queen victoria’s successor

queen victoria's successor
queen victoria’s successor

Edvard VII (engelska: Edward VII), Albert Edward, född 9 november 1841 på Buckingham Palace i London, död den 6 maj 1910 på Buckingham Palace, var kung av Storbritannien och kejsare av Indien från 1901 till sin död 1910.

Edvard VII var äldste sonen till drottning Viktoria och hennes gemål, prins Albert av Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha. Han kallades Bertie av familj och nära vänner.

Fadern avled i tyfoidfeber 1861 efter att ha besökt sonen i Cambridge där Edvard förde ett lättsinnigt studentliv, och modern, som var otröstlig av sorg, anklagade sonen för dödsfallet. Hon ansåg att ”Bertie” var en oansvarig playboy.

Han gifte sig med prinsessan Alexandra av Danmark den 10 mars 1863 på Windsor Castle, men fortsatte att ha en rad älskarinnor, bland vilka den mest kända var Lillie Langtry. På senare år knöt han förbindelse med mrs Alice Keppel, som i mycket kom att fungera som hans mätress.

I juni 1902, kort innan sin kröning, genomgick kung Edward en blindtarmsoperation, den tredje personen i Storbritannien att överleva en sådan operation. På grund av operationen fick Edwards kröning skjutas upp till augusti samma år.[1]
queen victoria’s successor

Edvard VII blev år 1908 den förste brittiske monark som besökte Sverige. Han hade tidigare besökt Sverige år 1864 då han utnämnts till riddare av Serafimerorden av Karl XV. Enligt honom själv var han god vän med Oscar II (d 1907).

Prins Albert Victor, hertig av Clarence och Avondale, Albert Victor Christian Edward, “Eddie”, född 8 januari 1864 på Frogmore House nära Windsor Castle , död 14 januari 1892 på Sandringham House, var äldste son till Albert Edvard, prins av Wales (senare kung Edvard VII) och Alexandra av Danmark.

Från födseln och till sin hädangång, i egenskap av äldste son till prinsen av Wales, var prins Albert Victor på andra plats i den brittiska tronföljden. Efter bortgången övertog yngre brodern hans plats i tronföljden, blev tronföljare 1901 efter farmoderns död och efterträdde 1910 fadern som kung Georg V.

Då prins Albert Victor föddes var han den andre i successionsordningen efter fadern, men dog i lunginflammation före honom, vilket ledde till att hans yngre bror, prins Georg ärvde tronen, liksom han kom att “ärva” hans fästmö, prinsessan Mary av Teck.

Det har i efterhand spekulerats och smitts många konspirationsterorier kring många aspekter av prinsens liv. Hans påstått begränsade intellekt (som kanske påverkades av hans nedärvda partiella dövhet), hans påstådda homosexualitet och labila psykiska hälsa har alla givit upphov till olika teorier. Han misstänktes även att ha varit seriemördaren Jack Uppskäraren, men det finns inga bevis för dessa beskyllningar.


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Georg V (engelska: George V), George Frederick Ernest Albert, född 3 juni 1865 på Marlborough House i London, död 20 januari 1936 på Sandringham House i Sandringham i Norfolk, var kung av Storbritannien och Irland samt kejsare av Indien från 1910 fram till sin död.

Georg V var son till prins Albert Edvard, prins av Wales och Alexandra av Danmark. Han blev näst högst i tronföljden 1892, då hans äldre bror Albert Victor, hertig av Clarence avled, och 1893 gifte han sig med prinsessan Mary av Teck (1867–1953), som dessförinnan hade varit förlovad med Albert Victor. Han efterträdde sin far, Edvard VII som kung 1910.

År 1917, som en följd av anti-tyska stämningar under första världskriget, avsade han sig alla tyska titlar både för sig själv och för familjen och ändrade släktnamnet från Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha till Windsor. Under hans regeringstid trädde Westminsterstatuten i kraft, vilket innebar att den brittiske monarken även var monark i egen rätt för respektive dominion. De sista åren av sitt liv plågades Georg V av lungsjukdom. Han är far till Edvard VIII och Georg VI samt farfar till Elizabeth II.

Georg föddes den 3 juni 1865 i Marlborough House i London. Hans far var Albert Edvard, prins av Wales (från 1901 Edvard VII), den äldste sonen till Viktoria av Storbritannien och prins Albert av Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha. Som manligt barnbarn till drottning Viktoria var Georg vid födseln titulerad som H.K.H. prins Georg av Wales. Han döptes vid i det privata kapellet i Windsor Castle den 7 juli 1865. Som yngre son till prinsen av Wales, förväntades det inte att Georg skulle bli kung. Hans äldre bror, prins Albert Victor, var första tronarvinge i följd efter sin far.

Georg var bara 15 månader yngre än sin bror prins Albert Victor och därför blev det bestämt att de skulle genomgå sin utbildning tillsammans. Prinsen av Wales utsåg John Neale Dalton som deras privatlärare. I september 1877 gick bröderna med i skolfartyget HMS Prince of Wales i Dartmouth. Fadern menade att flottan var “den bästa möjliga utbildningen för varenda pojke”. Från 1879 tjänstgjorde de kungliga bröderna i tre år som kadetter på HMS “Bacchante”, under uppsyn av Dalton. De reste runt i det brittiska imperiet och besökte Norfolk, kolonierna i Karibien, Sydafrika och Australien, samt Medelhavet, Sydamerika, Fjärran Östern och Egypten. Dalton skrev en reserapport med namnet HMS Bacchante. Mellan Melbourne och Sydney, skall Dalton, enligt honom själv, ha fått en glimt av “Den flygande holländaren”, ett mytiskt spökskepp.
queen victoria’s successor

När de återvände till Storbritannien skildes bröderna åt. Albert Victor började studera på Trinity College i Cambridge medan Georg fortsatte i flottan. Han reste världen runt och besökte olika platser i det brittiska imperiet och kvarstod i aktiv tjänst fram till 1891.

1891 förlovade sig brodern, prins Albert Victor, med prinsessan Victoria Mary av Teck (alltid inom familjen kallad för “May”), enda dottern till Franz, hertig av Teck och prinsessan Mary Adelaide (drottning Viktorias kusin). Men prins Albert Victor dog av lunginflammation sex veckor senare, sålunda blev Georg näst högst i tronföljden efter fadern. Detta innebar att Georg tvingades avsluta sin karriär i flottan för att kunna förbereda sig som framtida tronföljare och kung. Drottning Viktoria tycke att May alltjämt var en passande äktenskapskandidat for en framtida kung, så hon övertalade Georg till att förlova sig med May. Georg gjorde det, och May accepterade. Äktenskapet var en framgång, och de sände varandra kärleksbrev i resten av sina liv. Den 25 maj 1892 utnämnde hans farmor, drottning Viktoria, hon om till hertig av York.

Den 22 januari 1901 avled Drottning Viktoria, och Georgs far, Albert Edvard, efterträdde sin mor som Kung Edvard VII. I samma ögonblick övertog Georg titlarna hertig av Cornwall och hertig av Rothesay. Senare samma år blev George utnämnd av sin far till prins av Wales och earl av Chester.

Edvard VII önskade att hans son skulle få mer erfarenhet och förberedelse för sin framtida roll (i motsats till Edvard själv, som drottning Victoria hade exkluderat från alla statsangelägenheter), fick Georg tillgång till alla officiella handlingar av sin far. Georg lät även sin fru få tillgång samma handlingar, då han värdesatte hennes råd, och May hjälpte ofta till med att skriva sin makes tal.

Den 6 maj 1910 avled Edvard VII av Storbritannien och Georg efterträdde honom som kung. Han skrev i sin dagbok: “Jag har förlorat min bästa vän och den bästa av fäder … Jag hade aldrig ett ovänligt ord med honom i mitt liv. Jag är förkrossad och överväldigad av sorg, men Gud kommer att hjälpa mig i mitt ansvar och min älskling May blir min tröst som hon alltid har varit. Må Gud ge mig styrka och vägledning i den tunga uppgift som har fallit på mig.”

Kung Georg V och Drottning Marys kröning ägde rum i Westminster Abbey den 22 juni 1911. Georg V:s regeringstid var präglad av stora politiska förändringar, socialismen, kommunismen och fascismen var på frammarsch, och Georg V måste under sin tid som brittisk monark förhålla sig till irländsk republikanism och indiska självständighetskrav. Efter att Parliament Act 1911 erhållit kunglig sanktion blev tyngdpunkten i Storbritanniens parlament överflyttad från det aristokratiska överhuset till det folkvalda underhuset. Under slutet av 1911 reste kungaparet till Indien där de 11 december 1911 hälsades välkomna och mottog hyllningar från de indiska furstarna till sin kejsare och kejsarinna vid en Durbar i Delhi.

  • square root of 12
  • Under första världskriget gjorde Georg V flera besök vid fronten. Vid ett sådant besök 1915 i Frankrike föll han av sin häst och bröt sitt bäcken, något han led av under återstoden av sitt liv. Det brittiska imperiet nådde sin största geografiska utsträckning mellan 1919 och 1922. Vid Versaillesfreden 1919 erhöll Storbritannien tidigare tyska områden som mandat från Nationernas Förbund, och Egypten blev 1922 den första besittning som uppnådde full självständighet och oberoende från britterna. Oroligheter på Irland ledde till Irländska frihetskriget som 1921 ledde till Anglo-irländska avtalet som upprättade Irländska fristaten.

    Georg V var en kedjerökare som hade andningsproblem och led av kroniskt obstruktiv lungsjukdom. Hälsan försämrades under de två sista decennierna och Georg V avled 20 januari 1936 på Sandringham House.

    Georg V var bland annat kusin med både kung Carl XVI Gustafs farmor kronprinsessan Margareta av Sverige och med hans morfar hertig Karl Eduard av Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha. Han var även kusin med både kejsar Vilhelm II av Tyskland (på fädernet) och med tsar Nikolaj II, kung Kristian X av Danmark, kung Håkon VII av Norge och svåger genom giftermål med Maud av Storbritannien kung Konstantin I av Grekland, Andreas av Grekland och Danmark (farfar till Prins Charles) (på mödernet) samt med Nikolajs gemål Alexandra av Hessen.

    Maud av Storbritannien (Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria), senare Drottning Maud av Norge, född 26 november 1869 på Marlborough House i London, död 20 november 1938 på Appleton House i Sandringham i Norfolk, var medlem av den brittiska kungafamiljen, sondotter till drottning Viktoria och blev senare drottning av Norge som maka till Håkon VII av Norge. Hon var den första norska drottningen sedan 1319 som inte också var drottning av Danmark eller Sverige.

    Hon föddes som prinsessan Maud av Wales på Marlborough House, London som dotter till prinsen av Wales (senare kung Edvard VII), äldste son till Viktoria av Storbritannien och brittisk tronföljare, och dåvarande prinsessan av Wales, Alexandra av Danmark.

    Maud döptes på Marlborough House på julaftonen 1869. Hennes faddrar var kejsarinnan Maria av Ryssland och hennes blivande svärmor drottning Louise av Danmark. Hon var ett livligt barn, något som gav henne smeknamnet Harry.

    Maud växte upp på egendomen Sandringham House i Norfolk och fick en relativt fri uppväxt, något som hennes farmor Viktoria ska ha ogillat. Hon deltog i nästan alla av de årliga familjebesöken i Danmark och följde ofta med modern och systrarna på kryssningar till Norge och Medelhavet. Under besöken i Danmark lärde hon känna sin blivande make, prins Carl.

    22 juli 1896 gifte prinsessan Maud sig med sin kusin prins Carl av Danmark, i det privata kapellet i Buckingham Palace. Prins Carl var andre son till kung Fredrik av Danmark, drottning Alexandras äldre bror och prinsessan Louise av Sverige. Paret bosatte sig i Köpenhamn, men Maud led av hemlängtan i Danmark och tillbringade mycket tid på besök i Storbritannien. Brudens far, prinsen av Wales, gav henne efter några år Appleton House, beläget på Sandringham House ägor, som lantställe för sina besök i England. Där föddes parets enda barn prins Alexander (senare kung Olav av Norge) 2 juli 1903.
    queen victoria’s successor

    Prins Carl var officer i den danska flottan och han och hans familj bodde huvudsakligen i Danmark fram till 1905. I juni detta år upplöste Stortinget unionen med Sverige och röstade för att ge Carl tronen. Prins Carl accepterade och tog namnet Håkon VII och sonen fick namnet Olav. Kung Håkon och drottning Maud kröntes i Nidarosdomen i Trondheim 22 juni 1906, den sista kröningen av en skandinavisk monark.

    Drottning Maud förlorade aldrig sin kärlek till Storbritannien, men anpassade sig snabbt till sitt nya hemland och sina plikter som drottning. Hon stödde välgörenhetsprojekt, särskilt de som rörde barn och djur, och gav stöd till musiker. Hon lärde sig snart att åka längdskidor och skapade en engelsk trädgård vid Kongsseteren.

    Mauds ställning som medlem i det brittiska kungahuset medverkade i valet av hennes man Carl som norsk monark. Hon hade en stark ställning vid hovet och i den privata umgängeskretsen, men gjorde sig inte så mycket gällande offentligt. Maud skapade en roll för den nya norska monarkin som var en blandning av både folkligt och kungligt. I offentliga sammanhang använde hon sig av smycken och kostymering designad för att ge ett kungligt intryck. Hon och Håkon blev också fotograferade i norska folkdräkter och skidutrustning för att ge dem ett norskt intryck.

    Själv fortsatte Maud att betrakta Storbritannien som sitt hem, men hon stödde idén att ge sonen en “norsk” uppfostran. Hon ogillade representation men utförde den pliktskyldigt. Bland hennes projekt fanns Dronningens Hjelpekomité (senare Dronning Mauds Hjelpefond), som grundades 1914. Till Barnets utstilling 1921 designade hon ett barnrumsmöblemang och hennes fotografier såldes för välgörenhetsprojekt.

    Som person beskrivs hon som reserverad inför främlingar men skojfrisk och livlig bland vänner. Hon fortsatte att lida av hemlängtan i Norge, men uppskattade en del sidor av det norska livet, såsom vintersporter, som hon alltid hade utövat. Maud gav stöd åt feministen Katti Anker Møllers hem för ogifta mödrar (1906), något som betraktades som radikalt. Hon trivdes bäst i privatlivet på Bygdøy Kongsgård, på Kongsseteren och i sitt hus Appleton House vid Sandringham i Storbritannien, där hon tillbringade långa perioder varenda år. Hennes eventuella inflytande över politiken är okänt, men hon beskrivs som viljestark privat.

    Drottning Mauds sista offentliga framträdande i Storbritannien var vid brorsonen George VI:s kröning i maj 1937. Hon satt i den kungliga logen i Westminster Abbey bredvid sin svägerska drottning Mary och brorsdottern Mary, grevinna av Harewood.

  • property of life
  • Maud avled av hjärtsvikt i London (på dagen 13 år efter sin mor, Alexandra av Danmark), sex dagar före sin 69:e födelsedag, tre dagar efter en operation. Hennes kropp sändes till Norge med HMS Royal Oak. Drottning Maud begravdes i det kungliga mausoleet vid Akershus fästning.

    Drottning Mauds land har fått sitt namn efter henne.


    Buckingham Palace är den brittiska monarkens officiella residens i London. Statsbesök och kungliga mottagningar hålls i palatset och det är även en stor turistattraktion. “Buckingham Palace” eller bara “The Palace” är en vanlig metonym som pressen använder för kungahusets pressuttalanden.

    Under medeltiden var platsen där Buckingham Palace nu ligger en del av Manor of Ebury. Det hade flera kungliga ägare från Edvard Bekännaren och framåt och var även föremål för många fastighetsspekulationer (ett kryphål i Karl I:s avtal gjorde att området åter kunde komma i kungliga händer på 1700-talet). Föregångare till Buckingham Palace var Blake House, Goring House och Arlington House.

    Det ursprungliga Buckingham House, som var den byggnad som utgör kärnan i dagens palats, var tidigare ett stort privatpalats uppfört åt hertigen av Buckingham 1703 och förvärvad av kung Georg III[1] 1762 som privatresidens. Det byggdes ut under de följande 75 åren, huvudsakligen av arkitekterna John Nash och Edward Blore, och tre flyglar skapades runt en central borggård.

    Buckingham Palace blev den brittiska monarkens officiella palats i och med drottning Viktorias trontillträde 1837. De sista större tillbyggnaderna gjordes i slutet av 1800-talet och början av 1900-talet, då den stora östra flygeln mot The Mall lades till och den förra slottsporten Marble Arch flyttades till sin nuvarande plats nära Speakers’ Corner i Hyde Park. Den östra fasaden gjordes om i portlandsten 1913 som en bakgrund till Victoria Memorial, vilket gav Buckingham Palace sitt nutida utseende med den kända balkongen.
    queen victoria’s successor

    Mycket av inredningen från det tidiga 1800-talet finns bevarat, som scagliola i starka färger och blå och rosa lapis enligt sir Charles Longs anvisningar. Kung Edvard VII lät delvis göra en omdekoration i gräddvitt och guld i belle epoque-stil. Många mindre rum är möblerade i kinesisk stil med möbler och inredning från Royal Pavilion i Brighton och från Carlton House efter kung Georg IV:s död. Buckingham Palace Gardens är den största privata trädgården i London och utformades ursprungligen av Capability Brown, men gjordes om av William Townsend Ailton från Kew Gardens och John Nash. Den konstgjorda sjön färdigställdes 1828 och fylldes med vatten från Serpentine, en sjö i Hyde Park.

