22 January 1901: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales 22 January 1901 – 6 May 1910: His Majesty The King Honours British honours[6] Order of the Garter, Knight, 9 November 1858[144] Order of the Star of India, Knight Companion, 25 June 1861;[145] Grand Commander, 24 May 1866[146] Fellow of the Royal Society, 12 February 1863 Member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, 8 December 1863 Order of the Bath, Grand Cross, 10 February 1865;[147] Great Master, 22 June 1897[148] Order of the Thistle, Knight, 24 May 1867[149] Order of St Patrick, Knight, 18 March 1868[150] Member of the Privy Council of Ireland, 21 April 1868 Order of St Michael and St George, Grand Cross, 31 May 1877[151] Order of the Indian Empire, Grand Commander, 21 June 1887[152] Venerable Order of St. John, Grand Prior, 14 May 1888 Royal Victorian Order, Grand Cross, 6 May 1896[153] Order of Merit, Founder and Sovereign, 23 June 1902 Imperial Service Order, Founder and Sovereign, 8 August 1902[154] Royal Victorian Chain, Founder and Sovereign, 1902[155] Foreign honours Armorial achievement of the Spanish Army 62nd Regiment of Infantry "Arapiles". King Edward's cypher and the name of the British Army unit that played a prominent role in the Battle of Salamanca were added at the beginning of the Peninsular War Centenary (1908).[156] Spain: Order of the Golden Fleece, Knight, May 1852[6] Order of Charles III, Grand Cross with Collar, 26 May 1876[6] Kingdom of Sardinia: Order of the Annunciation, Knight, 1859[157] Sovereign Military Order of Malta Military Order of Malta: Knight, 14 June 1881[157] Kingdom of Portugal: Order of the Tower and Sword, Grand Cross, March 1859[6] Ottoman Empire: Hanedan-i-Ali-Osman, June 1902[158] Denmark: Order of the Elephant, Knight, 16 November 1863[157][159] Order of the Dannebrog, Grand Commander, September 1901[160] France: Legion of Honour, Grand Officer, 10 March 1863[6] Sweden Norway Sweden-Norway: Royal Order of the Seraphim, Knight, 27 September 1864[161] Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, Grand Cross, 8 October 1874[162] Austria-Hungary: Order of St. Stephen of Hungary, Grand Cross, 13 June 1867[157][163] Kingdom of Prussia: Order of the Black Eagle, Knight with Collar, 17 January 1869[6] Johanniter Order, Knight of Justice, 1884[157] Empire of Brazil: Imperial Order of the Southern Cross, Grand Cross, 11 July 1871[157] Russian Empire: Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called, Knight, January 1874[6] Ethiopian Empire: Order of the Star of Ethiopia, Grand Cross, 9 October 1901[164] Thailand Siam: Order of the White Elephant, Grand Cordon, 1887[157] Empire of Japan: Order of the Chrysanthemum, Grand Cordon, 1886; Collar, 13 June 1902[165] Kingdom of Bavaria: Order of St. Hubert, Knight, 19 March 1901[157] San Marino: Order of San Marino, Grand Cross, August 1902[166] Honorary foreign military appointments 1870: Honorary Colonel of the Guard Hussar Regiment (Denmark)[167] 1883: Field Marshal (Generalfeldmarschall) of the German Army[168] 5 February 1901: Honorary Colonel of the 27th (King Edward's) Regiment of Dragoons of Kiev[169] 26 June 1902: Admiral of the Fleet (Großadmiral) à la suite of the Imperial German Navy[168] Honorary Captain General of the Spanish Army[170] Honorary Admiral of the Spanish Navy[170] Colonel-in-Chief of the Blücher Hussar Regiment[168] Colonel-in-Chief 1st Guards Dragoons "Queen of Great Britain and Ireland"[168] Honorary Colonel of the Infantry Regiment "Zamora" No. 8 (Spain)[170] Arms Edward's coat of arms as the Prince of Wales was the royal arms differenced by a label of three points argent, and an inescutcheon of the Duchy of Saxony, representing his paternal arms. When he acceded as King, he gained the royal arms undifferenced.[171] Coat of Arms of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (1841-1901).svg Coat of arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom in Scotland (1837-1952).svg Coat of arms as Prince of Wales, 1841–1901 Royal coat of arms outside Scotland Royal coat of arms in Scotland Issue Further information: Grandchildren of Victoria and Albert Name Birth Death Spouse/notes Albert Victor 8 January 1864 14 January 1892 engaged to Mary of Teck George V 3 June 1865 20 January 1936 Mary of Teck; had issue Louise 20 February 1867 4 January 1931 Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife; had issue Victoria 6 July 1868 3 December 1935 never married