The Info List - Edward VII

Edward VII
Edward VII
(Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions
British Dominions
and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. The eldest son of Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. Before his accession to the throne, he was heir apparent and held the title of Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
for longer than any of his predecessors. 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
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
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.


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 British honours 11.2.2 Foreign honours 11.2.3 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[edit]

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
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
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
Prince of Wales
and Earl of Chester
Earl of Chester
on 8 December 1841, Earl of Dublin on 17 January 1850, a Knight of the Garter on 9 November 1858, and a Knight of the Thistle
Knight of the Thistle
on 24 May 1867.[4] In 1863, he renounced his succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
in favour of his younger brother, Prince Alfred.[5] Queen Victoria
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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] Now released from the educational strictures imposed by his parents, he enjoyed studying for the first time and performed satisfactorily in examinations.[9] In 1861, he transferred to Trinity College, Cambridge,[10] where he was tutored in history by Charles Kingsley, Regius Professor of Modern History.[11] Kingsley's efforts brought forth the best academic performances of Edward's life, and Edward actually looked forward to his lectures.[12] Early adulthood[edit]

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.[13] He inaugurated the Victoria Bridge, Montreal, across the St Lawrence River, and laid the cornerstone of Parliament Hill, Ottawa. He watched Charles Blondin
Charles Blondin
traverse Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls
by highwire, and stayed for three days with President James Buchanan
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.[13] 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.[14] Edward had hoped to pursue a career in the British Army, but his mother vetoed an active military career.[15] He had been gazetted colonel on 9 November 1858[16]—to his disappointment, as he had wanted to earn his commission by examination.[9] 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
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.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19] 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
Queen Victoria
was inconsolable, wore mourning clothes for the rest of her life and blamed Edward for his father's death.[20] 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."[21] Marriage[edit] Once widowed, Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
effectively withdrew from public life. Shortly after Prince Albert's death, she arranged for Edward to embark on an extensive tour of the Middle East, visiting Egypt, Jerusalem, Damascus, Beirut
and Constantinople.[22] The British Government
British Government
wanted Edward to secure the friendship of Egypt's ruler, Said Pasha, to prevent French control of the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
if the Ottoman Empire collapsed. It was the first royal tour on which an official photographer, Francis Bedford, was in attendance.[23] As soon as Edward returned to Britain, preparations were made for his engagement, which was sealed at Laeken
in Belgium on 9 September 1862.[24] Edward married Alexandra 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
Marlborough House
as their London
residence and Sandringham House
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
Queen Victoria
was of two minds whether it was a suitable match given the political climate.[25] 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.[26] Edward had mistresses throughout his married life. He socialised with actress Lillie Langtry; Lady Randolph Churchill
Lady Randolph Churchill
(born Jennie Jerome, the mother of Winston 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.[28] 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.[29] One of Alice Keppel's great-granddaughters, Camilla Parker Bowles, became the mistress and subsequently wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, one of Edward's great-great-grandsons. It was rumoured that Camilla's grandmother, Sonia Keppel (born in May 1900), was the illegitimate daughter of Edward, but she was "almost certainly" the daughter of George Keppel, whom she resembled.[30] Edward never acknowledged any illegitimate children.[31] Alexandra is believed to have been aware of many of his affairs and to have accepted them.[32] 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.[9][33] Heir apparent[edit] During Queen Victoria's widowhood, Edward pioneered the idea of royal public appearances as we understand them today—for example, opening the Thames Embankment
Thames Embankment
in 1871, the Mersey Tunnel in 1886, and Tower Bridge in 1894[34]—but his mother did not allow Edward an active role in the running of the country until 1898.[35][36] He was sent summaries of important government documents, but she refused to give him access to the originals.[9] 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.[37] Liberal Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone sent him papers secretly.[9] From 1886, Foreign Secretary Lord Rosebery sent him Foreign Office despatches, and from 1892 some Cabinet papers were opened to him.[9] 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
French Third Republic
was declared.[38] 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, 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.[9] 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.[39]

Edward (front centre) in India, 1876

In October 1875 Edward set off for India on an extensive eight-month tour of the sub-continent. 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."[40] Consequently, Lord Salisbury, the Secretary of State for India, issued new guidance and at least one resident was removed from office.[9] At the end of the tour, Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
was given the title Empress of India by Parliament, in part as a result of the tour's success.[41] He was regarded worldwide as an arbiter of men's fashions.[42][43] 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.[44] He pioneered the pressing of trouser legs from side to side in preference to the now normal front and back creases,[45] and was thought to have introduced the stand-up turn-down shirt collar, created for him by Charvet.[46] A stickler for proper dress, he is said to have admonished Lord Salisbury for wearing the trousers of an Elder Brother of Trinity House
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."[47] 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.[9][48] His waist measured 48 inches (122 cm) shortly before his coronation.[49] 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.[50] He was not a heavy drinker, though he did drink champagne and, occasionally, port.[51] 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."[41] 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.[52] 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
Newmarket Stakes
and Eclipse Stakes)[53] and another of Edward's horses, Ambush II, won the Grand National.[54]