    Representationsrummen utgör kärnan i palatset och används regelbundet av drottningen och medlemmar av kungahuset för officiella ändamål. Buckingham Palace är en av världens mest kända byggnader och mer än 50 000 personer besöker palatset varje år som gäster på banketter, luncher, middagar, mottagningar och Royal Garden-fester.

    Buckingham Palace är öppet för allmänheten under augusti och september då drottningen befinner sig i Skottland. På The Queen’s Gallery, i anslutning till palatset, visas utställningar med anknytning till de kungliga samlingarna.

    Under medeltiden var platsen för nuvarande Buckingham Palace en del av Manor of Ebury (även kallad Eia). Träskmarken bevattnades av floden Tyburn, som fortfarande rinner nedanför palatsets borggård och södra flygel.[2] Vid en vadplats – Cow Ford (Ko-vadplatsen)- växte byn Eye Cross upp. Platsen har bytt ägare många gånger. Bland ägarna finns Edvard Bekännaren och hans maka drottning Edith och efter den normandiska erövringen kom den i Vilhelm Erövrarens händer. Vilhelm gav den till Geoffrey de Mandeville. Mandeville testamenterade ägorna till munkarna i Westminster Abbey.[3]

    1531 förvärvade kung Henrik VIII Hospital of St James (senare St. James’s Palace), från Eton College[4] och 1536 mottog han Manor of Ebury från Westminster Abbey[5] och platsen var åter i kungliga händer för första gången sedan Vilhelm Erövraren gett bort den nästan femhundra år tidigare.[6]

    Olika arrendatorer hyrde det från kungliga ägare och ägorna var föremål för fastighetsspekulationer under 1600-talet. Vid den tiden hade den gamla byn Eye Cross förfallit och området låg huvudsakligen öde.[7] Kung Jakob I, som var i behov av pengar, sålde av en del av marken, men behöll en del där han grundlade en 4 acre stor mullbärsträdgård för silkesproduktion (detta var i det nordvästra hörnet av det nuvarande palatset.)[8] Clement Walker antyder i Anarchia Anglicana (1649) att trädgården kan ha varit en plats för orgier.

  • stamp size photo
  • I slutet av 1600-talet ärvde Mary Davies ägorna från fastighetsmagnaten Sir Hugh Audley.[9]

    Det första huset som uppfördes på platsen var möjligen Sir William Blakes, kring 1624.[10] Nästa ägare var Lord Goring, som utvidgade Blakes hus och anlade stora delar av dagens trädgård, då känt som Goring Great Garden.[11][12] Han lyckades dock inte få besittningsrätt över mullbärsträdgårdarna. Goring kände inte till att dokumentet inte hunnit godkännas av Karl I innan denne flydde London 1640.[13] (Det var denna viktiga försummelse som hjälpte den brittiska kungafamiljen att återfå besittningsrätten under kung Georg III.)

    Den oförsiktige Goring försummade dock att betala arrende[14] och earlen av Arlington kunde därmed förvärva godset, som vid denna tid var känt som Goring House. Earlen av Arlington var bosatt där då det brann ned 1674.[15] Arlington House – det nuvarande palatsets södra flygel – byggdes upp på platsen följande år och besittningsrätten såldes 1702. Huset som utgör det nuvarande palatsets arkitektoniska kärna byggdes åt den förste hertigen av Buckingham och Normanby 1703 efter William Windes ritningar. Det blev en stor trevåningsbyggnad med två mindre flankerande tjänsteflyglar.[16]

    Buckingham House, som det kom att kallas, såldes 1762 av Buckinghams ättling, Sir Charles Sheffield, till kung Georg III för 21 000 £.[17] (Som sin farfar, Georg II, vägrade Georg III att sälja mullbärsträdgården, så Sheffield hade inte kunnat förvärva full besittning över platsen.) Huset var ursprungligen tänkt som en tillflyktsort för kungafamiljen, främst drottning Charlotte, och det blev känt som “The Queen’s House” (“Drottningens hus”). St. James’s Palace var fortfarande det officiella och ceremoniella kungliga residenset. Mottagandet av utländska ambassadörer kallas fortfarande “Court of St. James’s”, även om det är på Buckingham Palace som de presenterar sina kreditiv och personal för drottningen vid sitt utnämnande.

    Drottning Charlotte avled 1818 och Georg III 1820. Den slösaktige Georg IV beslutade att förstora Buckingham House för att användas tillsammans med St. James’s Palace så som hans far hade gjort, men 1826 beslutade han att göra om huset till ett fullt utrustat kungligt slott. Han anlitade John Nash[18] för att förverkliga sina visioner. Palatset som uppfördes utgjorde tre sidor kring en öppen cour d’honneur, med det tidigare Buckingham House som huvudbyggnad. Den nya delen fick en fasad i Bathsten, med utsökta detaljer i fransk neoklassicistisk stil. Detta var i stort sett det nutida palatset, men utan den stora östliga fasaden mot The Mall som nu omgärdar fyrhörningen.

    På platsen för den nutida östliga framsidan, mellan två skyddande flyglar, stod en kolossal triumfbåge i racaccionemarmor, utformad efter Konstantinbågen i Rom. Denna båge, som hade kostat 34 450 pund att resa, tjänade som slottsport. Georg IV hade tänkt att den skulle krönas av en ryttarstaty i brons av honom själv. Men han avled innan den färdigställts och då parlamentet motvilligt betalat räkningen för den beslutade de att istället resa den i Hyde Park, där den fortfarande står. Inredningen i palatset skulle komma att bli i oöverträffad prakt. Georg fick inredningsråd av sir Charles Long, som förespråkade det utbredda bruket av scagliola i starka färger och blå och rosa lapis lazuli, med stuckaturpaneler i taken. Georg IV avled 1830, och de färgstarka och förgyllda nuvarande representationsvåningarna färdigställdes inte förrän under Kung Vilhelm IV:s regeringstid.

    Vid Georg IV:s död ledde de eskalerande kostnaderna för det fortfarande ej färdigbyggda palatset till oro både i parlamentet och pressen. Vilhelm IV avskedade Nash som arkitekt och anställde Edward Blore[19][20], som bättre passade den nye kungens mer återhållna smak. Han var en mindre idealistisk och mer affärsmässig arkitekt än Nash och behöll dennes bidrag och färdigställde palatset i en liknande stil, dock mer stadigt och mindre pittoreskt. Den slutliga kostnaden för nationen för ombyggnaden av Buckingham Palace var över 719 000 £.

    Även om Vilhelm IV och drottning Adelaide höll många mottagningar och hov i representationsvåningarna, bodde de aldrig i palatset utan föredrog Clarence House, det mer blygsamma Londonresidens som de hade låtit bygga före trontillträdet. Då Houses of Parliament brann ned 1834, tänkte kungen att det ej färdigställda palatset skulle kunna bli en ny parlamentsbyggnad.[21] (Erbjudandet avböjdes dock och Westminsterpalatset återuppbyggdes.)

    Många av de mindre mottagningsrummen inreddes under Vilhelm IV:s regeringstid – så som de fortfarande ser ut – i kinesisk kejserlig stil, och eldstäder, prydnader och möbler tillvaratogs från Georg IV:s palats, Royal Pavilion i Brighton och Carlton House, efter hans död.

    Bakom palatset finns den stora parklika Buckingham Palace Gardens som är den största privata trädgården i London.[22] Den var ursprungligen formgiven av Capability Brown, men gjordes om då palatset byggdes om av William Townsend Ailton från Kew Gardens och John Nash. Den stora konstgjorda sjön färdigställdes 1828 och fylldes med vatten från Serpentine i Hyde Park.

    Precis som själva palatset är trädgården rik på konstverk. Ett av de mest anmärkningsvärda är Waterloo Vase, en stor urna som Napoleon I lät skapa till minne av sina erövringar. Den visades då den ej var färdigställd 1815 för kronprinsen av Ferdinand III, storhertig av Toscana. Kungen lät skulptören Richard Westmacott färdigställa den, i syfte att låta den bli blickfång i den nya Waterlookammaren på Windsor Castle. Men den drygt 4,5 meter höga och 15 ton tunga vasen var för tung för golven och den erbjöds till National Gallery. Museet återlämnade 1906 denna “vita elefant” till regenten. Edvard VII löste då problemet genom att ställa den utomhus i trädgården där den fortfarande står. I trädgården finns även ett litet sommarhus tillskrivet William Kent, från omkring 1740.

    I juni 2002 bjöd drottningen för första gången under sin regeringstid in allmänheten till sin trädgård. Som en del av hennes Golden Jubilee Weekend fick tusentals britter ansöka om biljetter till Party at the Palace där gitarristen Brian May i bandet Queen spelade sitt “God Save The Queen”-gitarrsolo uppe på Buckingham Palace. Kvällen före hölls Prom at the Palace.
    Under drottningens 80-årsfirande 2006 hölls Children’s Party at the Palace med 2000 barn i trädgården.

    Drottningen håller många fester i trädgården sommartid för offentliga personer som är av nationellt intresse på något vis.

    I anslutning till palatset finns Royal Mews, som också ritades av Nash, där de kungliga vagnarna, däribland Gold State Coach, står. Denna gyllene rokokovagn skapades av Sir William Chambers 1760, och har paneler målade av G. B. Cipriani. Den användes första gången av Georg III vid parlamentets öppnande 1762.[23] Den används bara för kröningar och jubileumsfirande. Även de hästar som används vid kungliga ceremoniella processioner i London finns i Royal Mews.[24]

    Buckingham Palace blev slutligen det kungliga huvudresidenset 1837 vid drottning Viktorias trontillträde,[25] som var den först monark att bo där eftersom Vilhelm IV hade avlidit innan det hade färdigställts.[26] Representationsvåningarna sprakade av guld och färger, medan det nya palatset var något mindre överdådigt. Det berättas om att skorstenarna rök in så mycket att elden fick släckas och att hovet frös.[27] Ventilationen var så dålig att det luktade illa och då beslutet togs att installera gaslampor uppstod oro för gas på de lägre våningsplanen. Det sägs även att personalen var lat och slapp och att palatset var smutsigt.[27] Efter att drottningen gift sig 1840 tog hennes make, prins Albert, sig an en omorganisation av hushållet och palatsets problem. Problemen åtgärdades och byggnadsarbetarna lämnade palatset samma år, men de skulle återkomma senare samma decennium.

    1847 ansåg paret att palatset blivit för litet för hovet och deras växande familj[28] och lät bygga den nya flygeln, ritad av Edward Blore och byggd av Thomas Cubitt[29] , som slöt fyrhörningen. Denna stora östflygel mot The Mall är i dag Buckingham Palace “ansikte utåt” och där finns den balkong varifrån kungafamiljen möter folkmassorna vid vissa tillfällen och årligen efter Trooping the Colour. Balsalsflygeln och flera representationsrum byggdes även under denna tid, ritade av Nashs elev Sir James Pennethorne.

    Före prins Alberts frånfälle uppskattade drottning Viktoria musik och dans och de största samtida musikerna uppträdde i Buckingham Palace.[30] Felix Mendelssohn ska ha spelat där vid tre tillfällen.[31] Johann Strauss d.y. och hans orkester spelade där då de var i England.[32] Strauss’ ‘’Alice Polka’’ uppfördes för första gången på palatset 1849 till drottningens dotters, prinsessan Alices, ära.[33] Under Viktorias tid var Buckingham Palace platsen för överdådiga maskeradbaler förutom de sedvanliga kungliga ceremonierna, utnämningarna och presentationerna.

    Drottning Viktoria lät flytta den tidigare statsentrén Marble Arch till sin nuvarande plats nära Speakers’ Corner i Hyde Park. Då hon blev änka 1861 drog sig den sorgtyngda drottningen tillbaka från offentligheten och lämnade Buckingham Palace för att istället bo på Windsor Castle, Balmoral Castle och Osborne House. Under många år användes palatset sällan och försummades rentav. Folkviljan tvingade dock henne att så småningom återvända till London, men hon föredrog att bo någon annanstans då det var möjligt. Hovuppgifter hölls fortfarande på Windsor Castle snarare än på Buckingham Palace, ledda av den dystra sorgklädda drottningen.[34]


    Palatsets huvudrum finns i piano nobile bakom den västliga delen mot trädgården i palatsets bakre del. I centrum för dessa utsmyckade representationvåningar är musikrummet, vars stora bågform dominerar fasaden. De vita och blå salongerna omger musikrummet. Det 50 meter långa bildgalleriet tjänar som en korridor mellan representationsrummen. Där finns verk av bland andra Rembrandt, van Dyck, Rubens och Vermeer.[35][36] Andra rum som leder från bildgalleriet är tronrummet och den gröna salongen. Den gröna salongen tjänar som en gigantisk försal till tronrummet, och är en del av en ceremoniell väg till tronrummet från vaktrummet högst upp vid den stora trappan. I vaktrummet finns en vit marmorstaty av Prins Albert i romersk stil i en tribun med rader av gobelänger. Dessa väldigt formella rum används bara vid ceremoniella och officiella sammanhang.

    Direkt under representationsrummen finns en samling mindre storslagna representationsrum. Dessa rum, som nås från marmorhallen, används för mindre formella sammanhang, som luncher och privata audienser. Vissa av rummen är inredda och uppkallade efter vissa besök eller besökare, som 1844-rummet, som inreddes då tsaren Nikolaj I gjorde statsbesök. I mitten bland dessa rum finns Bow Room, genom vilket tusentals gäster passerar årligen till drottningens Garden Parties i trädgården bakom. Drottningen använder en mindre svit av rum i den norra flygeln privat.

    Mellan 1847 och 1850, då Blore byggde den nya östra flygeln, plundrades åter Brighton Pavilion på inredningsdetaljer och därför har många av rummen i den nya flygeln en tydlig orientalisk atmosfär. Det röda och blå lunchrummet är också uppbyggt av delar från bankett- och musikrummen från Brighton, och har även en eldstad därifrån som är mer indisk än kinesisk. Den gula salongen har tapeter från 1700-talet, vilka kom från salongen i Brighton Pavilion 1817. Spiselhyllan i detta rum, med nickande mandariner i nischer och skräckinjagande bevingade kinesiska drakar, ser ut på det sätt man med europeiska ögon antog att en sådan i kinesisk stil skulle se ut.

    I mitten av denna flygel finns den berömda balkongen, och bakom dess glasdörrar: centralsalongen. Denna salong i kinesisk stil förbättrades av drottning Mary i slutet av 1920-talet, även om lackdörrarna togs från Brighton 1873. Längs den östra flygelns piano nobile finns ett enormt galleri känt som huvudkorridoren. Det har spegeldörrar och speglar på de korsande väggarna som reflekterar porslinspagoder och andra orientaliska möbler från Brighton. Det kinesiska lunchrummet och den gula salongen ligger i vardera ände av detta galleri och centralrummet ligger självklart i mitten.

    Besökande statsöverhuvuden som i dag besöker palatset bor i en svit kallad den belgiska sviten, som ligger på bottenplanet mot den norra trädgården. Dessa rum med korridorer förhöjda av kupoler inreddes ursprungligen åt prins Alberts farbror Léopold I, belgarnas förste kung. Kung Edvard VIII bodde i dessa rum under sin korta regeringstid.

    Under den nuvarande drottningen har hovceremonierna genomgått radikala förändringar och tillträde till palatset är inte längre ett privilegium enbart för överklassen.

    Klädkoden för den formella hovdräkten har stegvis blivit mer avslappnad. Under tidigare regeringstider bar de män som inte bar militär uniform knäbyxor i 1700-talsmodell. Kvinnornas aftonklädsel inkluderade obligatoriska släp och tiaror och/eller fjädrar i håret. Efter Första världskriget ville drottning Mary följa modet genom att göra kjolen kortare, till några centimeter över golvet, och bad därför en kammarjungfru att först korta sin kjol för att först se kungens reaktion. Kung Georg V blev upprörd och drottning Marys kjollängd förblev lång.[37] Senare tillät kung Georg VI och drottning Elizabeth kortare kjolar dagtid.

    1924 blev labourpremiärministern Ramsay MacDonald den första man som tagits emot av monarken i palatset i en vanlig kostym. Detta var dock en engångshändelse. Den fastställda klädkoden förblev obligatorisk fram till andra världskriget.

    I dag finns ingen officiell fastställd klädkod. De flesta män som besöker Buckingham kvällstid bär smoking eller frack, beroende på hur formell tillställningen är. Om klädkoden är frack bär kvinnorna tiara, om de äger en sådan.

