Edward VII ( English Edward VII, born Crown Prince Albert Edward ; born November 9, 1841 in Buckingham Palace , London ; † May 6, 1910 ibid) was the first British ruler from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (in Great Britain since 1917 House called Windsor ) and eldest son of Queen Victoria .
Origin and early years
Prince Albert Edward was born on November 9, 1841 as the eldest son of the reigning British Queen Victoria and her Prince Consort Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in Buckingham Palace in London. Just four weeks after his birth, he was awarded the title of Prince of Wales .
Victoria and Albert were determined to give "Bertie", as he was called in their immediate family, an education that would make him an exemplary constitutional monarch. His extremely strict father hired private teachers and educators and handed them over to the seven-year-old prince, who, however, was unsteady and did not turn out to be a model student. From the summer of 1859 he began to study; initially at the University of Edinburgh , where he was under the supervision of Professor Lyon Playfair . He then became a student at the venerable University of Oxford and moved to Trinity College in Cambridge in 1861 , where he was taught history by the renowned Professor Charles Kingsley . In the meantime, as heir to the throne, he performed his first official duties for the royal family and traveled to North America in 1860 . For the first time a British heir to the throne visited Canada and the United States . Eduard showed great diplomatic skills and the visit was celebrated as a success in foreign policy.
During his student days, Eduard shone less with performance than with his dissolute lifestyle. The prince was a dandy with a taste for gambling, alcohol and young actresses whose love affairs were no secret. This led to the fact that his father, who was already seriously ill, came to Cambridge in December 1861 to speak to Eduard's conscience and to correct him. Prince Consort Albert died two weeks later. Queen Victoria never got over the loss of her husband and held her son responsible for his untimely death throughout her life.
Marriage and offspring
Edward and Alexandra were married on March 10, 1863 in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle and Alexandra became the Princess of Wales . The young couple moved into the city mansion Marlborough House in London and a stately home with Sandringham House in the county of Norfolk . The connection resulted in a total of six children:
- Albert Victor , Duke of Clarence and Avondale (born January 8, 1864 - January 14, 1892)
- Georg , Duke of York , Prince of Wales (born June 3, 1865 - January 20, 1936), as George V British King ⚭ Maria von Teck
- Louise , Princess Royal (February 20, 1867 - January 4, 1931) ⚭ Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife
- Victoria (July 6, 1868 - December 3, 1935)
- Maud (born November 26, 1869 - † November 20, 1938) ⚭ Haakon VII of Norway
- Alexander John (April 6, 1871 - April 7, 1871)
Prince of Wales (1841-1901)
After the early death of her husband, Queen Victoria withdrew as far as possible from the public and lived a strict widowhood. For this reason, the crown prince made more public appearances, which his mother avoided. His cosmopolitan manner and diplomatic skills had positive effects, especially at receptions for foreign state guests. However, his mother did not allow him to play an active role in government. Eduard was Prince of Wales for a total of 59 years and was considered an "eternal heir to the throne."
Since Eduard was only marginally involved in official duties by his mother, he had enough time to cultivate his private life. He cultivated his preferences for gambling, horse racing and the French way of life, as well as the world of theater, exclusive hunting parties, night clubs and vaudeville . His country estate, Sandringham House , became a center of British high society life away from the capital, in which American dollar millionaires were also allowed to participate for the first time. Although his marriage to Princess Alexandra was described as happy, Eduard had illegitimate mistresses and love affairs throughout his life , which his wife largely tolerated. In total, the prince was said to have had 55 extramarital relationships. The best known were Jennie Churchill , Countess Daisy Greville , Lady Aylesford (see Aylesford affair ), and Hortense Schneider ; the actress Lillie Langtry was his permanent mistress in the 1870s. This was also reflected in the furnishing of his rooms with practical furniture and erotic murals. His last lover was Alice Keppel (the great-grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall ), with whom he spent several weeks in the French seaside resort of Biarritz every spring .