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.[55] 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.[56] Usually, Edward's outbursts of temper were short-lived, and "after he had let himself go ... [he would] smooth matters by being especially nice".[57] 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".[58] 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".[59] 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 Boer War. Sipido, though obviously guilty, was acquitted by a Belgian court because he was underage.[60] 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.[61] Accession[edit] When Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
died on 22 January 1901, Edward became King of the United Kingdom, Emperor of India
Emperor of India
and, in an innovation, King of the British Dominions.[62] 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".[63] 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".[9] J. B. Priestley
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."[64]

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.[65] 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.[66] Edward's finances had been ably managed by Sir Dighton Probyn, Comptroller of the Household, and had benefited from advice from Edward's Jewish financier friends, such as Ernest Cassel, Maurice de Hirsch
Maurice de Hirsch
and the Rothschild family.[67] At a time of widespread anti-Semitism, Edward attracted criticism for openly socialising with Jews.[68][69] Edward's coronation had originally been scheduled for 26 June 1902. However, two days before, on 24 June, he was diagnosed with appendicitis.[70] 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.[71] 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.[72] The next day, Edward was sitting up in bed, smoking a cigar.[73] Two weeks later, it was announced that the King was out of danger. Treves was honoured with a baronetcy (which Edward had arranged before the operation)[74] and appendix surgery entered the medical mainstream.[71] Edward was crowned at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
on 9 August 1902 by the 80-year-old Archbishop of Canterbury, Frederick Temple, who died only four months later.[70] 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.[75] 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,[76] but Edward resented his ministers' attempts to reduce the King's traditional powers.[77] Eventually, he relented and Britain sent a special embassy to the Shah with a full Order of the Garter
Order of the Garter
the following year.[78] "Uncle of Europe"[edit]

Edward VII
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.[79] He took annual holidays in Biarritz
and Marienbad.[52] 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
German Empire
and its ally, Austria-Hungary.[80] Edward was related to nearly every other European monarch and came to be known as the "uncle of Europe".[35] German Emperor
German Emperor
Wilhelm II and Emperor Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II of Russia
were his nephews; Queen Victoria
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
King Haakon VII of Norway
was both his nephew and his son-in-law; kings Frederick VIII of Denmark
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
Manuel II of Portugal
were his second cousins. Edward doted on his grandchildren, and indulged them, to the consternation of their governesses.[81] 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.[82] 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.[83] 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.[84] The previous month, Edward visited the Scandinavian countries, becoming the first British monarch to visit Sweden.[85] Political opinions[edit]

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 Gladstone's Representation of the People Bill (1884) in the House of Lords.[9][86] On other matters he was less progressive: he did not, for example, favour giving votes to women,[9][87] although he did suggest that the social reformer Octavia Hill
Octavia Hill
serve on the Commission for Working Class Housing.[88] He was also opposed to Irish Home Rule, instead preferring a form of dual monarchy.[9] As Prince of Wales, he had come to enjoy warm and mutually respectful relations with W. E. Gladstone, whom his mother detested.[89] But Gladstone's son, Home Secretary
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.[90] Edward involved himself heavily in discussions over army reform, the need for which had become apparent with the failings of the Boer War.[91] 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.[92] 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
Imperial German Navy
as a new strategic threat.[93] 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.[94] 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.[95] 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.[96] Wilson was reluctant to return to active duty, but Edward persuaded him to do so, and Wilson became First Sea Lord
First Sea Lord
on 25 January 1910.[97] 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.[98] In 1904, during an Anglo-German summit in Kiel
between Wilhelm II and Edward, Wilhelm with the Russo-Japanese War
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".[99] 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".[99] 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.[9] Constitutional crisis[edit]

Bust by Francis Derwent Wood

Profile of Edward VII
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
David Lloyd George
at Limehouse.[100] Cabinet minister Winston Churchill
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
Richard Haldane
as "the last King of England".[101] 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!"[102] In vain, the King urged Conservative leaders Arthur Balfour
Arthur Balfour
and Lord Lansdowne to pass the Budget, which Lord Esher had advised him was not unusual, as Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
had helped to broker agreements between the two Houses over Irish disestablishment in 1869 and the Third Reform Act in 1884.[103] 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.[104] 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[105] 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.[106] 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.[107] 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.[9][108] 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.[109] 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.[110] 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.[110] 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.[111] The King's Speech from the Throne
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.[112] 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[109]). 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.[113] 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".[114] Esher's view has been called "obsolete and unhelpful".[115] Death[edit]