    En av de första stora förändringarna gjordes 1958 då drottningen avskaffade presentationerna för debutanter. Dessa hovpresentationer för drottningen av flickor från aristokratin ägde rum i tronrummet. Debutanterna bar hovklädsel, med tre stora strutsfjädrar i håret (dessa sades alludera på fjädrarna över prinsen av Wales vapensköld). De steg in, neg, utförde en koreograferad gång baklänges medan de manövrerade ett släp av föreskriven längd. Drottning Elizabeth II ersatte presentationerna med flera och större garden parties för inbjudna personer från olika delar av det brittiska samhället.
    queen victoria’s successor

    Prinsessan Margaret lär ha sagt “Vi var tvungna att få ett slut på det, varenda slampa i London kom in.” (“We had to put a stop to it, every tart in London was getting in”) om debutantfesterna.[38]. I dag används tronrummet för formella mottagningar, exempelvis vid jubileer. Det är på tronens upphöjning som kungliga bröllopsporträtt och familjeporträtt tas.

    Utnämningar, däribland utnämningen av riddare med svärdsdubbning, och andra utmärkelser äger rum i palatsets viktorianska balsal, byggd 1854. Detta är palatsets största rum (37 x 20 m). Det har efter hand ersatt tronrummet i betydelse och användning. Under utnämningar står drottningen på en tronupphöjning under en gigantisk kupolformad sammetsbaldakin, känd som shamiana, som användes vid kröningen vid Durbar i Delhi 1911. En militärorkester spelar i musiksalongen och mottagarna av utmärkelserna går upp mot drottningen och mottar hedersbetygelserna medan deras familj och vänner ser på. Beatles hörde till de första artister som inte hörde till etablissemanget som fick utmärkelser på palatset.

    Statsbanketter äger också rum i balsalen. Dessa formella middagar äger rum under ett besökande statsöverhuvuds första kväll. Vid dessa tillfällen äter ofta över 150 personer klädda i högtidsdräkt, med tiaror för kvinnorna, på guldtallrikar. Den största och mest formella mottagningen på Buckingham Palace äger rum i november varje år, då drottningen bjuder in den utländska diplomatkåren i London.[37] Vid dessa tillfällen används alla representationsrum och hela kungafamiljen skrider genom dem, från de stora norra dörrarna i bildgalleriet. Som Nash hade föreställt sig så står alla de stora dubbelspegeldörrarna öppna och reflekterar åtskilliga kristallkronor och väggljusstakar, och skapar en avsiktlig optisk illusion av ljus och rymd.

    Mindre ceremonier som mottagandet av nya ambassadörer äger rum i 1844-rummet. Här håller drottningen även mindre lunchmottagningar och möten med Privy Council. Större lunchmottagningar äger ofta rum i den kupade och kupolförsedda musiksalongen eller i statsmatsalen. Vid alla formella tillfällen närvarar Yeomen of the Guard i sina historiska uniformer, samt andra i hovtjänstemän som kammarherrar.[39]

    Sedan palatskapellet bombades under andra världskriget har kungliga dop ibland ägt rum i musiksalongen. De tre första av drottningens barn döptes där i en särskild gyllene dopfunt.[40] Även prins William döptes i musiksalongen men hans bror, prins Harry, döptes i St George’s Chapel på Windsor Palace.

    De största tillställningarna är “garden parties” med upp till 8 000 inbjudna, som intar te och smörgåsar utomhus i rader av öppna tält. Gästerna samlas och sedan spelas nationalsången och drottningen kommer fram ur Bow Room, och går långsamt genom samlingen av gäster, och hälsar de som tidigare valts ut till hennes mer privata tetält. Om gästerna på dessa tillställningar inte får möjligheten att träffa drottningen, kan de som tröst i alla fall beundra trädgårdarna.

    År 1901, då kung Edvard VII tillträdde, fick palatset nytt liv. Den nye kungen och hans hustru drottning Alexandra hade alltid befunnit sig i toppen av Londons societet och deras vänner, kallade “the Marlborough House Set”, räknades som de mest eminenta och fashionabla i sin ålder. Buckingham Palace — balsalen, den stora entrén, marmorhallen, den stora trappan, vestibulerna och gallerierna som gjordes om i den belle epoquestil i gräddvitt och guld som de haft sedan dess — blev åter mittpunkten för det brittiska imperiet och en plats för majestätiska fester. Enligt John Martin Robinson anser många att kung Edvards stora omdekoration av palatset inte kompletterar Nashs originalverk på ett lyckligt sätt.[41] De har dock fått vara kvar i över 100 år.

    Den senaste större ombyggnationen ägde rum under kung Georg V:s regeringstid då Sir Aston Webb 1913 gjorde om Blores östra framsida från 1850 för att få den att delvis likna Giacomo Leonis Lyme Park i Cheshire. Denna nya huvudfasad (i Portlandsten) gjordes om för att utgöra en bakgrund till Victoria Memorial, ett stort minnesmonument för drottning Viktioria, utanför huvudgrindarna. Georg V, som hade efterträtt Edvard VII 1910, hade en mer allvarlig personlighet än fadern och mer tyngd lades nu på officiella tillställningar och kungliga plikter snarare än på överdådiga fester. Georg V:s maka drottning Mary var konstintresserad och ägnade sig åt de kungliga konstsamlingarna både genom att återställa och utöka dem. Drottning Mary lät även installera nya inventarier såsom ett par marmorspiselhyllor i empirestil av Benjamin Vulliamy, från 1810, som drottningen lät installera på bottenplanet i Bow Room, det enorma låga rummet i mitten av den delen som vetter mot trädgården. Drottning Mary lät även inreda den blå salongen.[42] Detta 21 meter långa rum, som tidigare kallades den södra salongen, har en av Nashs vackraste tak och beskrivs av författaren och historikern Olwen Hedley, i boken Buckingham Palace, som palatsets vackraste. Det är större och mer överdådigt än både tronrummet och balsalen, som byggdes för att ta över den blå salongens ursprungliga funktion.

    Den sista större utbyggnaden av palatset skedde på 1850-talet. 1999 sades det att [43] palatset bestod av 19 representationsrum, 52 huvudsovrum, 188 personalsovrum, 92 kontor, och 78 badrum.[44] Även om detta kan verka stort, är det litet jämfört med tsarens palats i Sankt Petersburg och Tsarskoje Selo, Apostoliska palatset i Rom, Kungliga slottet i Madrid samt även än det tidigare slottet Palace of Whitehall, och mycket litet jämfört med Förbjudna staden och Potalapalatset. Palatsets relativa litenhet ses främst från insidan, med utsikt över den inre borggården. En mindre ombyggnad skedde 1938 då den nordvästra paviljongen, som skapats av Nash, gjordes om till en badbassäng.

    Under första världskriget undkom palatset, som då var kung Georg V och drottning Marys hem, oskadat. De mer värdefulla ägodelarna hade flyttats till Windsor, men kungafamiljen förblev in situ. Den största förändringen i hovlivet under denna tid var att regeringen övertalade kungen att offentligt och demonstrativt låsa vinkällaren och avstå från alkohol under kriget, för att vara en förebild för de lägre klasserna. De lägre klasserna fortsatte dock att dricka och kungen sägs ha varit rasande över sin påtvingade avhållsamhet.[45] Edvard VIII berättade senare för en biografiförfattare att fadern tog ett glas portvin i hemlighet varje kväll och att drottningen hällde champagne i sin fruktsallad. Kungabarnen fotograferades vid denna tid då de serverade skadade officerare te i de närliggande Royal Mews.

    Under andra världskriget klarade sig palatset sämre, det bombades inte mindre än sju gånger och var en avsiktlig måltavla. Nazisterna ville förstöra Buckingham Palace och därigenom sänka den brittiska nationens stridsvilja. En bomb slog ned i borggården medan kung Georg VI och drottning Elizabeth befann sig där, men även om många fönster gick sönder rapporterades inga allvarligare skador. Rapporteringen om sådana incidenter var under denna tid begränsade. Den allvarligaste och mest publicerade bombningen var förstörelsen av palatsets kapell 1940: denna händelse visades på biografer över hela England, för att visa rika och fattigas gemensamma lidande. Kungen och drottningen filmades då de inspekterade sitt bombade hem, med drottningen leende i hatt och matchande kappa. Det var vid denna tidpunkt som drottningen sade de berömda orden “Jag är glad att vi har bombats. Nu kan jag se East End i ansiktet” (“I’m glad we have been bombed. Now I can look the East End in the face”).

    15 september 1940 rammade RAF-piloten Ray Holmes ett tyskt plan som försökte bomba palatset,[46] Holmes hade slut på ammunition och fattade snabbt beslutet att ramma det andra planet. Båda planen havererade och piloterna överlevde. Händelsen filmades. Planets motor visades senare upp på Imperial War Museum i London. Efter kriget blev den brittiske piloten en King’s Messenger och han avled, 90 år gammal, 2005.[47]

    8 maj 1945, då andra världskriget i Europa var över, var palatset en samlingsplats för det brittiska firandet, med kungen, drottningen, prinsessan Elizabeth, den blivande drottningen, och prinsessan Margaret på balkongen med palatsets mörklagda fönster bakom dem och framför dem de hurrande massorna på The Mall.[48]

    Även om säkerheten kring kungafamiljen i dag är hög, har flera kända intrång skett, både på palatset och på palatsområdet. De kända vaktposterna i drottningens livgarde betraktas i allmänhet främst som ceremoniella, men de har alltid haft en säkerhetsroll. Palatset har en egen polisstation och kungafamiljen har alltid med sig egna säkerhetsvakter. Fotsoldatbataljonen vid Wellington Barracks befinner sig bara 275 m bort. Enheterna vid Chelsea Barracks (fotsoldater) och Hyde Park Barracks (kavalleri) befinner sig båda på omkring 1,2 km avstånd.

    En ökänd händelse inträffade 1982 då Michael Fagan tog sig in i drottningens sovrum då hon sov. 2003 arbetade en Daily Mirror-reporter, Ryan Parry, som tjänare på Buckingham Palace. En av de referenser som han uppgivit var falsk, och det verkar som de inte kontrollerats ordentligt. George W. Bush var på besök och bodde på palatset. Tidningen publicerade hemliga bilder från Bushs sovrum, drottningens frukostbord och Hertigens av York rum.[49] Kungafamiljen stämde Daily Mirror för hemfridsbrott, och tidningen lämnade över sitt material och betalade en del av drottningens kostnader i en uppgörelse i november 2003.

    De flesta missarna i säkerheten har skett utanför palatset. 1974 försökte Ian Ball att kidnappa prinsessan Anne under pistolhot då hon var på väg tillbaka till palatset. 1981 campade tre tyska turister i Buckingham Palace trädgård, efter att ha klättrat över de taggtrådsförsedda murarna, i tron att det var Hyde Park. 1993 klättrade kärnvapenmotståndare över murarna och höll en sittande protest på palatsets gräsmatta. 1994 landade en naken skärmflygare på byggnadens tak. 1995 rammade en student, John Gillard avsiktligt en av 1,5 tons smidesjärngrindarna från gångjärnen. 1997 vandrade en mentalpatient omkring på palatsområdet, vilket ledde till en översikt av säkerheten gjordes.

    2004 utförde en medlem av gruppen Fathers 4 Justice, som kämpar för ensamstående pappors rättigheter, en protest då han klättrade på en avsats nära ceremonibalkongen på den östra fasaden, klädd som Batman. Vid samma tillfälle kunde en andra demonstrant, klädd som Robin, gripas innan han lyckades klättra upp på byggnaden. Han återvände i november klädd som Jultomten och kedjade fast sig vid en av lamporna vid huvudgrindarna.[50]

    Historiskt sett har det skett många misstag i säkerheten. Den otroligaste inträffade troligen 1837, då en tolvårig pojke, som har kommit att kallas The boy Cotton, lyckades bo i slottet ett helt år utan att bli upptäckt. Han gömde sig i skorstenar och smutsade ned de sängar han sov i. Han greps slutligen i december 1838, vilket ledde till diskussioner i parlamentet om den kungliga säkerheten.[51] Av de åtta mordförsöken på drottning Viktoria ägde åtminstone tre rum innanför palatsets murar. I början av 1900-talet var framsidan av palatset en vanlig mötesplats för suffragetter, som kedjade fast sig i de förgyllda järnstaketen. Genom åren har åtskilliga inkräktare gripits på palatsområdet, däribland en person som friade till prinsessan Anne, och förklarades psykiskt sjuk.

    Buckingham Palace är inte bara drottningens och tidigare prins Philips hem, utan är även Andrew, hertig av Yorks samt Edward, earl av Wessex och Sophie av Wessex’ londonresidens. Palatset inrymmer även kontor rörande monarkin och liknade.

    Palatset är 450 personers arbetsplats. Omkring 50 000 personer besöker årligen palatsets garden parties, mottagningar, audienser och banketter. På framsidan av Buckingham Palace sker vaktavlösningen, en ceremoni som är en stor turistattraktion (dagligen under sommarmånaderna, varannan dag vintertid).

    Buckingham Palace liksom övriga officiella residens, samt de officiella residensens konstsamlingar, tillhör nationen och ägs inte av drottningen personligen. Den ovärderliga inredningen, målningar och andra föremål, många av Fabergé, från Buckingham Palace och Windsor Castle kallas gemensamt De kungliga samlingarna. De ägs av nationen och kan ses av allmänheten vid de tillfällen palatset och slottet öppnas för visningar. The Queen’s Gallery nära Royal Mews är öppet året runt och där visas ett föränderligt urval av föremål från samlingarna. Rummen där Queen’s Gallery ligger är på den plats där det tidigare kapellet, som förstördes under andra världskriget, låg.

    Att man på 1990-talet började att visa representationsrummen för allmänheten sommartid var en stor förändring av traditionerna. Entréavgifterna gick ursprungligen till återuppbyggnaden av Windsor Castle efter att en brand förstört många av dess representationsvåningar. Besöksturerna omfattar en del av palatset och dess trädgårdar.

    Den ceremoniella vägen som leder upp till palatset som sträcker sig från Admiralty Arch, längs the Mall, runt Victoria Memorial till palatsets framsida. Beläggningens rödaktiga färg påminner om forna tiders röda matta. Som ett minnesmärke för drottning Viktoria används denna sträcka för parader och processioner med besökande statsöverhuvuden samt av kungafamiljen vid statshändelser som det årliga öppnandet av parlamentet. Processionerna går genom Admiralty Arch och upp på the Mall, som alltid är stängd vid dessa händelser.

    Som en del av firandet av drottningens 80-årsdag, utfördes “Big Royal Dig” av Time Teams arkeologer 25-28 augusti 2006 som gjorde några spektakulära grafiska rekonstruktioner av Buckingham Palaces historia.[52] Den första grafiska rekonstruktionen visar hur östra framsidan av Buckingham Palace avlägsnats (i bakgrunden av bilden). Marble Arch, som ritades av arkitekten John Nash, som sedan flyttats, har digitalt återinsatts på sin ursprungliga plats. Det ligger ingen sanning bakom det vanliga påståendet att den flyttades för att den var för liten för drottning Viktorias vagn. Den gyllene statsvagnen kan passera genom triumfbågen, vilket kunde ses under drottning Elizabeth II:s kröningsprocession 1953.

    Den andra grafiska rekonstruktionen kombinerar John Nashs palats med den ursprungliga Buckingham House-flygeln. (Den mer välbekanta östra delen av palatset befinner sig utanför bildkant till höger om bilden.)

    Tyvärr lyckades inte Big Royal Dig att lyfta fram några spår av de tre tidigare residensen på platsen, Buckingham House (1703), Arlington House (1674) och Goring House (1633).

    Den här artikeln är, helt eller delvis, en översättning från engelskspråkiga Wikipedia, där följande noter anges:


    Alexandra av Danmark, Alexandra Carolina Marie Charlotte Louise Julia, född 1 december 1844 i Köpenhamn, död 20 november 1925 på Sandringham House i Norfolk, var gift med Edvard VII av Storbritannien 1863–1910 och var som dennes hustru brittisk drottning och indisk kejsarinna 1901–1910. Hon var dotter till Kristian IX av Danmark och Louise av Hessen-Kassel.

    Alexandra var kronprinsessa längre än någon annan före henne och åtnjöt stor popularitet i Storbritannien, där hon bland annat blev en modeikon. Trots försök att påverka politiken till förmån för det danska och grekiska kungahuset begränsade sig hennes inflytande till okontroversiella välgörenhets- och representationsuppgifter.

    Alexandra fick en enkel uppväxt med familjen i Det Gule Palæ i Köpenhamn: hon sydde sina egna kläder och passade upp vid bordet. Under hennes barndom ska Hans Christian Andersen ibland ha läst godnatt-sagor för henne och hennes syskon. Hennes far blev 1852 Danmarks tronföljare, men familjen umgicks inte vid hovet hos Fredrik VII av Danmark och hade dålig ekonomi. Hon tog lektioner i simning hos pionjären för simning för kvinnor, Nancy Edberg.

    Alexandra utvaldes som brud åt Edvard, den dåvarande prinsen av Wales, av det brittiska kungahuset efter att flera tyska prinsessor valts bort, vilket kvarlämnade henne som “den enda kvar att välja”. Den 24 september 1861 presenterades hon för Edvard av den tyska kronprinsessan Viktoria i Speyer: frieriet framfördes 9 september 1862 i Belgien.