and without issue Maud 26 November 1869 20 November 1938 Haakon VII of Norway; had issue Alexander John 6 April 1871 7 April 1871 born and died at Sandringham House Ancestry Ancestors of Edward VII[172][173][174] See also Household of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra Notes His godparents were the King of Prussia, his paternal step-grandmother the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (for whom the Duchess of Kent, his maternal grandmother, stood proxy), his great-uncle the Duke of Cambridge, his step-great-grandmother the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Altenburg (for whom the Duchess of Cambridge, his great-aunt, stood proxy), his great-aunt Princess Sophia (for whom Princess Augusta of Cambridge, his first cousin once-removed, stood proxy) and his great-uncle Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.[2] Letters written by Edward to Lady Randolph may have "signified no more than a flirtation" but were "[w]ritten in a strain of undue familiarity".[28] No English or British sovereign has ever reigned under a double name. Edward VII House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Cadet branch of the House of Wettin Born: 9 November 1841 Died: 6 May 1910 Regnal titles Preceded by Victoria King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions Emperor of India 22 January 1901 – 6 May 1910 Succeeded by George V British royalty Vacant Title last held by George (IV) Prince of Wales Duke of Cornwall Duke of Rothesay 1841–1901 Succeeded by George (V) Military offices Preceded by The Earl Beauchamp Colonel of the 10th (Prince of Wales's Own Royal) Hussars 1863–1901 Succeeded by Lord Ralph Drury Kerr Masonic offices Preceded by The Marquess of Ripon Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England 1874–1901 Succeeded by The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn Honorary titles Vacant Title last held by Albert, Prince Consort Great Master of the Bath 1897–1901 Succeeded by The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn vte Edward VII Family Alexandra of Denmark (wife) Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale (son) George V (son) Louise, Princess Royal (daughter) Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom (daughter) Maud of Wales (daughter) Albert, Prince Consort (father) Queen Victoria (mother) Events Royal baccarat scandal Coronation Honours Medal Police Medal Coronation cases Funeral Reign Edwardian era Edwardian architecture Prime Ministers Emperor of India Household Namesakes King Edward VII Land King Edward VII-class battleship HMS King Edward VII Hospitals London Falkland Islands Sheffield Eduardo VII Park Prince Albert Depictions Film and Television The Coronation of Edward VII (1902) Fall of Eagles (1974) Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill (1974) Edward the Seventh (1975) Lillie (1978) Statues and Memorials King Edward VII Memorial Edward VII Monument Bangalore statue Bootle statue Books The Edwardians (1930) And Having Writ... (1978) Flashman and the Tiger (1999) Stamps Edward VII 2d Tyrian plum Mistresses Agnes Keyser Alice Keppel Daisy Greville Hortense Schneider Lady Susan Vane-Tempest Lillie Langtry Nellie Clifden Patsy Cornwallis-West Honours Royal Family Order Knights Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order Knights Commander of the Royal Victorian Order Related Arthur Sassoon Olga de Meyer Lady Randolph Churchill Sarah Bernhardt Homburg hat Caesar (dog) vte English, Scottish and British monarchs Monarchs of England until 1603 Monarchs of Scotland until 1603 Alfred the Great Edward the Elder Ælfweard Æthelstan Edmund I Eadred Eadwig Edgar the Peaceful Edward the Martyr Æthelred the Unready Sweyn Edmund II Cnut Harold I Harthacnut Edward the Confessor Harold II Edgar Ætheling William I William II Henry I Stephen Matilda Henry II Henry the Young King Richard I John Henry III Edward I Edward II Edward III Richard II Henry IV Henry V Henry VI Edward IV Edward V Richard III Henry VII Henry VIII Edward VI Jane Mary I and Philip Elizabeth I Kenneth I MacAlpin Donald I Constantine I Áed Giric Eochaid Donald II Constantine II Malcolm I Indulf Dub Cuilén Amlaíb Kenneth II Constantine III Kenneth III Malcolm II Duncan I Macbeth Lulach Malcolm III Donald III Duncan II Donald III Edgar Alexander I David I Malcolm IV William I Alexander II Alexander III Margaret of Norway John Balliol Robert I David II Edward Balliol Robert II Robert III James I James II James III James IV James V Mary I James VI Monarchs of England and Scotland after the Union of the Crowns from 1603 James VI and I Charles I Charles II James II and VII William III and II and Mary II Anne British monarchs after the Acts of Union 1707 Anne George I George II George III George IV William IV Victoria Edward VII George V Edward VIII George VI Elizabeth II Debatable or disputed rulers are in italics. vte British princes The generations indicate descent from George I, who formalised the use of the titles prince and princess for members of the British royal family. 