Drawing of Edward on his deathbed in Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
by Sir Luke Fildes, 1910

Play 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.[116] Towards the end of his life he increasingly suffered from bronchitis.[9] He suffered a momentary loss of consciousness during a state visit to Berlin in February 1909.[117] 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.[9] 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."[118] Between moments of faintness, his son the Prince of Wales
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.[9] At 11:30 p.m. he lost consciousness for the last time and was put to bed. He died 15 minutes later.[118] 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.[119] 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 four guardsmen standing at each corner of the bier. Despite the time that had elapsed since his death, Alexandra noted the King's body remained "wonderfully preserved".[120] 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.[121] As Barbara Tuchman
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.[122] Legacy[edit] Further information: Cultural depictions of Edward VII
Edward VII
of the United Kingdom and Royal eponyms in Canada

Statue in Queen Victoria
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.

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.[123] The title Prince of Wales
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.[124] 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
Prince of Wales
on 26 July 1958 (59 years, 254 days ago).[124][125][126] As king, Edward VII
Edward VII
proved a greater success than anyone had expected,[127] 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,[128] 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".[129] Edward has been recognised as the first truly constitutional British sovereign and the last sovereign to wield effective political power.[130] Though lauded as "Peacemaker",[131] he had been afraid his nephew, the German Emperor
German Emperor
Wilhelm II, would tip Europe into war.[132] 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.[133] 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.[134] 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.[135] Subsequent biographers have been able to construct a more rounded picture of Edward by using material and sources that were unavailable to Lee.[136] 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.[137]

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."[138] 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
Edward VIII
wrote, "his lighter side ... obscured the fact that he had both insight and influence."[139] "He had a tremendous zest for pleasure but he also had a real sense of duty", wrote J. B. Priestley.[140] Lord Esher wrote that Edward was "kind and debonair and not undignified – but too human".[141] Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit] Titles and styles[edit]

9 November 1841 – 22 January 1901: 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[edit] British honours[edit]

8 December 1841: Knight of the Order of the Garter[142] 25 June 1861: Knight Companion of the Order of the Star of India[142] 12 February 1863: Fellow of the Royal Society[142] 8 December 1863: Member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom[142] 10 February 1865: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath[142] 28 March 1866: Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India[142] 24 May 1867: Knight of the Order of the Thistle
Order of the Thistle
[142] 18 March 1868: Knight of the Order of St Patrick[142] 21 April 1868: Member of the Privy Council of Ireland[142] 30 May 1877: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George[142] 21 June 1887: Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire[142] 6 May 1896: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order[142] 22 June 1897: Great Master of the Order of the Bath[143]

Foreign honours[edit]

Armorial achievement of the Spanish Army
Spanish Army
62nd Regiment of Infantry "Arapiles". King Edward's cypher and the name of the British Army
British Army
unit that played a prominent role in the Battle of Salamanca
Battle of Salamanca
were added at the beginning of the Peninsular War
Peninsular War
Centenary (1908).[144]


Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
Order of the Golden Fleece
- May 1852[142] Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III
Order of Charles III
- May 1876[142]

 Kingdom of Portugal: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Tower and Sword - March 1859[142]  France: Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour
- March 1863[142] Sweden: Knight of the Order of the Seraphim
Order of the Seraphim
- 27 September 1864[145]  Austria-Hungary: Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary - 13 June 1867[146]  Prussia:

Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle
Order of the Black Eagle
- 1869[142] Knight of the Order of Saint John (Bailiwick of Brandenburg)[146]

 Russia: Knight of the Order of St Andrew
Order of St Andrew
- January 1874[142] Norway: Grand Cross of the Order of St Olav
Order of St Olav
- 8 October 1874[147]  Denmark:

Grand Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog
Order of the Dannebrog
- September 1901[148] Knight of the Order of the Elephant[146]

 Ethiopian Empire: Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Ethiopia - 9 October 1901[149]  Japan: Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
Order of the Chrysanthemum
- 13 June 1902[150]  Ottoman Empire: Order of the Hanedan-i-Ali-Osman - June 1902[151]  San Marino: Grand Cross of the Order of San Marino
San Marino
- August 1902[152]  Sovereign Military Order of Malta: Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta[146]  Kingdom of Bavaria: Knight of the Order of Saint Hubert[146]  Empire of Brazil: Knight of the Order of the Southern Cross[146]  Thailand: Order of the White Elephant[146]  Kingdom of Italy: Order of the Annunciation[146]