    Vid hennes ankomst till Gravesend i Kent den 7 mars 1863 komponerade Arthur Sullivan musik och hovpoeten Alfred Tennyson ett poem till henne. Senare samma år gifte hon sig med prinsen av Wales i St. George’s Chapel vid Windsor Castle. Bröllopet kritiserades eftersom relativt få personer blev inbjudna och få hade möjlighet att se det, och på grund av sorgeperioden efter prins Albert var det också på många sätt dämpat – bland annat fick de kvinnliga gästerna endast bära grå, lila eller malvafärgade kläder. Smekmånaden tillbringades sedan på Isle of Wight.
    queen victoria’s successor

    År 1863 blev hennes far monark i Danmark och hennes bror i Grekland. Under kriget mellan Danmark och Tyskland ställde sig Alexandra och Edvard på Danmarks sida vilket orsakade en konflikt med drottning Viktoria och svägerskan, Tysklands kronprinsessa: Tysklands erövring av det danska Schleswig-Holstein gjorde Alexandra starkt antitysk.

    Alexandra beskrivs som en engagerad förälder som var lyckligast i barnkammaren och som tyckte om dans, ridning och skridskoåkning. Hon beskrivs som värdig och charmerande offentligt och tillgiven och munter privat. Hennes jaktintresse irriterade drottning Viktoria, särskilt som hon fortsatte med sina fysiska aktiviteter efter att hon fått barn.

    Relationen mellan Alexandra och Viktoria var dålig också på grund av deras motsatta syn på Tyskland, som Alexandra var kritisk till och Viktoria favoriserade. För att förhindra Viktorias närvaro vid barnens födslar ändrade Alexandra datum för sina graviditeter för att efter förlossningen kunna säga att barnet föddes för tidigt. Efter födseln av det tredje barnet 1867 drabbades hon av reumatisk feber och som en följd av detta blev hon halt.

    Hon besökte med maken Irland 1868, Österrike, Egypten, Grekland och Krim 1868-69, under vilka hon ensam besökte Khedive Ismais harem och blev den första kvinna att sitta till bords med Sultan Abdülâziz av Turkiet.

    Paret bodde på Marlborough House i London och på sin lantegendom Sandringham House. Äktenskapet anses av historiker ha varit relativt lyckligt, men Edvard kritiserades efter hand för att försumma henne, särskilt på grund av hans likgiltighet för henne under hennes allvarliga sjukdom (reumatisk feber) år 1867, och de levde periodvis ganska skilda liv – hans sjukdom 1871 (tyfoid) innebar en försoning, men Edvard ägnade sig med tiden mer åt andra : han hade förhållanden med bland andra skådespelerskan Lillie Langtry, grevinnan Daisy Greville, humanisten Agnes Keyser och societetsdamen Alice Keppel, medan Alexandra levde ensam. En tilltagande dövhet fick henne att isolera sig alltmer med sina barn och husdjur.

    Hon blev mot sin vilja kvarlämnad då maken 1875-76 besökte Indien. Vid denna tid blev också paret inblandad i en omtalad skandal. Alexandra blev kontaktad av lord Randolph Churchill , som hotade henne med att om hon inte fick Edvard att övertala sin vän, lord Aylesford, att avstå från att skilja sig från Churchills syster, som varit otrogen, skulle Edvard bli indragen som vittne i skilsmässodomstolen, vilket under denna tid ansågs skandalöst. Alexandra kontaktade då drottningen som talade med Edvard, vilket ledde till en brytning med Randolph Churchill.

  • who was president in 1997
  • Alexandra var 1877 i Grekland. Under det rysk-turkiska kriget 1877-78 tog hon parti för Ryssland och lobbade för en ny gränsdragning till Greklands favör på Turkiets bekostnad. Paret besökte 1881 Ryssland.

    Alexandra var utförde mycket representationsarbete: hon öppnade basarer, närvarade vid konserter och besökte sjukhus i drottning Viktorias ställe, då denna tyckte illa om representation. Hon besökte särskilt ofta London Hospital, där hon också mötte Joseph Merrick, känd som “elefantmannen”. Hon var generellt populär bland allmänheten: endast vid ett tillfälle noterades en fientlighet, då hon 1885 besökte irländska Cork, vilken då var full av medlemmar av självständighetsrörelsen.

    Enligt kvarlämnad brevväxling hade hon en mycket nära och ömsesidig relation till barnen. Då äldste sonen dog 1892 behölls hans rum som han lämnat det. Då hennes svåger Rysslands tsar dog 1894 besökte hon sin syster under sorgetiden.

    Hon var en ivrig amatörfotograf, och publicerade i början av 1900-talet Queen Alexandra’s Christmas gift book, som såldes för välgörenhet. Alexandra mottog ofta böner om bidrag, och brukade inte ta ställning till dem utan automatiskt skicka tillbaka en check till vem som än bett om den, vilket oroade hennes ekonomiansvariga.

    Hon lade inte ut mycket pengar på kläder, men klädde sig ändå elegant och blev något av en modeikon: bland annat kopierade man hennes sätt att bära stora breda smycken som täckte hennes hals ända upp till hakan, något hon gjorde för att dölja ett ärr på halsen. Även hennes haltande efter 1867 imiterades i modet.

    Vid Viktorias död år 1901 blev Alexandra drottning: hon kröntes 1902. Alexandra försökte vid många tillfällen ingripa politiskt, men lyckades aldrig utöva något inflytande, och hon ska medvetet ha undanhållits offentliga dokument och officiella utlandsbesök då man var rädd för att hon skulle utnyttja dessa för politiska ändamål.

    Hennes politiska åsikter grundade sig främst på ett motstånd mot Tyskland. År 1890 skrev hon till flera brittiska ministrar och varnade för att byta ut den brittiska besittningen i Helgoland mot den tyska besittningen Zanzibar, men utan framgång. I tysk press anklagades hon och hennes syster, den ryska änketsaritsan, för att utgöra centrum i den “internationella antityska konspirationen”. År 1910 blev hon den första brittiska drottning som närvarade vid en debatt i parlamentet. Senare samma år skötte hon syrgasmasken under makens dödskamp. Hon stödde sonen mot överhuset då han gav efter för premiärministern och godkände parlamentsreformen 1910.

    Som drottningmoder var hon fortsatt aktiv inom representationsarbetet. Under första världskriget stödde hon sig på opinionen, då hon tvingade sonen att ta ned de tyska furstarnas vapenbanér från St. George’s Chapel i Windsor Castle. Hon mottog 1919 sin syster, den ryska änketsaritsan, då hon lämnade Ryssland efter ryska revolutionen. Hon ska ha sett ung ut fram till första världskriget, då hon snabbt åldrades, och efter 1920 drog hon sig tillbaka från det offentliga livet.

    Alexandra var till skillnad från övriga kungafamiljen sällan kritiserad i pressen. Hon finansierade en färja att evakuera de sårade under Mahdistupproret, sjukhusfartyget The Princess of Wales under boerkriget, och grundade Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, senare Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, under boerkriget.

    Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.

    The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and nicknamed “Bertie”, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. He was Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the British throne for almost 60 years. During the long reign of his mother, he was largely excluded from political influence 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 of the Indian subcontinent in 1875 proved popular successes, but despite public approval, his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother.

    As king, Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War of 1899–1902. He re-instituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialised. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called “Peacemaker”, but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor. The Edwardian era, which covered Edward’s reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis that was resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords.

    Edward was born at 10:48 in the morning on 9 November 1841 in Buckingham Palace.[1] He was the eldest son and second child of Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was christened Albert Edward at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 25 January 1842.[a] He was named Albert after his father and Edward after his maternal grandfather, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. He was known as Bertie to the royal family throughout his life.[3]
    queen victoria’s successor

    As the eldest son of the British sovereign, he was automatically Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay at birth. As a son of Prince Albert, he also held the titles of Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke of Saxony. He was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on 8 December 1841, Earl of Dublin on 17 January 1850,[4][5][b] a Knight of the Garter on 9 November 1858, and a Knight of the Thistle on 24 May 1867.[4] In 1863, he renounced his succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in favour of his younger brother Prince Alfred.[7]

    The Queen 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 Albert, and supervised by several tutors. Unlike his elder sister Victoria, he did not excel in his studies.[8] He tried to meet the expectations of his parents, but to no avail. Although Edward was not a diligent student—his true talents were those of charm, sociability and tact—Benjamin Disraeli described him as informed, intelligent and of sweet manner.[9] After the completion of his secondary-level studies, his tutor was replaced by a personal governor, Robert Bruce.

    After an educational trip to Rome, undertaken in the first few months of 1859, Edward spent the summer of that year studying at the University of Edinburgh under, among others, the chemist Lyon Playfair. In October, he matriculated as an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford.[10] Now released from the educational strictures imposed by his parents, he enjoyed studying for the first time and performed satisfactorily in examinations.[11] In 1861, he transferred to Trinity College, Cambridge,[12] where he was tutored in history by Charles Kingsley, Regius Professor of Modern History.[13] Kingsley’s efforts brought forth the best academic performances of Edward’s life, and Edward actually looked forward to his lectures.[14]

    In 1860, Edward undertook the first tour of North America by a Prince of Wales. His genial good humour and confident bonhomie made the tour a great success.[15] He inaugurated the Victoria Bridge, Montreal, across the St Lawrence River, and laid the cornerstone of Parliament Hill, Ottawa. He watched Charles Blondin traverse Niagara Falls by highwire, and stayed for three days with President James Buchanan at the White House. Buchanan accompanied the Prince to Mount Vernon, to pay his respects at the tomb of George Washington. Vast crowds greeted him everywhere. He met Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Prayers for the royal family were said in Trinity Church, New York, for the first time since 1776.[15] The four-month tour throughout Canada and the United States considerably boosted Edward’s confidence and self-esteem, and had many diplomatic benefits for Great Britain.[16]

    Edward had hoped to pursue a career in the British Army, but his mother vetoed an active military career.[17] He had been gazetted colonel on 9 November 1858[18]—to his disappointment, as he had wanted to earn his commission by examination.[11] In September 1861, Edward was sent to Germany, supposedly to watch military manoeuvres, but actually in order to engineer a meeting between him and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the eldest daughter of Prince Christian of Denmark and his wife Louise. The Queen and Prince Albert had already decided that Edward and Alexandra should marry. They met at Speyer on 24 September under the auspices of his elder sister, Victoria, who had married the Crown Prince of Prussia in 1858.[19] Edward’s sister, acting upon instructions from their mother, had met Alexandra at Strelitz in June; the young Danish princess made a very favourable impression. Edward and Alexandra were friendly from the start; the meeting went well for both sides, and marriage plans advanced.[20]

    Edward gained a reputation as a playboy. Determined to get some army experience, he attended manoeuvres in Ireland, during which he spent three nights with an actress, Nellie Clifden, who was hidden in the camp by his fellow officers.[21] Prince Albert, though ill, was appalled and visited Edward at Cambridge to issue a reprimand. Albert died in December 1861 just two weeks after the visit. Queen Victoria was inconsolable, wore mourning clothes for the rest of her life and blamed Edward for his father’s death.[22] At first, she regarded her son with distaste as frivolous, indiscreet and irresponsible. She wrote to her eldest daughter, “I never can, or shall, look at him without a shudder.”[23]

  • 120 divided by 36
  • Once widowed, 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 Istanbul.[24] The British Government wanted Edward to secure the friendship of Egypt’s ruler, Said Pasha, to prevent French control of the Suez Canal if the Ottoman Empire collapsed. It was the first royal tour on which an official photographer, Francis Bedford, was in attendance. As soon as Edward returned to Britain, preparations were made for his engagement, which was sealed at Laeken in Belgium on 9 September 1862.[25] Edward married Alexandra of Denmark at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 10 March 1863. He was 21; she was 18.

    The couple established Marlborough House as their London residence and Sandringham House in Norfolk as their country retreat. They entertained on a lavish scale. Their marriage met with disapproval in certain circles because most of Queen Victoria’s relations were German, and Denmark was at loggerheads with Germany over the territories of Schleswig and Holstein. When Alexandra’s father inherited the throne of Denmark in November 1863, the German Confederation took the opportunity to invade and annex Schleswig-Holstein. The Queen was of two minds as to whether it was a suitable match, given the political climate.[26] After the marriage, she expressed anxiety about their socialite lifestyle and attempted to dictate to them on various matters, including the names of their children.[27]

    Edward had mistresses throughout his married life. He socialised with actress Lillie Langtry; Lady Randolph Churchill;[c] Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick; actress Sarah Bernhardt; noblewoman Lady Susan Vane-Tempest; singer Hortense Schneider; prostitute Giulia Beneni (known as “La Barucci”); wealthy humanitarian Agnes Keyser; and Alice Keppel. At least fifty-five liaisons are conjectured.[29] How far these relationships went is not always clear. Edward always strove to be discreet, but this did not prevent society gossip or press speculation.[30] Keppel’s great-granddaughter, Camilla Parker Bowles, became the mistress and subsequent wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, Edward’s great-great-grandson. It was rumoured that Camilla’s grandmother, Sonia Keppel, was fathered by Edward, but she was “almost certainly” the daughter of George Keppel, whom she resembled.[31] Edward never acknowledged any illegitimate children.[32] Alexandra was aware of his affairs, and seems to have accepted them.[33]

    In 1869, Sir Charles Mordaunt, a British Member of Parliament, threatened to name Edward as co-respondent in his divorce suit. Ultimately, he did not do so but Edward was called as a witness in the case in early 1870. It was shown that Edward had visited the Mordaunts’ house while Sir Charles was away sitting in the House of Commons. Although nothing further was proven and Edward denied he had committed adultery, the suggestion of impropriety was damaging.[11][34]

    During Queen Victoria’s widowhood, Edward pioneered the idea of royal public appearances as they are understood today—for example, opening the Thames Embankment in 1871, the Mersey Tunnel in 1886, and Tower Bridge in 1894[35]—but his mother did not allow him an active role in the running of the country until 1898.[36][37] He was sent summaries of important government documents, but she refused to give him access to the originals.[11] Edward annoyed his mother, who favoured the Germans, by siding with Denmark on the Schleswig-Holstein Question in 1864 and in the same year annoyed her again by making a special effort to meet Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian general, patriot, and republican, who was a leader in the movement for Italian unification.[38] Liberal Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone sent him papers secretly.[11] From 1886, Foreign Secretary Lord Rosebery sent him Foreign Office despatches, and from 1892 some Cabinet papers were opened to him.[11]

    In 1870 republican sentiment in Britain was given a boost when the French emperor, Napoleon III, was defeated in the Franco-Prussian War and the French Third Republic was declared.[39] However, in the winter of 1871, a brush with death led to an improvement in both Edward’s popularity with the public and his relationship with his mother. While staying at Londesborough Lodge, near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, Edward contracted typhoid fever, the disease that was believed to have killed his father. There was great national concern, and one of his fellow guests (Lord Chesterfield) died. Edward’s recovery was greeted with almost universal relief.[11] Public celebrations included the composition of Arthur Sullivan’s Festival Te Deum. Edward cultivated politicians from all parties, including republicans, as his friends, and thereby largely dissipated any residual feelings against him.[40]

    On 26 September 1875, Edward set off for India on an extensive eight-month tour; on the way, he visited Malta, Brindisi and Greece. His advisors remarked on his habit of treating all people the same, regardless of their social station or colour. In letters home, he complained of the treatment of the native Indians by the British officials: “Because a man has a black face and a different religion from our own, there is no reason why he should be treated as a brute.”[41] Consequently, Lord Salisbury, the Secretary of State for India, issued new guidance and at least one resident was removed from office.[11] He returned to England on 11 May 1876, after stopping off at Portugal.[42] At the end of the tour, Queen Victoria was given the title Empress of India by Parliament, in part as a result of the tour’s success.[43]

    Edward was regarded worldwide as an arbiter of men’s fashions.[44][45] He made wearing tweed, Homburg hats and Norfolk jackets fashionable, and popularised the wearing of black ties with dinner jackets, instead of white tie and tails.[46] He pioneered the pressing of trouser legs from side to side in preference to the now normal front and back creases,[47] and was thought to have introduced the stand-up turn-down shirt collar, created for him by Charvet.[48] A stickler for proper dress, he is said to have admonished Lord Salisbury for wearing the trousers of an Elder Brother of Trinity House with a Privy Councillor’s coat. Deep in an international crisis, Salisbury informed the Prince that it had been a dark morning, and that “my mind must have been occupied by some subject of less importance.”[49] The tradition of men not buttoning the bottom button of waistcoats is said to be linked to Edward, who supposedly left his undone because of his large girth.[11][50] His waist measured 48 inches (122 cm) shortly before his coronation.[51] He introduced the practice of eating roast beef and potatoes with horseradish sauce and yorkshire pudding on Sundays, a meal that remains a staple British favourite for Sunday lunch.[52] He was not a heavy drinker, though he did drink champagne and, occasionally, port.[53]

    Edward was a patron of the arts and sciences and helped found the Royal College of Music. He opened the college in 1883 with the words, “Class can no longer stand apart from class … I claim for music that it produces that union of feeling which I much desire to promote.”[43] At the same time, he enjoyed gambling and country sports and was an enthusiastic hunter. He ordered all the clocks at Sandringham to run half an hour ahead to provide more daylight time for shooting. This so-called tradition of Sandringham Time continued until 1936, when it was abolished by Edward VIII.[54] He also laid out a golf course at Windsor. By the 1870s the future king had taken a keen interest in horseracing and steeplechasing. In 1896, his horse Persimmon won both the Derby Stakes and the St Leger Stakes. In 1900, Persimmon’s brother, Diamond Jubilee, won five races (Derby, St Leger, 2,000 Guineas Stakes, Newmarket Stakes and Eclipse Stakes)[55] and another of Edward’s horses, Ambush II, won the Grand National.[56]

