King Edward VII
Person Male Born 9/11/1841 Died 6/5/1910
Reigned: 1901 - 1910. Born and died at Buckingham Palace. Victoria's eldest son, born as Prince Albert and known as Bertie in the family, he took the name Edward when he became king, aged almost 60. Before that he had led what his mother considered a dissolute life, with Lillie Langtry and Jennie Churchill (Winston's mother) amongst his mistresses.
He openly enjoyed the role of King and relished the costumes and ceremonies. He was a fashion-setter, making tweeds, dinner-jackets, Norfolk jackets, trouser turn-ups and Homburg hats popular and introducing a short-lived mode for trousers creased at the side. The 30-course breakfasts (his nick-name was 'Tum Tum'), his wife, two mistresses and numerous other women probably contributed to his satisfaction. It is claimed that he liked women's company but his attitude would be difficult to take nowadays. Of his wife he said: "She is my brood mare; the others are my hacks." Another nick-name was "Edward the Caresser". His relationship with his mother cannot have been easy: he could never have matched up to his father in Victoria's eyes and, worse, she blamed him for her beloved husband's death, since Albert had been travelling to see Bertie and tell him off for his womanising, when he caught the cold which turned into the pneumonia which killed him. The Queen insisted that Bertie still go on the improving tour of the Holy Lands that his parents had arranged, with an all-male entourage. Bertie still managed to acquire a tattoo in Jerusalem.
Less personally, he played a role in achieving the important 1904 Entente Cordiale, for which he gained another nick-name 'The Peace Maker'.
His coronation was set for 26th June 1902, but, due to illness, it was postponed indefinitely and eventually took place on 9th August 1902. He underwent one of the early operations for appendicitis, then often a cause of death. Medical staff were on hand at the ceremony and the king was unable to carry out some of the traditional rituals. When he did eventually die his coffin was followed by his terrier, Caesar.
2022: RIBA29855 shows sketched elevations from 1911 by Lutyens of "preliminary designs for a proposed memorial to Edward VII, Piccadilly, London" which would have incorporated sculptures by Sir Bertam MacKennel. We believe this was one of the options considered for the London memorial to the recently deceased King. The chosen option being the MacKennal statue in Waterloo Place.