Honorary foreign military appointments[edit]

1870: Honorary Colonel of the Guard Hussar Regiment (Denmark)[153] 1883: Field Marshal (Generalfeldmarschall) of the German Army[154] 5 February 1901: Honorary Colonel of the 27th (King Edward's) Regiment of Dragoons of Kiev[155] 26 June 1902: Admiral of the Fleet (Großadmiral) à la suite of the Imperial German Navy[154] Honorary Captain General of the Spanish Army[156] Honorary Admiral of the Spanish Navy[156] Colonel-in-Chief of the Blücher Hussar Regiment[154] Colonel-in-Chief 1st Guards Dragoons "Queen of Great Britain and Ireland"[154] Honorary Colonel of the Infantry Regiment "Zamora" No. 8 (Spain)[156]

Arms[edit] As Prince of Wales, Edward's coat of arms was the royal arms differenced by a label of three points argent, and an inescutcheon of the shield of Saxony, representing his father. When he acceded as King, he gained the royal arms undifferenced.[157]

Coat of arms as Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
from 1841–1901

Royal coat of arms outside Scotland

Royal coat of arms in Scotland

Issue[edit] Further information: Grandchildren of Victoria and Albert

Name Birth Death Notes

Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence
and Avondale 8 January 1864 14 January 1892 engaged 1891, to Princess Mary of Teck

George V 3 June 1865 20 January 1936 married 1893, Princess Mary of Teck; had issue

Louise, Princess Royal 20 February 1867 4 January 1931 married 1889, Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife; had issue

Princess Victoria 6 July 1868 3 December 1935 never married and without issue

Princess Maud of Wales 26 November 1869 20 November 1938 married 1896, King Haakon VII; had issue

Prince Alexander John of Wales 6 April 1871 7 April 1871 born prematurely and died twenty-four hours later


Ancestors of Edward VII

16. Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Saalfeld

8. Francis Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Saalfeld

17. Princess Sophia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

4. Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

18. Henry XXIV, Count Reuss-Ebersdorf

9. Countess Augusta Carolina of Reuss-Ebersdorf

19. Countess Carolina of Erbach-Schönberg

2. Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

20. Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

10. Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

21. Princess Charlotte of Saxe-Meiningen

5. Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

22. Frederick Francis I, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

11. Duchess Louise Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

23. Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

1. Edward VII
Edward VII
of the United Kingdom

24. Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales[158]

12. George III of Great Britain and Hanover

25. Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha[158]

6. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
and Strathearn

26. Duke Charles Louis of Mecklenburg-Strelitz[158]

13. Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

27. Princess Elizabeth of Saxe-Hildburghausen[158]

3. Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom

28. Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Saalfeld[158] (= 16)

14. Francis Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Saalfeld
Francis Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Saalfeld
(= 8)

29. Princess Sophia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel[158] (= 17)

7. Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Saalfeld

30. Henry XXIV, Count Reuss-Ebersdorf[158] (= 18)

15. Countess Augusta Carolina of Reuss-Ebersdorf
Countess Augusta Carolina of Reuss-Ebersdorf
(= 9)

31. Countess Carolina of Erbach-Schönberg[158] (= 19)

See also[edit]

Household of King Edward VII
Edward VII
and Queen Alexandra 1908 Summer Olympics, which he opened


^ His godparents were the King of Prussia, his paternal step-grandmother the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
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".[27] ^ No English or British sovereign has ever reigned under a double name.