    In 1891 Edward was embroiled in the royal baccarat scandal, when it was revealed he had played an illegal card game for money the previous year. The Prince was forced to appear as a witness in court for a second time when one of the participants unsuccessfully sued his fellow players for slander after being accused of cheating.[57] In the same year Edward was involved in a personal conflict, when Lord Charles Beresford threatened to reveal details of Edward’s private life to the press, as a protest against Edward interfering with Beresford’s affair with Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick. The friendship between the two men was irreversibly damaged, and their bitterness would last for the remainder of their lives.[58] Usually, Edward’s outbursts of temper were short-lived, and “after he had let himself go … [he would] smooth matters by being especially nice”.[59]

    In late 1891, Edward’s eldest son, Albert Victor, was engaged to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck. Just a few weeks later, in early 1892, Albert Victor died of pneumonia. Edward was grief-stricken. “To lose our eldest son”, he wrote, “is one of those calamities one can never really get over”. Edward told Queen Victoria, “[I would] have given my life for him, as I put no value on mine”.[60] Albert Victor was the second of Edward’s children to die. In 1871, his youngest son, Alexander John, had died just 24 hours after being born. Edward had insisted on placing Alexander John in a coffin personally with “the tears rolling down his cheeks”.[61]

    On his way to Denmark through Belgium on 4 April 1900, Edward was the victim of an attempted assassination when fifteen-year-old Jean-Baptiste Sipido shot at him in protest over the Second Boer War. Sipido, though obviously guilty, was acquitted by a Belgian court because he was underage.[62] The perceived laxity of the Belgian authorities, combined with British disgust at Belgian atrocities in the Congo, worsened the already poor relations between the United Kingdom and the Continent. However, in the next ten years, Edward’s affability and popularity, as well as his use of family connections, assisted Britain in building European alliances.[63]

    When Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901, Edward became King of the United Kingdom, Emperor of India and, in an innovation, King of the British Dominions.[64] He chose to reign under the name of Edward VII, instead of Albert Edward—the name his mother had intended for him to use[d]—declaring that he did not wish to “undervalue the name of Albert” and diminish the status of his father with whom the “name should stand alone”.[65] The numeral VII was occasionally omitted in Scotland, even by the national church, in deference to protests that the previous Edwards were English kings who had “been excluded from Scotland by battle”.[11] J. B. Priestley recalled, “I was only a child when he succeeded Victoria in 1901, but I can testify to his extraordinary popularity. He was in fact the most popular king England had known since the earlier 1660s.”[66]

    Edward donated his parents’ house, Osborne on the Isle of Wight, to the state and continued to live at Sandringham.[67] He could afford to be magnanimous; his private secretary, Sir Francis Knollys, claimed that he was the first heir to succeed to the throne in credit.[68] Edward’s finances had been ably managed by Sir Dighton Probyn, Comptroller of the Household, and had benefited from advice from Edward’s financier friends, some of whom were Jewish, such as Ernest Cassel, Maurice de Hirsch and the Rothschild family.[69] At a time of widespread anti-Semitism, Edward attracted criticism for openly socialising with Jews.[70][71]

    Edward’s coronation had originally been scheduled for 26 June 1902. However, two days before he was diagnosed with appendicitis.[72] The disease was generally not treated operatively. It carried a high mortality rate, but developments in anaesthesia and antisepsis in the preceding 50 years made life-saving surgery possible.[73] Sir Frederick Treves, with the support of Lord Lister, performed a then-radical operation of draining a pint of pus from the infected abscess through a small incision (through .mw-parser-output .frac{white-space:nowrap}.mw-parser-output .frac .num,.mw-parser-output .frac .den{font-size:80%;line-height:0;vertical-align:super}.mw-parser-output .frac .den{vertical-align:sub}.mw-parser-output .sr-only{border:0;clip:rect(0,0,0,0);height:1px;margin:-1px;overflow:hidden;padding:0;position:absolute;width:1px}4+1⁄2-inch thickness of belly fat and abdomen wall); this outcome showed that the cause was not cancer.[74] The next day, Edward was sitting up in bed, smoking a cigar.[75] Two weeks later, it was announced that he was out of danger. Treves was honoured with a baronetcy (which the King had arranged before the operation)[76] and appendix surgery entered the medical mainstream.[73] Edward was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 9 August 1902 by the 80-year-old Archbishop of Canterbury, Frederick Temple, who died only four months later.[72]

    Edward refurbished the royal palaces, reintroduced the traditional ceremonies, such as the State Opening of Parliament, that his mother had foregone, and founded new honours, such as the Order of Merit, to recognise contributions to the arts and sciences.[77] In 1902, the Shah of Persia, Mozzafar-al-Din, visited England expecting to receive the Order of the Garter. The King 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. He also objected to inducting a Muslim into a Christian order of chivalry. His refusal threatened to damage British attempts to gain influence in Persia,[78] but Edward resented his ministers’ attempts to reduce his traditional powers.[79] Eventually, he relented and Britain sent a special embassy to the Shah with a full Order of the Garter the following year.[80]

    As king, Edward’s main interests lay in the fields of foreign affairs and naval and military matters. Fluent in French and German, he reinvented royal diplomacy by numerous state visits across Europe.[81] He took annual holidays in Biarritz and Marienbad.[54] One of his most important foreign trips was an official visit to France in May 1903 as the guest of President Émile Loubet. Following a visit to Pope Leo XIII in Rome, this trip helped create the atmosphere for the Anglo-French Entente Cordiale, an agreement delineating British and French colonies in North Africa, and ruling out any future war between the two countries. The Entente was negotiated in 1904 between the French foreign minister, Théophile Delcassé, and the British foreign secretary, Lord Lansdowne. It marked the end of centuries of Anglo-French rivalry and Britain’s splendid isolation from Continental affairs, and attempted to counterbalance the growing dominance of the German Empire and its ally, Austria-Hungary.[82]

    Edward was related to nearly every other European monarch, and came to be known as the “uncle of Europe”.[36] German Emperor Wilhelm II and Emperor Nicholas II of Russia were his nephews; Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden, Crown Princess Marie of Romania, Crown Princess Sophia of Greece, and Empress Alexandra of Russia were his nieces; King Haakon VII of Norway was both his nephew and his son-in-law; kings Frederick VIII of Denmark and George I of Greece were his brothers-in-law; kings Albert I of Belgium, Ferdinand of Bulgaria, and Charles I and Manuel II of Portugal were his second cousins. Edward doted on his grandchildren, and indulged them, to the consternation of their governesses.[83] However, there was one relation whom Edward did not like: Wilhelm II. His difficult relationship with his nephew exacerbated the tensions between Germany and Britain.[84]

    In April 1908, during Edward’s annual stay at Biarritz, he accepted the resignation of British Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. In a break with precedent, Edward asked Campbell-Bannerman’s successor, H. H. Asquith, to travel to Biarritz to kiss hands. Asquith complied, but the press criticised the action of the King in appointing a prime minister on foreign soil instead of returning to Britain.[85] In June 1908, Edward became the first reigning British monarch to visit the Russian Empire, despite refusing to visit in 1906, when Anglo-Russian relations were strained in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War, the Dogger Bank incident, and the Tsar’s dissolution of the Duma.[86] The previous month, he visited the Scandinavian countries, becoming the first British monarch to visit Sweden.[87]

    While Prince of Wales, Edward had to be dissuaded from breaking with constitutional precedent by openly voting for W. E. Gladstone’s Representation of the People Bill (1884) in the House of Lords.[11][88] On other matters, he was more conservative; for example, he did not favour giving votes to women,[11][89] although he did suggest that the social reformer Octavia Hill serve on the Commission for Working Class Housing.[90] He was also opposed to Irish Home Rule, instead preferring a form of dual monarchy.[11]

    As Prince of Wales, Edward had come to enjoy warm and mutually respectful relations with Gladstone, whom his mother detested.[91] But the statesman’s son, Home Secretary Herbert Gladstone, angered the King by planning to permit Roman Catholic priests in vestments to carry the Host through the streets of London, and by appointing two ladies, Lady Frances Balfour and May Tennant, wife of H. J. Tennant, to serve on a Royal Commission on reforming divorce law—Edward thought divorce could not be discussed with “delicacy or even decency” before ladies. Edward’s biographer Philip Magnus suggests that Gladstone may have become a whipping-boy for the King’s general irritation with the Liberal government. Gladstone was sacked in the reshuffle the following year and the King agreed, with some reluctance, to appoint him Governor-General of South Africa.[92]

    Edward involved himself heavily in discussions over army reform, the need for which had become apparent with the failings of the Second Boer War.[93] He supported the redesign of army command, the creation of the Territorial Force, and the decision to provide an Expeditionary Force supporting France in the event of war with Germany.[94] Reform of the Royal Navy was also suggested, partly due to the ever-increasing Naval Estimates, and because of the emergence of the Imperial German Navy as a new strategic threat.[95] Ultimately a dispute arose between Admiral Lord Charles Beresford, who favoured increased spending and a broad deployment, and the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir John Fisher, who favoured efficiency savings, scrapping obsolete vessels, and a strategic realignment of the Royal Navy relying on torpedo craft for home defence backed by the new dreadnoughts.[96]

    The King lent support to Fisher, in part because he disliked Beresford, and eventually Beresford was dismissed. Beresford continued his campaign outside of the navy and Fisher ultimately announced his resignation in late 1909, although the bulk of his policies were retained.[97] The King was intimately involved in the appointment of Fisher’s successor as the Fisher-Beresford feud had split the service, and the only truly qualified figure known to be outside of both camps was Sir Arthur Wilson, who had retired in 1907.[98] Wilson was reluctant to return to active duty, but Edward persuaded him to do so, and Wilson became First Sea Lord on 25 January 1910.[99]

    Edward was rarely interested in politics, although his views on some issues were notably progressive for the time. During his reign, he said use of the word “nigger” was “disgraceful”, despite it then being in common parlance.[100] In 1904, during an Anglo-German summit in Kiel between Wilhelm II and Edward, Wilhelm with the Russo-Japanese War in mind started to go on about the “Yellow Peril”, which he called “the greatest peril menacing … Christendom and European civilisation. If the Russians went on giving ground, the yellow race would, in twenty years time, be in Moscow and Posen”.[101] Wilhelm went on to attack his British guests for supporting Japan against Russia, suggesting that the British were committing “race treason”. In response, Edward stated that he “could not see it. The Japanese were an intelligent, brave and chivalrous nation, quite as civilised as the Europeans, from whom they only differed by the pigmentation of their skin”.[101] Although Edward lived a life of luxury often far removed from that of the majority of his subjects, they expected it, and his personal charm with all levels of society and his strong condemnation of prejudice went some way to assuage republican and racial tensions building during his lifetime.[11]

    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 Asquith. The crisis eventually led—after Edward’s death—to the removal of the Lords’ right to veto legislation.

    The King was displeased at Liberal attacks on the peers, which included a polemical speech by David Lloyd George at Limehouse.[102] Cabinet minister Winston Churchill publicly demanded a general election, for which Asquith apologised to the King’s adviser Lord Knollys and rebuked Churchill at a Cabinet meeting. Edward was so dispirited at the tone of class warfare—although Asquith told him that party rancour had been just as bad over the First Home Rule Bill in 1886—that he introduced his son to Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane as “the last King of England”.[103] After the King’s horse Minoru won the Derby on 26 July 1909, he returned to the racetrack the following day, and laughed when a man shouted: “Now, King. You’ve won the Derby. Go back home and dissolve this bloody Parliament!”[104]

    In vain, the King urged Conservative leaders Arthur Balfour and Lord Lansdowne to pass the Budget, which Lord Esher had advised him was not unusual, as Queen Victoria had helped to broker agreements between the two Houses over Irish disestablishment in 1869 and the Third Reform Act in 1884.[105] On Asquith’s advice, however, he did not offer them an election (at which, to judge from recent by-elections, they were likely to gain seats) as a reward for doing so.[106]

    The Finance Bill passed the Commons on 5 November 1909, but was rejected by the Lords on 30 November; they instead passed a resolution of Lord Lansdowne’s stating that they were entitled to oppose the bill as it lacked an electoral mandate. The King was annoyed that his efforts to urge passage of the budget had become public knowledge[107] and had forbidden Knollys, who was an active Liberal peer, from voting for the budget, although Knollys had suggested that this would be a suitable gesture to indicate royal desire to see the Budget pass.[108] In December 1909, a proposal to create peers (to give the Liberals a majority in the Lords) or give the prime minister the right to do so was considered “outrageous” by Knollys, who thought the King should abdicate rather than agree to it.[109]

    The January 1910 election was dominated by talk of removing the Lords’ veto. During the election campaign Lloyd George talked of “guarantees” and Asquith of “safeguards” that would be necessary before forming another Liberal government, but the King informed Asquith that he would not be willing to contemplate creating peers until after a second general election.[11][110] Balfour refused to be drawn on whether or not he would be willing to form a Conservative government, but advised the King not to promise to create peers until he had seen the terms of any proposed constitutional change.[111] During the campaign the leading Conservative Walter Long had asked Knollys for permission to state that the King did not favour Irish Home Rule, but Knollys refused on the grounds that it was not appropriate for the monarch’s views to be known in public.[112]
    queen victoria’s successor

    The election resulted in a hung parliament, with the Liberal government dependent on the support of the third largest party, the nationalist Irish Parliamentary Party. The King suggested a compromise whereby only 50 peers from each side would be allowed to vote, which would also obviate the large Conservative majority in the Lords, but Lord Crewe, Liberal leader in the Lords, advised that this would reduce the Lords’ independence, as only peers who were loyal party supporters would be picked.[112] Pressure to remove the Lords’ veto now came from the Irish nationalist MPs, who wanted to remove the Lords’ ability to block the introduction of Home Rule. They threatened to vote against the Budget unless they had their way (an attempt by Lloyd George to win their support by amending whiskey duties was abandoned as the Cabinet felt this would recast the Budget too much). Asquith now revealed that there were no “guarantees” for the creation of peers. The Cabinet considered resigning and leaving it up to Balfour to try to form a Conservative government.[113]

    The King’s Speech from the Throne on 21 February made reference to introducing measures restricting the Lords’ power of veto to one of delay, but Asquith inserted a phrase “in the opinion of my advisers” so the King could be seen to be distancing himself from the planned legislation.[114] The Commons passed resolutions on 14 April that would form the basis for the 1911 Parliament Act: to remove the power of the Lords to veto money bills, to replace their veto of other bills with a power to delay, and to reduce the term of Parliament from seven years to five (the King would have preferred four[111]). But in that debate Asquith hinted—to ensure the support of the nationalist MPs—that he would ask the King to break the deadlock “in that Parliament” (i.e. contrary to Edward’s earlier stipulation that there be a second election). The Budget was passed by both Commons and Lords in April.[115]

    By April the Palace was having secret talks with Balfour and Randall Davidson, Archbishop of Canterbury, who both advised that the Liberals did not have sufficient mandate to demand the creation of peers. The King thought the whole proposal “simply disgusting” and that the government was “in the hands of Redmond & Co”. Lord Crewe announced publicly that the government’s wish to create peers should be treated as formal “ministerial advice” (which, by convention, the monarch must obey) although Lord Esher argued that the monarch was entitled in extremis to dismiss the government rather than take their “advice”.[116] Esher’s view has been called “obsolete and unhelpful”.[117]

    Edward habitually smoked twenty cigarettes and twelve cigars a day. In 1907, a rodent ulcer, a type of cancer affecting the skin next to his nose, was cured with radium.[118] Towards the end of his life he increasingly suffered from bronchitis.[11] He suffered a momentary loss of consciousness during a state visit to Berlin in February 1909.[119] In March 1910, he was staying at Biarritz when he collapsed. He remained there to convalesce, while in London Asquith tried to get the Finance Bill passed. The king’s continued ill health was unreported, and he attracted criticism for staying in France while political tensions were so high.[11] On 27 April he returned to Buckingham Palace, still suffering from severe bronchitis. Alexandra returned from visiting her brother, King George I of Greece, in Corfu a week later on 5 May.