1st generation King George II 2nd generation Frederick, Prince of Wales Prince George William Prince William, Duke of Cumberland 3rd generation King George III Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn Prince Frederick 4th generation King George IV Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany King William IV Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn King Ernest Augustus of Hanover Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge Prince Octavius Prince Alfred Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh 5th generation Prince Albert1 King George V of Hanover Prince George, Duke of Cambridge 6th generation King Edward VII Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany Prince Ernest Augustus 7th generation Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale King George V Prince Alexander John of Wales Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Arthur of Connaught Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany and of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince George William of Hanover Prince Christian of Hanover Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick 8th generation King Edward VIII King George VI Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester Prince George, Duke of Kent Prince John Alastair, 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn Johann Leopold, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover Prince George William of Hanover 9th generation Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh2 Prince William of Gloucester Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester Prince Edward, Duke of Kent Prince Michael of Kent 10th generation Charles, Prince of Wales Prince Andrew, Duke of York Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex 11th generation Prince William, Duke of Cambridge Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex James, Viscount Severn3 12th generation Prince George of Cambridge Prince Louis of Cambridge 1 Not a British prince by birth, but created Prince Consort. 2 Not a British prince by birth, but created a Prince of the United Kingdom. 3 Status debatable; see his article. vte Princes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Forefather Duke Francis I 1st generation Duke Ernest I^ Prince Ferdinand^ King Leopold I of the Belgians^ 2nd generation Ducal Duke Ernest II^ Albert, Prince Consort of the United Kingdom^* Koháry King Fernando II of Portugal and the Algarves^¶ Prince August^ Prince Leopold^ Belgium Crown Prince Louis Philippe# King Leopold II# Prince Philippe# 3rd generation United Kingdom King Edward VII* Duke Alfred I* Prince Arthur* Prince Leopold* Portugal King Pedro V¶ King Luís I¶ Infante João¶ Infante Fernando¶ Infante Augusto¶ Koháry Prince Philipp Prince Ludwig August Tsar Ferdinand I of the Bulgarians† Belgium Prince Leopold# Prince Baudouin# King Albert I# 4th generation United Kingdom Prince Albert Victor* King George V* Prince Alexander John of Wales* Hereditary Prince Alfred* Prince Arthur* Duke Charles Edward I* Portugal King Carlos I¶ Infante Afonso¶ Koháry Prince Leopold Clement Prince Pedro Augusto1 Prince August Leopold1 Prince Joseph Ferdinand1 Prince Ludwig Gaston1 Bulgaria Tsar Boris III† Prince Kiril† Belgium King Leopold III# Prince Charles# 5th generation United Kingdom King Edward VIII* King George VI* Prince Henry* Prince George* Prince John* Prince Alastair* Hereditary Prince Johann Leopold* Prince Hubertus* Prince Friedrich Josias Portugal Prince Luís Filipe¶ King Manuel II¶ Koháry Prince August Clemens Prince Rainer Prince Philipp Prince Ernst Prince Antonius Bulgaria Tsar Simeon II† Belgium King Baudouin I# King Albert II# Prince Alexandre# 6th generation Ducal Prince Andreas Prince Adrian Koháry Prince Johannes Heinrich Bulgaria Prince Kardam† Prince