^ Magnus, Philip (1964), King Edward The Seventh, London: John Murray, p. 1  ^ "No. 20065". The London
Gazette. 28 January 1842. p. 224. ) ^ Bentley-Cranch, Dana (1992), Edward VII: Image of an Era 1841–1910, London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, p. 1, ISBN 0-11-290508-0  ^ Weir, Alison (1996), Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy, Revised Edition, London: Random House, p. 319, ISBN 0-7126-7448-9  ^ Van der Kiste, John (September 2004; online edition May 2007) "Alfred, Prince, duke of Edinburgh (1844–1900)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/346, retrieved 24 June 2009 (subscription or UK public library membership required) ^ Ridley, Jane (2012), Bertie: A Life of Edward VII, London: Chatto & Windus, pp. 17–19, ISBN 978-0-7011-7614-3  ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 4 ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 18 ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Matthew, H. C. G. (September 2004; online edition May 2006) " Edward VII
Edward VII
(1841–1910)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32975, retrieved 24 June 2009 (subscription or UK public library membership required) ^ "Wales, H.R.H. Albert Edward, Prince of (WLS861AE)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.  ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 35; Ridley, p. 50. ^ Hough, Richard (1992), Edward and Alexandra: Their Private and Public Lives, London: Hodder & Stoughton, pp. 36–37, ISBN 0-340-55825-3  ^ a b Bentley-Cranch, pp. 20–34 ^ Hough, pp. 39–47 ^ Ridley, p. 37 ^ "No. 22198". The London
Gazette. 9 November 1858. p. 4745.  ^ Bentley-Cranch, pp. 36–38 ^ Hough, pp. 64–66 ^ Ridley, pp. 54–55 ^ Ridley, pp. 59–63 ^ Middlemas, Keith (1972), Antonia Fraser, ed., The Life and Times of Edward VII, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, p. 31, ISBN 0-297-83189-5  ^ Bentley-Cranch, pp. 40–42 ^ Ridley, Jane (16 February 2013), The first EVER photographs of a Royal tour, Mail Online, retrieved 17 February 2013  ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 44; Ridley, p. 72 ^ Middlemas, p. 35; Ridley, p. 83 ^ Ridley, pp. 85, 87, 93, 104 ^ Hattersley, p. 21 ^ Camp, Anthony (2007), Royal Mistresses and Bastards: Fact and Fiction, 1714–1936 . They are listed at http://anthonyjcamp.com/page9.htm. ^ Middlemas, pp. 74–80 ^ Souhami, Diana (1996), Mrs Keppel and Her Daughter, London: HarpurCollins, p. 49  ^ Ashley, Mike (1998), The Mammoth Book
of British Kings and Queens, London: Robinson, pp. 694–695, ISBN 1-84119-096-9  ^ Middlemas, p. 89 ^ Priestley, pp. 22–23 ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 97 ^ a b Edward VII, Official website of the British Monarchy, retrieved 18 April 2016  ^ Hattersley, pp. 18–19 ^ Bentley-Cranch, pp. 59–60 ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 66; Ridley, pp. 137, 142 ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 67 and Middlemas, pp. 48–52 ^ Edward to Lord Granville, 30 November 1875, quoted in Bentley-Cranch, pp. 101–102 and Ridley, p. 179 ^ a b Bentley-Cranch, p. 104 ^ Bergner Hurlock, Elizabeth (1976), The psychology of dress: an analysis of fashion and its motive, Ayer Publishing, p. 108, ISBN 978-0-405-08644-1  ^ Mansel, Philip (2005), Dressed to Rule, New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 138, ISBN 0-300-10697-1  ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 84 ^ Middlemas, p. 201 ^ "Try our "98' Curzons!" A few fashion hints for men", Otago Witness, 3 November 1898, retrieved 5 May 2010, It was actually the Prince of Wales who introduced this shape. He got them originally about eight years ago from a manufacturer called Charvet, in Paris.  ^ Roberts, p. 35 ^ Ridley, p. 91 ^ Middlemas, p. 200 and Hattersley, p. 27 ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 80 ^ Hattersley, p. 27 ^ a b Windsor, HRH The Duke of (1951), A King's Story, London: Cassell and Co, p. 46  ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 110 ^ Middlemas, p. 98 ^ Hattersley, pp. 23–25; Ridley, pp. 280–290 ^ Middlemas, p. 86; Ridley, pp. 265–268 ^ Sir Frederick Ponsonby, 1st Baron Sysonby, quoted in Middlemas, p. 188 ^ Middlemas, pp. 95–96 ^ Letter from Mrs Elise Stonor to Queen Victoria, 11 April 1871, quoted in Battiscombe, p. 112 and Ridley, p. 140 ^ Ridley, pp. 339–340 ^ Middlemas, p. 65 ^ Lee, vol. II, p. 7; Middlemas, p. 104 ^ "No. 27270". The London
Gazette (Supplement). 23 January 1901. p. 547.  ^ Priestley, p. 9 ^ The Duke of Windsor, p. 14 ^ Lee, vol. II, p. 26 ^ Middlemas, pp. 38, 84, 96; Priestley, p. 32 ^ Allfrey, Anthony (1991), King Edward VII
Edward VII
and His Jewish Court, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, ISBN 0-297-81125-8  ^ Lee, vol. II, pp. 63–64; Ridley, p. 271 ^ a b Lee, vol. II, pp. 102–109 ^ a b Mirilas, P.; Skandalakis, J.E. (2003), "Not just an appendix: Sir Frederick Treves", Archives of Disease in Childhood, 88 (6): 549–552, doi:10.1136/adc.88.6.549, PMC 1763108 , PMID 12765932  ^ Ridley, p. 365 ^ The Duke of Windsor, p. 20 ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 127 ^ Bentley-Cranch, pp. 122–139; Ridley, pp. 351–352, 361, 372 ^ Hattersley, pp. 39–40 ^ Lee, vol. II, p. 182 ^ Lee, vol. II, p. 157; Middlemas, pp. 125–126 ^ Glencross, Matthew (2015), The State Visits of Edward VII: Reinventing Royal Diplomacy for the Twentieth Century, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-1-137-54898-6  ^ Nicolson, Harold (October 1954), "The Origins and Development of the Anglo-French Entente", International Affairs, 30 (4): 407–416, doi:10.2307/2608720, JSTOR 2608720  ^ The Duke of Windsor, p. 15 ^ Middlemas, pp. 60–61, 172–175; Hattersley, pp. 460–464; Ridley, pp. 382–384, 433 ^ Lee, vol. II, pp. 581–582; Ridley, pp. 417–418 ^ Middlemas, pp. 167, 169 ^ Lee, vol. II, pp. 583–584 ^ Ridley, p. 241 ^ Hattersley, pp. 215–216; Lee, vol. II, p. 468; Ridley, p. 403 ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 98 ^ Magnus, p. 212 ^ Magnus, p. 541 ^ Lee, vol. II, pp. 91–93; Ridley, p. 389 ^ Middlemas, pp. 130–134 ^ Kennedy, Paul M. (2004), The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery, London: Penguin Books, pp. 215–216  ^ See, principally, Lambert, Nicholas A. (2002), Sir John Fisher's Naval Revolution, Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, ISBN 1-57003-492-3  For a much shorter summary of Fisher's reforms, see Grove, Eric J. (2005), The Royal Navy since 1815, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 88–100, ISBN 0-333-72126-8  ^ Middlemas, pp. 134–139 ^ Lambert, pp. 200–201. ^ Bradford, Admiral Sir Edward E. (1923), Life of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur Knyvet Wilson, London: John Murray, pp. 223–225  ^ Rose, Kenneth (1983), King George V, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, p. 65  ^ a b MacDonogh, Giles (2003), The Last Kaiser, New York: St Martin's Press, p. 277  ^ Heffer, pp. 276–277; Ridley, p. 437 ^ Heffer, pp. 282–283 ^ Magnus, p. 526 ^ Magnus, p. 534; Ridley, pp. 440–441 ^ Heffer, pp. 281–282 ^ Magnus, p. 536 ^ Heffer, pp. 283–284 ^ Ridley, p. 443 ^ Hattersley, p. 168 ^ a b Heffer, pp. 286–288 ^ a b Magnus, p. 547 ^ Heffer, pp. 290–293 ^ Heffer, p. 291 ^ Heffer, p. 293 ^ Heffer, pp. 294–296 ^ Magnus, pp. 555–556 ^ Ridley, p. 409 ^ Lee, vol. II, p. 676; Ridley, p. 432 ^ a b Bentley-Cranch, p. 151 ^ Ridley, p. 558 ^ Ridley, pp. 560–561 ^ Ridley, pp. 563–565 ^ Ridley, p. 568 ^ Prince Charles becomes longest-serving heir apparent, BBC, 20 April 2011, retrieved 30 January 2016  ^ a b Previous Princes of Wales, Clarence House, retrieved 30 January 2016  ^ Richardson, Matt (2001), The Royal Book
of Lists, Toronto: Dundurn Press, p. 56, ISBN 0-88882-238-3  ^ Bryan, Nicola. "Prince Charles is longest-serving Prince of Wales". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 9 September 2017.  ^ Ridley, pp. 349, 473, 476 ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 155 ^ King George V's diary, 6 May 1910. Royal Archives ^ Ridley, p. 576 ^ Bentley-Cranch, p. 157; Lee, vol. II, p. 738 ^ Lee, vol. II, pp. 358, 650, 664; Middlemas, pp. 176, 179; Ridley, p. 474 ^ Ridley, p. 474 ^ Ridley, p. 487 ^ Ridley, pp. 482–483 ^ Ridley, pp. 494–495 ^ Ensor, p. 343 ^ Ensor, pp. 567–569 ^ The Duke of Windsor, p. 69 ^ Priestley, p. 25 ^ Hattersley, p. 17 ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Cokayne, G. E. (1910), Gibbs, Vicary, ed., The complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, 4, London: St Catherine's Press, pp. 451–452  ^ Galloway, Peter (2006), The Order of the Bath, Chichester: Phillimore & Co. Ltd., p. 247, ISBN 978-1-86077-399-0  ^ History of the 62nd Mountain Hunters Regiment "Arapiles". Spanish Army website (in Spanish), retrieved 28 April 2016 ^ Sveriges och Norges statskalender 1865 ^ a b c d e f g h Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 1910. Burke's Peerage Ltd. p. 12.  ^ Norges statskalender 1877 ^ "The King's Journey" (24 September 1901) The Times Issue 36568, p. 3 ^ "Court Circular" (10 October 1901) The Times Issue 36582, p. 7 ^ "Court Circular" (14 June 1902) The Times Issue 36794, p. 12 ^ "Court Circular" (26 June 1902) The Times Issue 36804, p. 9 ^ "Court News" (6 September 1902) The Times Issue 36866, p.7 ^ "Galla Uniform" (in Danish). Retrieved 30 January 2016.  ^ a b c d "The German Emperor
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and the King" (28 June 1902) The Times Issue 36806, p. 5 ^ "The Coronation" (3 June 1902) The Times Issue 36784, p. 10 ^ a b c "Muerte del Rey Eduardo VII" (7 May 1910) ABC (1st ed.), p. 12, retrieved 28 April 2016 ^ Velde, François (19 April 2008), Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family, Heraldica, retrieved 2 May 2010  ^ a b c d e f g h Louda, Jiří; Maclagan, Michael (1999). Lines of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe. London: Little, Brown. p. 34. ISBN 1-85605-469-1. 