    On 6 May, Edward suffered several heart attacks, but refused to go to bed, saying, “No, I shall not give in; I shall go on; I shall work to the end.”[120] Between moments of faintness, his son the Prince of Wales (shortly to be King George V) told him that his horse, Witch of the Air, had won at Kempton Park that afternoon. The king replied, “Yes, I have heard of it. I am very glad”: his final words.[11] At 11:30 p.m. he lost consciousness for the last time and was put to bed. He died 15 minutes later.[120]

    Alexandra refused to allow Edward’s body to be moved for eight days afterwards, though she allowed small groups of visitors to enter his room.[121] On 11 May, the late king was dressed in his uniform and placed in a massive oak coffin, which was moved on 14 May to the throne room, where it was sealed and lay in state, with a guardsman 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”.[122] On the morning of 17 May, the coffin was placed on a gun carriage and drawn by black horses to Westminster Hall, with the new king, his family and Edward’s favourite dog, Caesar, walking behind. Following a brief service, the royal family left, and the hall was opened to the public; over 400,000 people filed past the coffin over the next two days.[123] As Barbara Tuchman noted in The Guns of August, his funeral, held on 20 May 1910, marked “the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last.” A royal train conveyed the king’s coffin from London to Windsor Castle, where Edward was buried at St George’s Chapel.[124]

    Before his accession to the throne, Edward was the longest-serving heir apparent in British history. He was surpassed by his great-great-grandson Prince Charles on 20 April 2011.[125] The title Prince of Wales is not automatically held by the heir apparent; it is bestowed by the reigning monarch at a time of his or her choosing.[126] Edward was the longest-serving holder of that title until surpassed by Charles on 9 September 2017; Edward was Prince of Wales between 8 December 1841 and 22 January 1901 (59 years, 45 days). Charles was created Prince of Wales on 26 July 1958 (63 years, 120 days ago).[126][127][128]

    As king, Edward VII proved a greater success than anyone had expected,[129] but he was already past the average life expectancy and had little time left to fulfil the role. In his short reign, he ensured that his second son and heir, George V, was better prepared to take the throne. Contemporaries described their relationship as more like affectionate brothers than father and son,[130] and on Edward’s death George wrote in his diary that he had lost his “best friend and the best of fathers … I never had a [cross] word with him in my life. I am heart-broken and overwhelmed with grief”.[131]

    Edward has been recognised as the first truly constitutional British sovereign and the last sovereign to wield effective political power.[132] Though lauded as “Peacemaker”,[133] he had been afraid that German Emperor Wilhelm II, who was one of his nephews, would tip Europe into war.[134] Four years after Edward’s death, the First World War broke out. The naval reforms he had supported and his part in securing the Triple Entente between Britain, France, and Russia, as well as his relationships with his extended family, fed the paranoia of the German Emperor, who blamed Edward for the war.[135] Publication of the official biography of Edward was delayed until 1927 by its author, Sidney Lee, who feared German propagandists would select material to portray Edward as an anti-German warmonger.[136] Lee was also hampered by the extensive destruction of Edward’s personal papers; Edward had left orders that all his letters should be burned on his death.[137] Subsequent biographers have been able to construct a more rounded picture of Edward by using material and sources that were unavailable to Lee.[138]

    Historian R. C. K. Ensor, writing in 1936, praised the King’s political personality:

    Ensor rejects the widespread notion that the King exerted an important influence on British foreign policy, believing he gained that reputation by making frequent trips abroad, with many highly publicized visits to foreign courts. Ensor thought surviving documents showed “how comparatively crude his views on foreign policy were, how little he read, and of what naïve indiscretions he was capable.”[140] Edward received criticism for his apparent pursuit of self-indulgent pleasure, but he received great praise for his affable manners and diplomatic tact. As his grandson Edward VIII wrote, “his lighter side … obscured the fact that he had both insight and influence.”[141] “He had a tremendous zest for pleasure but he also had a real sense of duty”, wrote J. B. Priestley.[142] Lord Esher wrote that Edward VII was “kind and debonair and not undignified—but too human”.[143]

    Edward’s coat of arms as the Prince of Wales was the royal arms differenced by a label of three points argent, and an inescutcheon of the Duchy of Saxony, representing his paternal arms. When he acceded as King, he gained the royal arms undifferenced.[204]


    The Royal Tourist – Kalakaua’s Letters Home from Tokio to LondonDownloads-icon


    明治時代の勲章外交儀礼Downloads-icon

    Queen Victoria, the British monarch from 1837 to 1901, and Prince Albert (her husband from 1840 until his death in 1861) had 9 children, 42 grandchildren, and 87 great-grandchildren.

    Victoria and Albert had 20 grandsons and 22 granddaughters, two of whom (the youngest sons of Prince Alfred and Princess Helena) were stillborn, and two more (Prince Alexander John of Wales and Prince Harald of Schleswig-Holstein) died shortly after birth. Their first grandchild was the future German Emperor Wilhelm II, who was born to their eldest child, Princess Victoria, on 27 January 1859; the youngest was Prince Maurice of Battenberg, born on 3 October 1891 to Princess Beatrice (1857–1944), who was herself the last child born to Victoria and Albert and the last child to die. The last of Victoria and Albert’s grandchildren to die (almost exactly 80 years after Queen Victoria herself) was Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone (25 February 1883 – 3 January 1981).

    Just as Victoria and Albert shared one grandfather (Duke Francis of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld) and one grandmother (Countess Augusta Reuss), two pairs of their grandchildren married each other. In 1888, Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine, whose mother was Queen Victoria’s daughter Alice, married Prince Henry of Prussia, a son of Victoria’s daughter Victoria. Another of Alice’s children, Grand Duke Ernest Louis of Hesse, married Princess Victoria Melita, a daughter of Alice’s brother Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1894, but divorced in 1901.

    Prince Albert, the Prince Consort (26 August 1819 – 14 December 1861), lived long enough to see only one of his children (the Princess Royal) married and two of his grandchildren born (Wilhelm II, 1859–1941, and his sister Princess Charlotte of Prussia, 1860–1919), while Queen Victoria (24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) lived long enough to see not only all her grandchildren, but many of her 87 great-grandchildren as well. (Two of Victoria’s 56 great-grandsons were stillborn, two more died shortly after birth, and one of her 31 great-granddaughters was born out of wedlock.)
    queen victoria’s successor

    Victoria, the Princess Royal and first child of Victoria and Albert (21 November 1840 – 5 August 1901), known as “Vicky”, was not only mother to their first grandchild, Wilhelm II, she was also the first of Victoria and Albert’s children to become a grandparent, with the birth in 1879 of Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen, who was the daughter of Princess Charlotte (Queen Victoria’s first granddaughter). She was also the grandmother of the last of Victoria and Albert’s great-granddaughters to die, Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark (4 May 1913 – 2 October 2007), daughter of Vicky’s fourth daughter, Queen Sophia of Greece. After Katherine’s death in 2007, the only surviving great-grandchild of Queen Victoria was Count Carl Johan Bernadotte of Wisborg (31 October 1916 – 5 May 2012), born to Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden, daughter of Victoria and Albert’s third son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.

    The death of Count Carl Johan Bernadotte marked the end of a generation of royalty that began in 1879 with the birth of Princess Feodora and included the British Kings Edward VIII and George VI, the Norwegian King Olav V, the Romanian King Carol II and the Greek Kings George II, Alexander and Paul—as well as six uncrowned victims of political assassination, Earl Mountbatten of Burma (last Viceroy of India), Tsarevich Alexei of Russia and Alexei’s sisters the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia.

    Queen Victoria’s own death in January 1901 was preceded by the deaths of three of her own children (Princess Alice in December 1878, Prince Leopold in March 1884, and Prince Alfred in July 1900) and soon followed by the Princess Royal’s death in August 1901. Aside from the four boys who died as infants, Queen Victoria had survived seven of her grandchildren:

    Victoria and Albert had one pair of grandparents in common, Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf, who were parents both of Albert’s father Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and of Victoria’s mother (and Ernest I’s sister), Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.

    Duke Francis & Countess Augusta → Duke Ernest I → Prince Albert
    Duke Francis & Countess Augusta → Princess Victoria → Queen Victoria

    Another of Victoria’s (but not Albert’s) grandfathers was King George III, father of Victoria’s father, the Duke of Kent, and his brothers King George IV and King William IV.

  • who wrote leaves of grass?
  • Queen Victoria (who had ascended to the throne on 20 June 1837 and been crowned on 28 June 1838) was married to Prince Albert on 10 February 1840 by William Howley, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace in Westminster (London).[1] (Albert died fourteen-and-a-half years before Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India on 1 May 1876.)

    Queen Victoria, at times, had contentious relations with her children. She had trouble relating to her children when they were young, some of this possibly owing to her own isolated childhood.[4] She also, occasionally, resented that they interfered with time that she would prefer to spend with Albert.[5] According to one modern author, both Victoria and Albert weren’t above playing favourites with their children, and unfortunately did little to hide their favouritism.[5] Both Vicky and Alfred were the favorites of Albert, and Arthur enjoyed the favouritism of both his parents.[5]

    According to one modern author, Victoria initially was jealous of the time that Albert had spent with Vicky, but in her widowhood Victoria made Vicky something of her confidante,[6] and for her part, Vicky had accrued hundreds of letters from her mother, to the point that shortly before her death, she had them smuggled out of Germany by her brother’s secretary, Sir Frederick Ponsonby.[7]

    Of her sons, Victoria had the most trouble with her eldest, Albert Edward, and her youngest, Leopold.[6] Among her daughters, Victoria clashed often with Louise.[6] She also had an awkward relationship with her second-eldest daughter, Alice, whom the queen, despite praising her thoughtfulness, also criticised as being too melancholy and self-absorbed.[6] In her widowhood, Victoria expected Beatrice, who was only 4 when her father died, to remain at home with her, and only permitted her to marry on the condition that she and her husband remain in England.[8]

    The eldest child of Victoria and Albert was Princess Victoria, the Princess Royal, called “Vicky” (1840–1901). On 25 January 1858 she married Prince Frederick of Prussia (1831–1888; Crown Prince from 1861, German Emperor March–June 1888). They had eight children and twenty-three grandchildren.

    Not only was the Princess Royal the first child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, she also gave them their first grandchild (the future Emperor Wilhelm II, 27 January 1859 – 4 June 1941) and was grandmother to both the first of their 87 great-grandchildren to be born, Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen (19 May 1879 – 26 August 1945), daughter of Princess Charlotte, and to the last of their 29 great-granddaughters to die, Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark (4 May 1913 – 2 October 2007), daughter of Princess Sophie.

    Queen Victoria → Princess Victoria → German Emperor William II → Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia → Princess Frederica of Hanover (Queen of the Hellenes) → King Constantine II

    Queen Victoria → Princess Victoria → Princess Sophie of Prussia → Frederica, Queen of the Hellenes → King Paul → King Constantine II

    Queen Victoria → Princess Victoria → Princess Sophie of Prussia → Helen, Queen of Romania → King Michael I

    The portrait below shows the Princess Royal with her husband Frederick and with Victoria and Albert’s first two grandchildren, the future Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859–1941) and Princess Charlotte (1860–1919), who were the only grandchildren born during Albert’s lifetime.

    Prince Albert Edward (1841–1910), then the Prince of Wales, married Princess Alexandra of Denmark (1844–1925), later Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom, on 10 March 1863. They had 3 sons (one of whom died within a day), 3 daughters, 7 grandsons (one stillborn) and 3 granddaughters. The Prince of Wales became King Edward VII and Emperor of India at the death of his mother Queen Victoria on 22 January 1901.

    Edward’s and Alexandra’s son King George V (reigned 1910–1936) was the father of Kings Edward VIII (reigned 1936) and George VI (1936–1952), and the grandfather of the present Queen Elizabeth II (acceded to the throne February 1952) and her sister Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930–2002). As the only children of King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (the Queen Mother, 1900–2002), Elizabeth and Margaret were therefore great-granddaughters of Edward VII and great-great-granddaughters of Queen Victoria.

    Queen Victoria → King Edward VII → King George V → King George VI → Queen Elizabeth II

    Edward’s and Alexandra’s daughter Princess Maud of Wales became Queen of Norway when her husband, Prince Carl of Denmark, became King Haakon VII (1905–1957) upon the dissolution of Norway’s union with Sweden in 1905. Their son, and Edward’s grandson, became King Olav V (1957–1991); and Olav’s children, King Harald V (since 1991), Princess Ragnhild and Princess Astrid, are thus great-grandchildren of Edward VII and great-great-grandchildren of Victoria and Albert.

    Queen Victoria → King Edward VII → Princess Maud of Wales (Queen of Norway) → King Olav V → King Harald V

    Princess Alice (1843–1878) married Prince Louis of Hesse (1837–1892), later Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse, on 1 July 1862. They had 2 sons (one of which, “Frittie”, Prince Friedrich of Hesse, was a haemophiliac and died from bleeding out after a fall out of his mother’s bedroom window), 5 daughters (one of whom died of diphtheria) and 15 grandchildren (two of whom died at a young age). Prince Ludwig succeeded to the Grand Duchy of Hesse as Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse, and Princess Alice as the Grand Duchess of Hesse, on 13 July 1877.

    Alice and Louis’s daughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, married Prince Louis of Battenberg, and was the mother of Princess Alice of Battenberg (1885–1969), who became Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark when she married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark on 6 October 1903. Princess Alice was the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh the prince consort of the United Kingdom who was the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Victoria was also the mother of Queen Louise of Sweden.

    Queen Victoria → Princess Alice → Princess Victoria of Hesse → Princess Alice of Battenberg → Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

    Alice and Louis’s second daughter, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine, married, in 1884, the Russian Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, the fifth son of Tsar Alexander II and Empress Maria Alexandrovna, and younger brother of the then reigning Tsar Alexander III. They had no children, but were foster parents to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna & Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, children to Sergei’s youngest brother Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia. Following Sergei’s assassination in 1905, she eventually became a nun and was killed by the Bolsheviks on 18 July 1918. She was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in 1981 and in 1992 by the Moscow Patriarchate.

    Prince Ernest Louis became Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse upon his father’s death in 1892. He married his first cousin, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1876-1936) in 1894 and had one daughter, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse who died of typhoid fever, aged eight. The couple were divorced 21 December 1901. The Grand Duke married for a second time to Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich (1871–1937), and had two sons: Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse who married Princess Cecilie of Greece, a sister of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and had issue, and Prince Louis of Hesse and by Rhine.

    Princess Alix of Hesse, the youngest surviving child of the Grand Ducal pair, became the Last Empress of All the Russias through her marriage to Nicholas II of Russia in 1894. They had 5 children: 4 girls, the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, and one boy, the Tsarevich Alexei, who was a haemophiliac. The Russian Imperial Family was executed on 17 July 1918 by a detachment of Bolsheviks in the basement of Ipatiev House. The entire family was canonized by the Russian Orthodox church in 2000.

    Queen Victoria → Princess Alice → Princess Alix of Hesse (Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia)

    ¶ The entire family was killed in July 1918 in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution, as was Alexandra’s sister, the Grand Duchess Elisabeth (Princess Elisabeth of Hesse, see above).

    Prince Alfred (1844–1900) married the Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia (1853–1920), the only surviving daughter of Tsar Alexander II and his first wife, Empress Marie Alexandrovna, on 23 January 1874 at the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, Russia. They had 2 sons (one stillborn), 4 daughters, 10 grandsons (8 of whom survived their first week of life) and 9 granddaughters. In June 1893, Prince Alfred achieved the Royal Navy rank of Admiral of the Fleet, shortly before succeeding his uncle, Ernest II, as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in August 1893.

    Prince Alfred’s daughter (and Queen Victoria’s granddaughter) Princess Marie of Edinburgh became Queen of Romania in 1914 after marrying the future King Ferdinand in 1893.

    Queen Victoria → Prince Alfred → Princess Marie of Edinburgh (Queen of Romania) → King Carol II → King Michael I
    Queen Victoria → Prince Alfred → Princess Marie of Edinburgh (Queen of Romania) → Princess Elisabeth of Romania (Queen of the Hellenes)
    Queen Victoria → Prince Alfred → Princess Marie of Edinburgh (Queen of Romania) → Princess Marie of Romania (Queen of Yugoslavia) → King Peter II

    Princess Helena (1846–1923) married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (1831–1917) in Windsor Castle’s private chapel on 5 July 1866. Two sons and two daughters survived childhood; two other sons died within ten days of their birth. Princess Helena and Prince Christian had no legitimate grandchildren and one natural granddaughter who died without having issue of her own. Like other British royal holders of German titles (such as Admiral Louis Battenberg), Princess Helena, Prince Christian, and their two daughters gave up their titles to Schleswig-Holstein in 1917 when the British and German Empires were at war.

    Princess Louise (1848–1939), who married John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll (1845–1914) in 1871, was the only one of Victoria’s nine children who was childless. She was the first British monarch’s child since 1515 to marry a subject rather than someone of royal blood.

    Prince Arthur (1850–1942) married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia (1860–1917) on 13 March 1879 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. They had 2 daughters and 1 son.
    queen victoria’s successor

    In March 1911, the Duke of Connaught’s nephew, King George V (son of the Duke’s recently deceased brother King Edward VII) appointed his uncle to represent him as Governor General of Canada. He thus became the first, and so far only, Governor General of Canada to be of the Blood Royal, although he had been preceded in this office from 1878 to 1883 by the Marquess of Lorne, the non-royal husband of his sister Princess Louise (see above). [King George’s son, the Duke of Gloucester, was later Governor-General of Australia, and the Duke of Connaught’s own son was later Governor-General of South Africa. See above and below.]

    Prince Arthur’s elder daughter (and Queen Victoria’s granddaughter) Princess Margaret of Connaught became Crown Princess of Sweden in 1907 after marrying the future King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden in 1905 (however, Margaret died before Gustav became king).

    Queen Victoria → Prince Arthur → Princess Margaret of Connaught → Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten → King Carl XVI Gustaf
    Queen Victoria → Prince Arthur → Princess Margaret of Connaught → Princess Ingrid of Sweden → Danish Queen Margrethe II & Greek Queen Anne-Marie
    Queen Victoria → Prince Arthur → Princess Margaret of Connaught → Count Carl Johan Bernadotte

    Prince Leopold (1853–1884) married Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont (1861–1922) on 27 April 1882 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. They had 1 daughter and 1 son. He inherited the disease of haemophilia from his mother, Queen Victoria, and spent most of his life as a semi-invalid.

