How Queen Victoria drove King Edward VII to debauchery
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January until his death in The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and . Their marriage met with disapproval in certain circles because most of Queen Victoria's relations were. George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May until his death in Born during the reign of his grandmother Queen Victoria, George was third in . In contrast to Edward himself, whom Queen Victoria had deliberately excluded from state affairs, George was. Oct 26, Here, Denys Blakeway explores the queen's relationship with her family 21 years later, he saw his purpose as protecting and nourishing the British In the group are Princess Victoria; the future King Edward VII (as a.
It was the first royal tour on which an official photographer, Francis Bedfordwas in attendance. He was 21; she was Edward and Alexandra on their wedding day, 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 Novemberthe German Confederation took the opportunity to invade and annex Schleswig-Holstein.
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Queen Victoria was of two minds whether it was a suitable match given the political climate. At least fifty-five liaisons are conjectured. Edward always strove to be discreet, but this did not prevent society gossip or press speculation. It was rumoured that Camilla's grandmother, Sonia Keppel, was fathered by Edward, but she was "almost certainly" the daughter of George Keppelwhom she resembled. Ultimately, he did not do so but Edward was called as a witness in the case in early Although nothing further was proven and Edward denied he had committed adultery, the suggestion of impropriety was damaging.
While staying at Londesborough Lodge, near Scarborough, North YorkshireEdward contracted typhoidthe 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. Edward cultivated politicians from all parties, including republicans, as his friends, and thereby largely dissipated any residual feelings against him.
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: 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. He opened the college in 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.
He ordered all the clocks at Sandringham to run half an hour ahead to provide more daylight time for shooting. By the s the future king had taken a keen interest in horseracing and steeplechasing. Tsar Nicholas II leftEmpress Alexandra and baby Grand Duchess Olga NikolaevnaIn Edward was embroiled in the royal baccarat scandalwhen 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. The friendship between the two men was irreversibly damaged, and their bitterness would last for the remainder of their lives. Just a few weeks later, in earlyAlbert Victor died of pneumonia. Edward told Queen Victoria, "[I would] have given my life for him, as I put no value on mine".
Inhis 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".
Sipido, though obviously guilty, was acquitted by a Belgian court because he was underage. 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.
Priestley recalled, "I was only a child when he succeeded Victoria inbut I can testify to his extraordinary popularity. He was in fact the most popular king England had known since the earlier s.
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However, two days before, on 24 June, he was diagnosed with appendicitis. Treves was honoured with a baronetcy which the King had arranged before the operation  and appendix surgery entered the medical mainstream.
Edward refused to bestow the honour on the Shah because the order was meant to be in his personal gift and the Foreign SecretaryLord Lansdownehad 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,  but Edward resented his ministers' attempts to reduce the King's traditional powers. Fluent in French and German, he reinvented royal diplomacy by numerous state visits across Europe.
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.
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Edward doted on his grandchildren, and indulged them, to the consternation of their governesses. Edward's difficult relationship with his nephew exacerbated the tensions between Germany and Britain. Bertie was such a fixture in all strata that leading French authors included him in their novels. The dancer nods to him and off they go in his carriage. This was exactly the sort of mischief Bertie got up to every time he was in the city. That the notoriously stuffy Prince Albert should have produced such an heir was something from which Victoria's adored husband never recovered.
Albert insisted his pleasure-seeking son should be kept away from children his own age, schooled in the classics eight hours a day and thrashed when he failed to make the grade. In a last bid to control the young prince, Albert sent him off to join the army. When his underlings put a prostitute in his bed he took full advantage and when news reached Albert the woman in question had started styling herself Princess of Wales it virtually finished him off. He was able to listen to people and was very modern, with a knack of surrounding himself with intelligent women and high achievers.King Edward VII & Queen Alexandra
He was brilliant at pomp, and the meet and greet but his mother never realised it. BUT most importantly, without Bertie's love of France - and France's love for him, his accent, his fashion sense, his sheer Englishness - there would have been no entente cordiale: Most biographers ignore Bertie's French escapades or dismiss them as failings, often depicting Edward VII as an ineffectual monarch overshad-owed by his mother.
But Clarke insists it was his secret life in Paris that turned Bertie into the only man in Europe who could control the Kaiser.
Victoria and Edward,right, who loved wine and women, especially his mistress, actress Lillie Langtry [GETTY] "While having fun he was meeting French politicians and because he was not very political he was friendly with them all, even Left-wing anti-royal politicians.
He was also the only person in Europe who knew all the heads of state. One nephew was the Kaiser, the other was the Tsar of Russia and he used his relationships with them and others to juggle European peace.