Battiscombe, Georgina (1969), Queen Alexandra, London: Constable, ISBN 0-09-456560-0  Bentley-Cranch, Dana (1992), Edward VII: Image of an Era 1841–1910, London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, ISBN 0-11-290508-0  Ensor, R. C. K. (1936), England, 1870–1914, Oxford: Clarendon Press  Hattersley, Roy (2004), The Edwardians, London: Little, Brown, ISBN 0-316-72537-4  Heffer, Simon (1998), Power and Place: The Political Consequences of King Edward VII, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, ISBN 0-297-84220-X  Hough, Richard (1992), Edward & Alexandra: Their Private and Public Lives, London: Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 0-340-55825-3  Lee, Sidney (1927), King Edward VII: A Biography, London: Macmillan  Magnus, Philip (1964), King Edward The Seventh, London: John Murray  Matthew, H. C. G. (September 2004; online edition May 2006) "Edward VII (1841–1910)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32975, retrieved 24 June 2009 (subscription or UK public library membership required) Middlemas, Keith (1972), Antonia Fraser, ed., The Life and Times of Edward VII, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, ISBN 0-297-83189-5  Priestley, J. B. (1970), The Edwardians, London: Heinemann, ISBN 0-434-60332-5  Ridley, Jane (2012), Bertie: A Life of Edward VII, London: Chatto & Windus, ISBN 978-0-7011-7614-3  Roberts, Andrew (2006), Salisbury: Victorian Titan, London: Sterling Publishing Co.  Tuchman, Barbara (1964), The Guns of August, New York: Macmillan  Windsor, HRH The Duke of (1951), A King's Story, London: Cassell and Co 