Kyril† Prince Kubrat† Prince Konstantin-Assen† Belgium King Philippe I# Prince Laurent# 7th generation Ducal Hereditary Prince Hubertus Prince Alexander Prince Simon Prince Daniel Koháry Prince Johannes Bulgaria Prince Boris† Prince Beltrán† Prince Tassilo† Prince Mirko† Prince Lukás† Prince Tirso† Prince Umberto† Belgium Prince Gabriel# Prince Emmanuel# Prince Nicolas# Prince Aymeric# 8th generation Ducal Prince Philipp ^Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld until 1826 *also a prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland #also a prince of Belgium ¶also a member of the Portuguese royal family †also a member of the Bulgarian royal family 1also a member of the Brazilian imperial family vte Princes of Wales Edward (1301–1307) Edward (1343–1376) Richard (1376–1377) Henry (1399–1413) Edward (1454–1471) Richard (1460; disputed) Edward (1471–1483) Edward (1483–1484) Arthur (1489–1502) Henry (1504–1509) Edward (1537–1547) Henry (1610–1612) Charles (1616–1625) Charles (1641–1649) James (1688) George (1714–1727) Frederick (1729–1751) George (1751–1760) George (1762–1820) Albert Edward (1841–1901) George (1901–1910) Edward (1910–1936) Charles (1958–present) See also: Principality of Wales vte Dukes of Cornwall Edward (1337–1376) Richard (1376–1377) Henry (1399–1413) Henry (1421–1422) Edward (1453–1471) Richard (1460; disputed) Edward (1470–1483) Edward (1483–1484) Arthur (1486–1502) Henry (1502–1509) Henry (1511) Henry (1513) Henry (1515) Edward (1537–1547) Henry Frederick (1603–1612) Charles (1612–1625) Charles (1630–1649) James (1688–1701/2) George (1714–1727) Frederick (1727–1751) George (1762–1820) Albert Edward (1841–1901) George (1901–1910) Edward (1910–1936) Charles (1952–present) Cornwall Portal vte Dukes of Rothesay David (1398–1402) James (1402–1406) Alexander (1430) James (1430–1437) James (1452–1460) James (1473–1488) James (1507–1508) Arthur (1509–1510) James (1512–1513) James (1540–1541) James (1566–1567) Henry Frederick (1594–1612) Charles (1612–1625) Charles James (1629) Charles (1630–1649) James (1688–1689) George (1714–1727) Frederick (1727–1751) George (1762–1820) Albert Edward (1841–1901) George (1901–1910) Edward (1910–1936) Charles (1952–present) vte Great Masters of the Order of the Bath John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu Vacant Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany Prince William, Duke of Clarence and St Andrews Vacant Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex Albert, Prince Consort Vacant Albert Edward, Prince of Wales Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester Charles, Prince of Wales CivilKnightsGrandCrossoftheBath.JPG vte United Grand Lodge of England Grand Masters 19th century The Duke of Sussex (1813–1843) The Earl of Zetland (1844–1870) The Marquess of Ripon (1870–1874) The Prince of Wales (1874–1901) 20th century The Duke of Connaught (1901–1939) The 1st Duke of Kent (1939–1942) The Earl of Harewood (1942–1947) The Duke of Devonshire (1947–1950) The Earl of Scarbrough (1951–1967) The 2nd Duke of Kent (1967–present) Related articles History of Freemasonry Premier Grand Lodge of England Antient Grand Lodge of England Freemasons' Hall, London Mark Masons' Hall, London Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Provincial Grand Lodges (UGLE) Lectures of the Three Degrees in Craft Masonry Emulation Lodge of Improvement Quatuor Coronati Lodge Appendant bodies Trinitarian Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia Royal Order of Scotland Ancient and Accepted Rite Royal Order of Eri Order of Knights Templar and Knights of Malta Order of the Red Cross of Constantine Order of Holy Wisdom Order of Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests Order of St Thomas of Acon Order of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City non-Trinitarian Order of the Holy Royal Arch Order of Mark Master Masons Order of the Secret Monitor Order of Athelstan Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees Order of Royal and Select Masters Order of Knight Masons Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners Order of the Scarlet Cord Condition: In Good Condition for their age over 100 years old, Modified Item: No, Country/Region of Manufacture: United Kingdom, Year of Issue: 1905, Denomination: Florin/ Two Shillings, Collections/ Bulk Lots: 3 Florins 1900s, Era: Edward VII (1902-1910)

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