Eduard also had enough freedom to indulge in his keen sense of art and to act as patron of the arts and sciences. In 1883 he helped found the Royal College of Music . Always dressed according to the latest fashion trends, the prince was the model for upscale men's societies. Apparently because of this way of life, his mother deliberately kept him away from government affairs for as long as possible.
Since Eduard in Stockholm in 1868 by King Karl XV. was inducted into Freemasonry by Sweden , he was an active Freemason. When he was appointed Grand Master in 1874 , he gave the English Brotherhood new impetus and popularity. Around this time there was a break with the Grand Orient de France . The number of active lodges rose from 1,200 to over 3,000. He performed publicly, at home and on trips abroad as a grand master and laid the foundations of public buildings, bridges and churches in England and docks in Bombay with Masonic ceremonies . His presence generated publicity, and reports of any Masonic meetings appeared regularly in the national and local press. On the occasion of his accession to the throne, he resigned from his position as Grand Master. In 1868 he became a Knight of the Swedish Order of Charles XIII. reserved for Freemasons.
As Prince of Wales, Eduard was involved in two lawsuits. In 1870 he was cited as a reason for divorce in a company lady in divorce proceedings, and in the 1891 Tranby Croft scandal , he was a witness in a trial involving baccarat . Despite all the wrongdoings and his way of life, Eduard enjoyed great popularity among the population, to which his informal interaction with people from the "simple strata of the population" is likely to have contributed.
As king (1901 to 1910)
When Queen Victoria died on January 22nd, 1901 after 63 years of reign, Crown Prince Edward, at 59 years of age, was the second oldest heir to the throne that the British monarchy had until then, after Wilhelm IV . Eduard was the first British ruler from the German noble family Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and at the same time the direct heir to the throne, who had been in office for the longest time. He chose Edward VII as the ruler name. He was originally to be crowned on June 26, 1902 ; however, two days earlier he fell ill with appendicitis , so the coronation had to be postponed. After successful treatment, the Archbishop of Canterbury , Frederick Temple , crowned him King of Britain on August 9 at Westminster Abbey . The coronation was communicated to the people by cannon volleys in Hyde Park and in the Tower. In the following years Eduard revived the ostentatious and popular public appearances of a monarch, which had not been made in the final phase of his mother's government. The proclamation as Emperor of India on the Delhi Durbar took place, as with his mother, in 1903 in his absence.
In Great Britain there were some reservations about the new king, whose nine-year reign is largely viewed positively from today's perspective. After taking office, Eduard continued his major foreign policy engagement and accelerated rapprochement with France , which he had been pursuing for years. This reconciliation culminated in the conclusion of the Entente cordiale (1904). This compensation treaty ended the traditional rivalry between the two countries and the British isolation policy in Europe ( splendid isolation ). In addition, this connection should represent a counterweight to Germany and Austria-Hungary ; However, in the summer of 1903, after a stay in Bohemia , the king also made a state visit to Emperor Franz Joseph I in Vienna , which was followed by another meeting in 1904 when the king was in Marienbad for a cure .
The reception of an Indian delegation from western Canada in 1906 caused a sensation . As the only formal head of state of Canada, however, Eduard could not influence the local minority policy, and so the exchange of friendly gestures, especially with the delegation leader Su-á-pu-luck ( Joseph Capilano ), a Squamish chief.
With his visit to the Spanish King Alfonso XIII. in Cartagena 1907 Edward VII promoted the conclusion of a Spanish-British-French agreement . As a skilled diplomat, King Edward also played a certain part in the Anglo-Russian Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1907) and the Anglo-Russian Convention , which ended the conflict between the two empires on the borders of India. With the rapprochement with the undemocratic tsarist empire and a state visit to Saint Petersburg, however, he also provoked violent protests from the British population. In addition to foreign policy - Eduard was hardly active domestically - the king showed great interest in army reform. After the events of the Second Boer War (1899–1902), he thought it was necessary to build up an adequate British land force in order to be able to support France in the event of a German attack.