Further reading[edit]

Andrews, Allen (1975), The Follies of King Edward VII, Lexington, ISBN 978-0-904312-15-7  Aubyn, Giles St (1979), Edward VII, Prince and King, Atheneum, ISBN 978-0-689-10937-9  Butler, David (1975), Edward VII, Prince of Hearts, Littlehampton Book Services Ltd, ISBN 978-0-297-76897-5  Cornwallis, Kinahan (2009) [1860], Royalty in the New World: Or, the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
in America, Cambridge
University Press, ISBN 978-1-108-00298-1  Cowles, Virginia (1956), Edward VII
Edward VII
and his Circle, H. Hamilton  Hibbert, Christopher (2007), Edward VII: The Last Victorian King, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-1-4039-8377-0  Plumptre, George (1997), Edward VII, Trafalgar Square Publishing, ISBN 978-1-85793-846-3  Ponsonby, Frederick (1951), Recollections of Three Reigns, London: Eyre & Spottiswoode  Roby, Kinley E. (1975), The King, the Press and the People: A Study of Edward VII, Barrie and Jenkins, ISBN 978-0-214-20098-4  Walker, Richard (1988), The Savile Row Story: An Illustrated History, London: Prion, ISBN 1-85375-000-X  Weintraub, Stanley (2001), Edward the Caresser: The Playboy Prince Who Became Edward VII, Free Press, ISBN 978-0-684-85318-5 

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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 Prince George later became King George IV Prince of Wales Duke of Cornwall Duke of Rothesay 1841–1901 Succeeded by The Prince George later became King 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 Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

Honorary titles

Vacant Title last held by Albert, Prince Consort Great Master of the Bath 1897–1901 Succeeded by Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

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English, Scottish and British monarchs

Monarchs of England before 1603 Monarchs of Scotland before 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 First Interregnum John Balliol Second Interregnum 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
Union of the Crowns
in 1603

James I & VI Charles I Commonwealth Charles II James II & VII William III & 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.