    His daughter, Princess Alice of Albany, married Prince Alexander of Teck, the younger brother of Queen Mary, in 1904 and became Countess of Athlone when her husband was created Earl of Athlone in June 1917. She has so far been the longest-lived Princess of the Blood Royal of Britain and was the last surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria.

    Prince Charles Edward, Prince Leopold’s posthumous son, succeeded him at birth as 2nd Duke of Albany. In 1900, Charles Edward succeeded his uncle Alfred as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha but was forced to abdicate his ducal throne during the German Revolution of 1918, later gaining high positions in and through the Nazi movement. Because of his support for Germany in World War I, he lost his English knighthood in the Order of the Garter in 1915 and his British royal titles, peerages and honours in 1919. He is the grandfather of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden through his elder daughter, Princess Sibylla.

    Queen Victoria → Prince Leopold → Prince Charles Edward → Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha → King Carl XVI Gustaf

    Princess Beatrice (1857–1944) married Prince Henry of Battenberg (1858–1896) on 23 July 1885 in St. Mildred’s Church, Whippingham on the Isle of Wight. They had 3 sons, 1 daughter (the future Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain), 5 grandsons (1 stillborn) and 3 granddaughters. The present King Felipe VI of Spain, as a great-grandson of Victoria Eugenie, is a great-great-grandson of Princess Beatrice and thus a great-great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria.

    Queen Victoria → Princess Beatrice → Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (Queen of Spain) → Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona → King Juan Carlos I → King Felipe VI

    Due to anti-German feeling during the First World War, the members of the Battenberg family who were British citizens relinquished their titles of Prince and Princess of Battenberg and the styles of Highness and Serene Highness. Under Royal Warrant, they instead took the surname Mountbatten, an Anglicised form of Battenberg.

    Both Prince Henry (the last-born of Victoria’s grandchildren) and his youngest son Prince Maurice died on active military service, the father from malaria contracted during the Ashanti War and the son in battle on the Western Front of World War I.


    “Porphyria Variegata, A Disease of Kings”Downloads-icon

    George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.

    Born during the reign of his grandmother Queen Victoria, George was third in the line of succession behind his father, Prince Albert Edward, and his own elder brother, Prince Albert Victor. From 1877 to 1892, George served in the Royal Navy, until the unexpected death of his elder brother in early 1892 put him directly in line for the throne. On Victoria’s death in 1901, George’s father ascended the throne as Edward VII, and George was created Prince of Wales. He became king-emperor on his father’s death in 1910.

    George’s reign saw the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, and the Indian independence movement; all of which radically changed the political landscape of the British Empire. The Parliament Act 1911 established the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons over the unelected House of Lords. As a result of the First World War (1914–1918), the empires of his first cousins Nicholas II of Russia and Wilhelm II of Germany fell, while the British Empire expanded to its greatest effective extent. In 1917, he became the first monarch of the House of Windsor, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a result of anti-German public sentiment. In 1924, George appointed the first Labour ministry and the 1931 Statute of Westminster recognised the Empire’s dominions as separate, independent states within the British Commonwealth of Nations.

    He suffered from smoking-related health problems throughout much of his later reign, and at his death was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII.
    queen victoria’s successor

    George was born on 3 June 1865, in Marlborough House, London. He was the second son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, and Alexandra, Princess of Wales. His father was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and his mother was the eldest daughter of King Christian IX and Queen Louise of Denmark. He was baptised at Windsor Castle on 7 July 1865 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Longley.[1]

    As a younger son of the Prince of Wales, there was little expectation that George would become king. He was third in line to the throne, after his father and elder brother, Prince Albert Victor. George was only 17 months younger than Albert Victor, and the two princes were educated together. John Neale Dalton was appointed as their tutor in 1871. Neither Albert Victor nor George excelled intellectually.[2] As their father thought that the navy was “the very best possible training for any boy”,[3] in September 1877, when George was 12 years old, both brothers joined the cadet training ship HMS Britannia at Dartmouth, Devon.[4]

    For three years from 1879, the royal brothers served on HMS Bacchante, accompanied by Dalton. They toured the colonies of the British Empire in the Caribbean, South Africa and Australia, and visited Norfolk, Virginia, as well as South America, the Mediterranean, Egypt, and East Asia. In 1881 on a visit to Japan, George had a local artist tattoo a blue and red dragon on his arm,[5] and was received in an audience by the Emperor Meiji; George and his brother presented Empress Haruko with two wallabies from Australia.[6] Dalton wrote an account of their journey entitled The Cruise of HMS Bacchante.[7] Between Melbourne and Sydney, Dalton recorded a sighting of the Flying Dutchman, a mythical ghost ship.[8] When they returned to Britain, the Queen complained that her grandsons could not speak French or German, and so they spent six months in Lausanne in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to learn another language.[9] After Lausanne, the brothers were separated; Albert Victor attended Trinity College, Cambridge, while George continued in the Royal Navy. He travelled the world, visiting many areas of the British Empire. During his naval career he commanded Torpedo Boat 79 in home waters, then HMS Thrush on the North America and West Indies Station. His last active service was in command of HMS Melampus in 1891–92. From then on, his naval rank was largely honorary.[10]

    As a young man destined to serve in the navy, Prince George served for many years under the command of his uncle, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, who was stationed in Malta. There, he grew close to and fell in love with his cousin, Princess Marie of Edinburgh. His grandmother, father and uncle all approved the match, but his mother and aunt—the Princess of Wales and Maria Alexandrovna, Duchess of Edinburgh—opposed it. The Princess of Wales thought the family was too pro-German, and the Duchess of Edinburgh disliked England. The Duchess, the only daughter of Alexander II of Russia, resented the fact that, as the wife of a younger son of the British sovereign, she had to yield precedence to George’s mother, the Princess of Wales, whose father had been a minor German prince before being called unexpectedly to the throne of Denmark. Guided by her mother, Marie refused George when he proposed to her. She married Ferdinand, the future King of Romania, in 1893.[11]

    In November 1891, George’s elder brother, Albert Victor, became engaged to his second cousin once removed Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, known as “May” within the family.[12] Her parents were Francis, Duke of Teck (a member of a morganatic, cadet branch of the House of Württemberg), and Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, a male-line granddaughter of King George III and a first cousin of Queen Victoria.[13]

    On 14 January 1892, six weeks after the formal engagement, Albert Victor died of pneumonia during an influenza pandemic, leaving George second in line to the throne, and likely to succeed after his father. George had only just recovered from a serious illness himself, after being confined to bed for six weeks with typhoid fever, the disease that was thought to have killed his grandfather Prince Albert.[14] Queen Victoria still regarded Princess May as a suitable match for her grandson, and George and May grew close during their shared period of mourning.[15]

  • how tall is major oak?
  • A year after Albert Victor’s death, George proposed to May and was accepted. They married on 6 July 1893 at the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace, London. Throughout their lives, they remained devoted to each other. George was, on his own admission, unable to express his feelings easily in speech, but they often exchanged loving letters and notes of endearment.[16]

    The death of his elder brother effectively ended George’s naval career, as he was now second in line to the throne, after his father.[17] George was created Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Killarney by Queen Victoria on 24 May 1892,[18] and received lessons in constitutional history from J. R. Tanner.[19]

    The Duke and Duchess of York had five sons and a daughter. Randolph Churchill claimed that George was a strict father, to the extent that his children were terrified of him, and that George had remarked to the Earl of Derby: “My father was frightened of his mother, I was frightened of my father, and I am damned well going to see to it that my children are frightened of me.” In reality, there is no direct source for the quotation and it is likely that George’s parenting style was little different from that adopted by most people at the time.[20] Whether this was the case or not, his children did seem to resent his strict nature, Prince Henry going as far as to describe him as a “terrible father” in later years.[21]

    They lived mainly at York Cottage,[22] a relatively small house in Sandringham, Norfolk, where their way of life mirrored that of a comfortable middle-class family rather than royalty.[23] George preferred a simple, almost quiet, life, in marked contrast to the lively social life pursued by his father. His official biographer, Harold Nicolson, later despaired of George’s time as Duke of York, writing: “He may be all right as a young midshipman and a wise old king, but when he was Duke of York … he did nothing at all but kill [i.e. shoot] animals and stick in stamps.”[24] George was an avid stamp collector, which Nicolson disparaged,[25] but George played a large role in building the Royal Philatelic Collection into the most comprehensive collection of United Kingdom and Commonwealth stamps in the world, in some cases setting record purchase prices for items.[26]

    In October 1894, George’s maternal uncle-by-marriage, Tsar Alexander III of Russia, died. At the request of his father, “out of respect for poor dear Uncle Sasha’s memory”, George joined his parents in St Petersburg for the funeral.[27] He and his parents remained in Russia for the wedding a week later of the new Russian emperor, his cousin Nicholas II, to another one of George’s first cousins, Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine, who had once been considered as a potential bride for George’s elder brother.[28]

    As Duke of York, George carried out a wide variety of public duties. On the death of Queen Victoria on 22 January 1901, George’s father ascended the throne as King Edward VII.[29] George inherited the title of Duke of Cornwall, and for much of the rest of that year, he was known as the Duke of Cornwall and York.[30]

    In 1901, the Duke and Duchess toured the British Empire. Their tour included Gibraltar, Malta, Port Said, Aden, Ceylon, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Mauritius, South Africa, Canada, and the Colony of Newfoundland. The tour was designed by Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain with the support of Prime Minister Lord Salisbury to reward the Dominions for their participation in the South African War of 1899–1902. George presented thousands of specially designed South African War medals to colonial troops. In South Africa, the royal party met civic leaders, African leaders, and Boer prisoners, and was greeted by elaborate decorations, expensive gifts, and fireworks displays. Despite this, not all residents responded favourably to the tour. Many white Cape Afrikaners resented the display and expense, the war having weakened their capacity to reconcile their Afrikaner-Dutch culture with their status as British subjects. Critics in the English-language press decried the enormous cost at a time when families faced severe hardship.[31]

    In Australia, the Duke opened the first session of the Australian Parliament upon the creation of the Commonwealth of Australia.[32] In New Zealand, he praised the military values, bravery, loyalty, and obedience to duty of New Zealanders, and the tour gave New Zealand a chance to show off its progress, especially in its adoption of up-to-date British standards in communications and the processing industries. The implicit goal was to advertise New Zealand’s attractiveness to tourists and potential immigrants, while avoiding news of growing social tensions, by focusing the attention of the British press on a land few knew about.[33] On his return to Britain, in a speech at Guildhall, London, George warned of “the impression which seemed to prevail among [our] brethren across the seas, that the Old Country must wake up if she intends to maintain her old position of pre-eminence in her colonial trade against foreign competitors.”[34]

    On 9 November 1901, George was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.[35][36] King Edward wished to prepare his son for his future role as king. In contrast to Edward himself, whom Queen Victoria had deliberately excluded from state affairs, George was given wide access to state documents by his father.[17][37] George in turn allowed his wife access to his papers,[38] as he valued her counsel and she often helped write her husband’s speeches.[39] As Prince of Wales, he supported reforms in naval training, including cadets being enrolled at the ages of twelve and thirteen, and receiving the same education, whatever their class and eventual assignments. The reforms were implemented by the then Second (later First) Sea Lord, Sir John Fisher.[40]

    From November 1905 to March 1906, George and May toured British India, where he was disgusted by racial discrimination and campaigned for greater involvement of Indians in the government of the country.[41] The tour was almost immediately followed by a trip to Spain for the wedding of King Alfonso XIII to Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, a first cousin of George, at which the bride and groom narrowly avoided assassination.[42] A week after returning to Britain, George and May travelled to Norway for the coronation of King Haakon VII, George’s cousin and brother-in-law, and Queen Maud, George’s sister.[43]

    On 6 May 1910, Edward VII died, and George became king. He wrote in his diary,

    I have lost my 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 but God will help me in my responsibilities and darling May will be my comfort as she has always been. May God give me strength and guidance in the heavy task which has fallen on me[44]

    George had never liked his wife’s habit of signing official documents and letters as “Victoria Mary” and insisted she drop one of those names. They both thought she should not be called Queen Victoria, and so she became Queen Mary.[45] Later that year, a radical propagandist, Edward Mylius, published a lie that George had secretly married in Malta as a young man, and that consequently his marriage to Queen Mary was bigamous. The lie had first surfaced in print in 1893, but George had shrugged it off as a joke. In an effort to kill off rumours, Mylius was arrested, tried and found guilty of criminal libel, and was sentenced to a year in prison.[46]

    George objected to the anti-Catholic wording of the Accession Declaration that he would be required to make at the opening of his first parliament. He made it known that he would refuse to open parliament unless it was changed. As a result, the Accession Declaration Act 1910 shortened the declaration and removed the most offensive phrases.[47]

    George and Mary’s coronation took place at Westminster Abbey on 22 June 1911,[17] and was celebrated by the Festival of Empire in London. In July, the King and Queen visited Ireland for five days; they received a warm welcome, with thousands of people lining the route of their procession to cheer.[48][49]
    Later in 1911, the King and Queen travelled to India for the Delhi Durbar, where they were presented to an assembled audience of Indian dignitaries and princes as the Emperor and Empress of India on 12 December 1911. George wore the newly created Imperial Crown of India at the ceremony, and declared the shifting of the Indian capital from Calcutta to Delhi. He was the only Emperor of India to be present at his own Delhi Durbar.
    They travelled throughout the subcontinent, and George took the opportunity to indulge in big game hunting in Nepal, shooting 21 tigers, 8 rhinoceroses and a bear over 10 days.[50] He was a keen and expert marksman.[51] On 18 December 1913, he shot over a thousand pheasants in six hours[52] at Hall Barn, the home of Lord Burnham, although even George had to acknowledge that “we went a little too far” that day.[53]

    George inherited the throne at a politically turbulent time.[54] Lloyd George’s People’s Budget had been rejected the previous year by the Conservative and Unionist-dominated House of Lords, contrary to the normal convention that the Lords did not veto money bills.[55] Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith had asked the previous king to give an undertaking that he would create sufficient Liberal peers to force the budget through the House. Edward had reluctantly agreed, provided the Lords rejected the budget after two successive general elections. After the January 1910 general election, the Conservative peers allowed the budget, for which the government now had an electoral mandate, to pass without a vote.[56]

    Asquith attempted to curtail the power of the Lords through constitutional reforms, which were again blocked by the Upper House. A constitutional conference on the reforms broke down in November 1910 after 21 meetings. Asquith and Lord Crewe, Liberal leader in the Lords, asked George to grant a dissolution, leading to a second general election, and to promise to create sufficient Liberal peers if the Lords blocked the legislation again.[57] If George refused, the Liberal government would otherwise resign, which would have given the appearance that the monarch was taking sides—with “the peers against the people”—in party politics.[58] The King’s two private secretaries, the Liberal Lord Knollys and the Unionist Lord Stamfordham, gave George conflicting advice.[59][60] Knollys advised George to accept the Cabinet’s demands, while Stamfordham advised George to accept the resignation.[59] Like his father, George reluctantly agreed to the dissolution and creation of peers, although he felt his ministers had taken advantage of his inexperience to browbeat him.[61] After the December 1910 general election, the Lords let the bill pass on hearing of the threat to swamp the house with new peers.[62] The subsequent Parliament Act 1911 permanently removed—with a few exceptions—the power of the Lords to veto bills. The King later came to feel that Knollys had withheld information from him about the willingness of the opposition to form a government if the Liberals had resigned.[63]

    The 1910 general elections had left the Liberals as a minority government dependent upon the support of the Irish Nationalist Party. As desired by the Nationalists, Asquith introduced legislation that would give Ireland Home Rule, but the Conservatives and Unionists opposed it.[17][64] As tempers rose over the Home Rule Bill, which would never have been possible without the Parliament Act, relations between the elderly Knollys and the Conservatives became poor, and he was pushed into retirement.[65] Desperate to avoid the prospect of civil war in Ireland between Unionists and Nationalists, George called a meeting of all parties at Buckingham Palace in July 1914 in an attempt to negotiate a settlement.[66] After four days the conference ended without an agreement.[17][67] Political developments in Britain and Ireland were overtaken by events in Europe, and the issue of Irish Home Rule was suspended for the duration of the war.[17][68]

    On 4 August 1914, the King wrote in his diary, “I held a council at 10.45 to declare war with Germany. It is a terrible catastrophe but it is not our fault. … Please to God it may soon be over.”[69] From 1914 to 1918, Britain and its allies were at war with the Central Powers, led by the German Empire. The German Kaiser Wilhelm II, who for the British public came to symbolise all the horrors of the war, was the King’s first cousin. The King’s paternal grandfather was Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; consequently, the King and his children bore the German titles Prince and Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke and Duchess of Saxony. Queen Mary, although born in England like her mother, was the daughter of the Duke of Teck, a descendant of the German Dukes of Württemberg. The King had brothers-in-law and cousins who were British subjects but who bore German titles such as Duke and Duchess of Teck, Prince and Princess of Battenberg, and Prince and Princess of Schleswig-Holstein. When H. G. Wells wrote about Britain’s “alien and uninspiring court”, George replied: “I may be uninspiring, but I’ll be damned if I’m alien.”[70]