Due to his mother's marriage policy, Eduard was related to almost all European aristocratic families and was considered an “uncle of Europe”: he was the uncle of the German Emperor Wilhelm II and - through his wife Alexandra - the Russian Tsar Nicholas II and the Norwegian King Haakon VII . , whose father-in-law he was also, and brother-in-law of the kings of Greece and Denmark, George I and Frederick VIII , to name just the most important. His niece Victoria Eugénie was with Alfonso XIII. married from Spain.
End of life
In March 1910, Eduard collapsed while staying in Biarritz and was only able to return to Buckingham Palace on April 27th. There he suffered several heart attacks in the following days and finally died on May 6, 1910. Edward VII's grave is located in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
In his honor Robert Falcon Scott named his Antarctic peninsula, discovered in January 1902, King Edward VII country . The King Edward VII Foundation , founded in 1911 for exchange between British and Germans, also bears his name.
Title and coat of arms
- November 9 - December 8, 1841: His Royal Highness Prince Albert Edward The Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay
- December 8, 1841 to January 22, 1901: His Royal Highness Albert Edward The Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Earl of Dublin, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland
- January 22, 1901 to May 6, 1910: His Majesty Edward the Seventh, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India
|Pedigree of King Edward VII.|
- The Coronation of Edward VII (silent film, GB 1902, director: Georges Méliès , Edward VII: unknown)
- Fall of Eagles (GB 1974, TV series in 13 parts, directors: Rudolph Cartier , David Cunliffe and others, Edward VII .: Derek Francis)
- Edward the Seventh / Edward the King (GB 1975, TV series in 13 parts, director: John Gorrie , Edward VII: Timothy West )
- Her Majesty Mrs. Brown (GB / USA 1997, directed by John Madden , Eward VII: David Westhead)
- Victoria & Abdul (GB / USA 2017, Director: Stephen Frears , Edward VII: Eddie Izzard )
- Philip Magnus: King Edward the Seventh. John Murray, London 1964.
- Keith Middlemas: The Life and Times of Edward VII. With an introduction by Antonia Fraser . Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1972.
- Miranda Carter: Three Cousins, Three Empires and the Road to World War One. Penguin Publishing, London 2010, ISBN 978-0-14-101998-7 .
- Harry Richard Whates: The Life and Times of Edward VII. Cassell and Company, London et al., 1910. 5 volumes. (Digital copies: Volume 1 , Volume 3 , Volume 4 , Volume 5 ).
- HCG Matthew: Edward VII (1841-1910). In: Henry Colin Gray Matthew, Brian Harrison (Eds.): Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , from the earliest times to the year 2000 (ODNB). Oxford University Press, Oxford 2004, ISBN 0-19-861411-X , ( oxforddnb.com license required ), as of September 2013 with portrait.
- Newspaper article about Edward VII in the press kit of the 20th century of the ZBW - Leibniz Information Center for Economics .
- Eduard VII. In the Notable Names Database (English)
- "From Edward VII's salon ... The somewhat gynecologically shaped chair ... is a comfortable piece of equipment. The lady lay down on the top shelf, and Edward put his feet in the footholds. "Caption p. 125 in Love's picture book - The history of pleasure and moral indignation - Eroticism in a new light. Ove Brusendorff and Poul Henningsen, Translated by Elsa Gress. Thaning & Appel, Copenhagen, 1962
- Anton Frans Karl Anjou: Riddare af Konung Carl XIII: s orden 1811-1900. Biografiska anteckningar. Eskjö 1900, p. 177.
- The English coronation. In: Das Vaterland , August 10, 1902, p. 4 (online at ANNO ).
- At home when the leaves fall , article from March 11, 1964 by Barbara W. Tuchman on Spiegel Online
- Kings Park, Queens Gardens: Perth has royal green pages, in: N24, accessed January 26, 2013.
King of the United Kingdom
Emperor of India
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Albert Eduard von Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha, Eduard VII. Von Great Britain|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||British King (1901-1910)|
|DATE OF BIRTH||November 9, 1841|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||London|
|DATE OF DEATH||May 6, 1910|
|Place of death||London|