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Monarchs of Canada

House of Hanover
House of Hanover


House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

Edward VII George V

House of Windsor
House of Windsor

George V Edward VIII George VI Elizabeth II

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Emperors of India

Victoria Edward VII George V Edward VIII George VI

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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
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

Albert, Prince Consort1 King George V
George V
of Hanover Prince George, Duke of Cambridge

6th generation

King Edward VII Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover

7th generation

Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence
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 Henry of Wales James, Viscount Severn3

12th generation

Prince George of Cambridge

1 Not a British prince
British prince
by birth, but created Prince Consort. 2 Not a British prince
British prince
by birth, but created a Prince of the United Kingdom. 3 Status debatable; see his article.

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Princes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha


Duke Francis I

1st generation

Ernest I^ Prince Ferdinand^ King Leopold I of the Belgians^

2nd generation

Ernest II^ Albert, Prince Consort
Albert, Prince Consort
of the United Kingdom^* Koháry: King Fernando II of Portugal^¶ Prince August^ Prince Leopold^ Belgium: Crown Prince Louis Philippe# King Leopold II# Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders#

3rd generation

United Kingdom: King Edward VII* Alfred I* Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn* Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany* Braganza: King Pedro V¶ King Luís I¶ Infante João, Duke of Beja¶ Infante Fernando¶ Infante Augusto, Duke of Coimbra¶ Koháry: Prince Philipp Prince Ludwig August Tsar Ferdinand I of the Bulgarians† Belgium: Prince Leopold, Duke of Brabant# Prince Baudouin# King Albert I#

4th generation

United Kingdom: Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence
and Avondale* King George V* Prince Alexander John of Wales* Hereditary Prince Alfred* Prince Arthur of Connaught* Charles Edward I* Braganza: King Carlos I¶ Infante Afonso, Duke of Porto¶ Koháry: Prince Leopold Clement Prince Pedro Augusto1 Prince August Leopold1 Prince Joseph Ferdinand1 Prince Ludwig Gaston1 Bulgaria: Tsar Boris III† Kiril, Prince of Preslav† Belgium: King Leopold III# Prince Charles, Count of Flanders#

5th generation

United Kingdom: King Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor* King George VI* Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester* Prince George, Duke of Kent* Prince John* Prince Alastair of Connaught* Hereditary Prince Johann Leopold* Prince Hubertus* Friedrich Josias, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Braganza: Luís Filipe, Prince Royal¶ 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

Andreas, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Adrian Koháry: Prince Johannes Heinrich Bulgaria: Kardam, Prince of Turnovo† Kyril, Prince of Preslav† Kubrat, Prince of Panagyurishte† Konstantin-Assen, Prince of Vidin† Belgium: King Philippe# Prince Laurent#

7th generation

Hereditary Prince Hubertus Prince Alexander Koháry: Prince Johannes Bulgaria: Boris, Prince of Turnovo† Prince Beltrán† Prince Tassilo† Prince Mirko† Prince Lukás† Prince Tirso† Prince Umberto† Belgium: Prince Gabriel# Prince Emmanuel# Prince Nicolas# Prince Aymeric#

8th generation

Prince Philipp

^Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld until 1826 *also a prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
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
Bulgarian royal family
1also a member of the Brazilian imperial family

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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

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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

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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 (1603–1612) 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)

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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

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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
Prince of Wales

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 York Rite Provincial Grand Lodges (UGLE) Lectures of the Three Degrees in Craft Masonry Emulation Lodge of Improvement Quatuor Coronati Lodge

Appendant bodies


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
Holy Royal Arch
Knight Templar Priests Order of St Thomas of Acon Order of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City


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 the Royal and Select Masters Order of Knight Masons Fraternity of the Royal Ark Mariners Order of the Scarlet Cord Order of the Trowel

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Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 265340794 LCCN: n79039821 ISNI: 0000 0003 8269 6461 GND: 118528955 SELIBR: 207197 SUDOC: 031976077 BNF: cb12309317p (data) BIBSYS: 90595219 ULAN: 500023438 NLA: 35057316 NDL: 001123056 NKC: jn20030212003 BNE: XX954611 RKD: 25504 SN