    On 17 July 1917, George appeased British nationalist feelings by issuing a royal proclamation that changed the name of the British royal house from the German-sounding House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the House of Windsor.[71] He and all his British relatives relinquished their German titles and styles and adopted British-sounding surnames. George compensated his male relatives by giving them British peerages. His cousin Prince Louis of Battenberg, who earlier in the war had been forced to resign as First Sea Lord through anti-German feeling, became Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, while Queen Mary’s brothers became Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge, and Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone.[72]

    In letters patent gazetted on 11 December 1917, the King restricted the style of “Royal Highness” and the titular dignity of “Prince (or Princess) of Great Britain and Ireland” to the children of the Sovereign, the children of the sons of the Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest son of a Prince of Wales.[74] The letters patent also stated that “the titles of Royal Highness, Highness or Serene Highness, and the titular dignity of Prince and Princess shall cease except those titles already granted and remaining unrevoked”. George’s relatives who fought on the German side, such as Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover, and Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, had their British peerages suspended by a 1919 Order in Council under the provisions of the Titles Deprivation Act 1917. Under pressure from his mother, Queen Alexandra, the King also removed the Garter flags of his German relations from St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.[75]

    When Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, George’s first cousin, was overthrown in the Russian Revolution of 1917, the British government offered political asylum to the Tsar and his family, but worsening conditions for the British people, and fears that revolution might come to the British Isles, led George to think that the presence of the Romanovs would be seen as inappropriate.[76] Despite the later claims of Lord Mountbatten of Burma that Prime Minister David Lloyd George was opposed to the rescue of the Russian imperial family, the letters of Lord Stamfordham suggest that it was George V who opposed the idea against the advice of the government.[77] Advance planning for a rescue was undertaken by MI1, a branch of the British secret service,[78] but because of the strengthening position of the Bolshevik revolutionaries and wider difficulties with the conduct of the war, the plan was never put into operation.[79] The Tsar and his immediate family remained in Russia, where they were killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. George wrote in his diary: “It was a foul murder. I was devoted to Nicky, who was the kindest of men and thorough gentleman: loved his country and people.”[80] The following year, Nicholas’s mother, Marie Feodorovna, and other members of the extended Russian imperial family were rescued from Crimea by a British warship.[81]

    Two months after the end of the war, the King’s youngest son, John, died at the age of 13 after a lifetime of ill health. George was informed of his death by Queen Mary, who wrote, “[John] had been a great anxiety to us for many years … The first break in the family circle is hard to bear but people have been so kind & sympathetic & this has helped us much.”[82]

    In May 1922, the King toured Belgium and northern France, visiting the First World War cemeteries and memorials being constructed by the Imperial War Graves Commission. The event was described in a poem, The King’s Pilgrimage by Rudyard Kipling.[83] The tour, and one short visit to Italy in 1923, were the only times George agreed to leave the United Kingdom on official business after the end of the war.[84]

    Before the First World War, most of Europe was ruled by monarchs related to George, but during and after the war, the monarchies of Austria, Germany, Greece, and Spain, like Russia, fell to revolution and war. In March 1919, Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Lisle Strutt was dispatched on the personal authority of the King to escort the former Emperor Charles I of Austria and his family to safety in Switzerland.[85] In 1922, a Royal Navy ship was sent to Greece to rescue his cousins, Prince and Princess Andrew.[86]

    Political turmoil in Ireland continued as the Nationalists fought for independence; George expressed his horror at government-sanctioned killings and reprisals to Prime Minister Lloyd George.[87] At the opening session of the Parliament of Northern Ireland on 22 June 1921, the King appealed for conciliation in a speech part drafted by General Jan Smuts and approved by Lloyd George.[88] A few weeks later, a truce was agreed.[89] Negotiations between Britain and the Irish secessionists led to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.[90] By the end of 1922, Ireland was partitioned, the Irish Free State was established, and Lloyd George was out of office.[91]

    The King and his advisers were concerned about the rise of socialism and the growing labour movement, which they mistakenly associated with republicanism. The socialists no longer believed in their anti-monarchical slogans and were ready to come to terms with the monarchy if it took the first step. George adopted a more democratic, inclusive stance that crossed class lines and brought the monarchy closer to the public and the working class—a dramatic change for the King, who was most comfortable with naval officers and landed gentry. He cultivated friendly relations with moderate Labour Party politicians and trade union officials. His abandonment of social aloofness conditioned the royal family’s behaviour and enhanced its popularity during the economic crises of the 1920s and for over two generations thereafter.[92][93]

    The years between 1922 and 1929 saw frequent changes in government. In 1924, George appointed the first Labour Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, in the absence of a clear majority for any one of the three major parties. George’s tactful and understanding reception of the first Labour government (which lasted less than a year) allayed the suspicions of the party’s sympathisers. During the General Strike of 1926 the King advised the government of Conservative Stanley Baldwin against taking inflammatory action,[94] and took exception to suggestions that the strikers were “revolutionaries” saying, “Try living on their wages before you judge them.”[95]

    In 1926, George hosted an Imperial Conference in London at which the Balfour Declaration accepted the growth of the British Dominions into self-governing “autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another”. The Statute of Westminster 1931 formalised the Dominions’ legislative independence[96] and established that the succession to the throne could not be changed unless all the Parliaments of the Dominions as well as the Parliament at Westminster agreed.[17] The Statute’s preamble described the monarch as “the symbol of the free association of the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations”, who were “united by a common allegiance”.[97]
    queen victoria’s successor

    In the wake of a world financial crisis, the King encouraged the formation of a National Government in 1931 led by MacDonald and Baldwin,[98][99] and volunteered to reduce the civil list to help balance the budget.[98] He was concerned by the rise to power in Germany of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.[100] In 1934, the King bluntly told the German ambassador Leopold von Hoesch that Germany was now the peril of the world, and that there was bound to be a war within ten years if Germany went on at the present rate; he warned the British ambassador in Berlin, Eric Phipps, to be suspicious of the Nazis.[101]

    In 1932, George agreed to deliver a Royal Christmas speech on the radio, an event that became annual thereafter. He was not in favour of the innovation originally but was persuaded by the argument that it was what his people wanted.[102] By the Silver Jubilee of his reign in 1935, he had become a well-loved king, saying in response to the crowd’s adulation, “I cannot understand it, after all I am only a very ordinary sort of fellow.”[103]

    George’s relationship with his eldest son and heir, Edward, deteriorated in these later years. George was disappointed in Edward’s failure to settle down in life and appalled by his many affairs with married women.[17] In contrast, he was fond of his second son, Prince Albert (later George VI), and doted on his eldest granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth; he nicknamed her “Lilibet”, and she affectionately called him “Grandpa England”.[104] In 1935, George said of his son Edward: “After I am dead, the boy will ruin himself within 12 months”, and of Albert and Elizabeth: “I pray to God my eldest son will never marry and have children, and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne.”[105][106]

    The First World War took a toll on George’s health: he was seriously injured on 28 October 1915 when thrown by his horse at a troop review in France, and his heavy smoking exacerbated recurring breathing problems. He suffered from chronic bronchitis. In 1925, on the instruction of his doctors, he was reluctantly sent on a recuperative private cruise in the Mediterranean; it was his third trip abroad since the war, and his last.[107] In November 1928, he fell seriously ill with septicaemia, and for the next two years his son Edward took over many of his duties.[108] In 1929, the suggestion of a further rest abroad was rejected by the King “in rather strong language”.[109] Instead, he retired for three months to Craigweil House, Aldwick, in the seaside resort of Bognor, Sussex.[110] As a result of his stay, the town acquired the suffix “Regis”, which is Latin for “of the King”. A myth later grew that his last words, upon being told that he would soon be well enough to revisit the town, were “Bugger Bognor!”[111][112][113]

    George never fully recovered. In his final year, he was occasionally administered oxygen.[114] The death of his favourite sister, Victoria, in December 1935 depressed him deeply. On the evening of 15 January 1936, the King took to his bedroom at Sandringham House complaining of a cold; he remained in the room until his death.[115] He became gradually weaker, drifting in and out of consciousness. Prime Minister Baldwin later said:

    each time he became conscious it was some kind inquiry or kind observation of someone, some words of gratitude for kindness shown. But he did say to his secretary when he sent for him: “How is the Empire?” An unusual phrase in that form, and the secretary said: “All is well, sir, with the Empire”, and the King gave him a smile and relapsed once more into unconsciousness.[116]

    By 20 January, he was close to death. His physicians, led by Lord Dawson of Penn, issued a bulletin with the words “The King’s life is moving peacefully towards its close.”[117][118] Dawson’s private diary, unearthed after his death and made public in 1986, reveals that the King’s last words, a mumbled “God damn you!”,[119] were addressed to his nurse, Catherine Black, when she gave him a sedative that night. Dawson, who supported the “gentle growth of euthanasia”,[120] admitted in the diary that he hastened the King’s death by injecting him, after 11:00 p.m., with two consecutive lethal injections: 3/4 of a grain of morphine followed shortly afterwards by a grain of cocaine.[119][121] Dawson wrote that he acted to preserve the King’s dignity, to prevent further strain on the family, and so that the King’s death at 11:55 p.m. could be announced in the morning edition of The Times newspaper rather than “less appropriate … evening journals”.[119][121] Neither Queen Mary, who was intensely religious and might not have sanctioned euthanasia, nor the Prince of Wales was consulted. The royal family did not want the King to endure pain and suffering and did not want his life prolonged artificially but neither did they approve Dawson’s actions.[122] British Pathé announced the King’s death the following day, in which he was described as “more than a King, a father of a great family”.[123]

    The German composer Paul Hindemith went to a BBC studio on the morning after the King’s death and in six hours wrote Trauermusik (Mourning Music), for viola and orchestra. It was performed that same evening in a live broadcast by the BBC, with Adrian Boult conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the composer as soloist.[124]

    At the procession to George’s lying in state in Westminster Hall part of the Imperial State Crown fell from on top of the coffin and landed in the gutter as the cortège turned into New Palace Yard. The new king, Edward VIII, saw it fall and wondered whether it was a bad omen for his new reign.[125][126] As a mark of respect to their father, George’s four surviving sons, Edward, Albert, Henry, and George, mounted the guard, known as the Vigil of the Princes, at the catafalque on the night before the funeral.[127] The vigil was not repeated until the death of George’s daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, in 2002. George V was interred at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 28 January 1936.[128] Edward abdicated before the year was out, leaving Albert to ascend the throne as George VI.

    George V disliked sitting for portraits[17] and despised modern art; he was so displeased by one portrait by Charles Sims that he ordered it to be burned.[129] He did admire sculptor Bertram Mackennal, who created statues of George for display in Madras and Delhi, and William Reid Dick, whose statue of George V stands outside Westminster Abbey, London.[17]

    George preferred to stay at home pursuing his hobbies of stamp collecting and game shooting, and he lived a life that later biographers considered dull because of its conventionality.[130] He was not an intellectual; on returning from one evening at the opera, he wrote in his journal, “Went to Covent Garden and saw Fidelio and damned dull it was.”[131] Nonetheless, he was earnestly devoted to Britain and its Commonwealth.[132] He explained, “it has always been my dream to identify myself with the great idea of Empire.”[133] He appeared hard-working and became widely admired by the people of Britain and the Empire, as well as “the Establishment”.[134] In the words of historian David Cannadine, King George V and Queen Mary were an “inseparably devoted couple” who upheld “character” and “family values”.[135]

    George established a standard of conduct for British royalty that reflected the values and virtues of the upper middle-class rather than upper-class lifestyles or vices.[136] Acting within his constitutional bounds, he dealt skilfully with a succession of crises: Ireland, the First World War, and the first socialist minority government in Britain.[17] He was by temperament a traditionalist who never fully appreciated or approved the revolutionary changes underway in British society.[137] Nevertheless, he invariably wielded his influence as a force of neutrality and moderation, seeing his role as mediator rather than final decision-maker.[138]

    His full style as king was “George V, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India” until the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927, when it changed to “George V, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India”.[142]

    On 4 June 1917, he founded the Order of the British Empire.[148]

    As Duke of York, George’s arms were the royal arms, with an inescutcheon of the arms of Saxony, all differenced with a label of three points argent, the centre point bearing an anchor azure. The anchor was removed from his coat of arms as the Prince of Wales. As King, he bore the royal arms. In 1917, he removed, by warrant, the Saxony inescutcheon from the arms of all male-line descendants of the Prince Consort domiciled in the United Kingdom (although the royal arms themselves had never borne the shield).[211]


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    Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale (Albert Victor Christian Edward; 8 January 1864 – 14 January 1892) was the eldest child of the Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) and grandson of the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria. From the time of his birth, he was second in the line of succession to the British throne, but did not become king as he died before his father and grandmother.

    Albert Victor was known to his family, and many later biographers, as “Eddy”. When young, he travelled the world extensively as a naval cadet, and as an adult he joined the British Army, but did not undertake any active military duties. After two unsuccessful courtships, he became engaged to be married to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck in late 1891. A few weeks later, he died during an influenza pandemic. Mary later married his younger brother, who became King George V in 1910.

    Albert Victor’s intellect, sexuality, and mental health have been the subject of speculation. Rumours in his time linked him with the Cleveland Street scandal, which involved a homosexual brothel; however, there is no conclusive evidence that he ever went there, or was indeed homosexual.[1] Some authors have argued that he was the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper, but contemporaneous documents show that Albert Victor could not have been in London at the time of the murders, and the claim is widely dismissed.

    Albert Victor was born two months prematurely on 8 January 1864 at Frogmore House, Windsor, Berkshire. He was the first child of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, and his wife Alexandra of Denmark. Following his grandmother Queen Victoria’s wishes, he was named Albert Victor, after herself and her late husband, Albert.[2] As a grandchild of the reigning British monarch in the male line and a son of the Prince of Wales, he was formally styled His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor of Wales from birth.
    queen victoria’s successor

    He was christened Albert Victor Christian Edward in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace on 10 March 1864 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Longley, but was known informally as “Eddy”. His godparents were Queen Victoria (his paternal grandmother), King Christian IX of Denmark (his maternal grandfather, represented by his brother Prince John of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg), King Leopold I of Belgium (his great great-uncle), the Dowager Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (his maternal great-grandmother, for whom the Duchess of Cambridge stood proxy), the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (his great-aunt by marriage, for whom the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz stood proxy), the Landgrave of Hesse (his maternal great-grandfather, for whom Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, stood proxy), the Crown Princess of Prussia (his paternal aunt, for whom Princess Helena, her sister, stood proxy) and Prince Alfred (his paternal uncle).[3][4]

    When Albert Victor was just short of seventeen months old, his brother, Prince George of Wales, was born on 3 June 1865. Given the closeness in age of the two royal brothers, they were educated together. In 1871, the Queen appointed John Neale Dalton as their tutor. The two princes were given a strict programme of study, which included games and military drills as well as academic subjects.[5] Dalton complained that Albert Victor’s mind was “abnormally dormant”.[6] Though he learned to speak Danish, progress in other languages and subjects was slow.[7] Sir Henry Ponsonby thought that Albert Victor might have inherited his mother’s deafness.[8] Albert Victor never excelled intellectually. Possible physical explanations for Albert Victor’s inattention or indolence in class include absence seizures or his premature birth, which can be associated with learning difficulties,[9] but Lady Geraldine Somerset blamed Albert Victor’s poor education on Dalton, whom she considered uninspiring.[10]

    Separating the brothers for the remainder of their education was considered, but Dalton advised the Prince of Wales against splitting them up as “Prince Albert Victor requires the stimulus of Prince George’s company to induce him to work at all.”[11] In 1877, the two boys were sent to the Royal Navy’s training ship, HMS Britannia. They began their studies there two months behind the other cadets as Albert Victor contracted typhoid fever, for which he was treated by Sir William Gull.[12] Dalton accompanied them as chaplain to the ship. In 1879, after a great deal of discussion between the Queen, the Prince of Wales, their households and the Government, the royal brothers were sent as naval cadets on a three-year world tour aboard HMS Bacchante.[13] Albert Victor was rated midshipman on his sixteenth birthday.[14] They toured the British Empire, accompanied by Dalton, visiting the Americas, the Falkland Islands, South Africa, Australia, Fiji, the Far East, Singapore, Ceylon, Aden, Egypt, the Holy Land and Greece. They acquired tattoos in Japan. By the time they returned to Britain, Albert Victor was eighteen.[15]

    The brothers were parted in 1883; George continued in the navy and Albert Victor attended Trinity College, Cambridge.[16] At Bachelor’s Cottage, Sandringham, Albert Victor was expected to cram before arriving at university in the company of Dalton, French instructor Monsieur Hua, and a newly chosen tutor/companion, James Kenneth Stephen.[17] Some biographers have said that Stephen was a misogynist, although this has recently been questioned,[18] and he may have felt emotionally attached to Albert Victor, but whether or not his feelings were overtly homosexual is open to question.[19] Stephen was initially optimistic about tutoring the prince, but by the time the party were to move to Cambridge had concluded, “I do not think he can possibly derive much benefit from attending lectures at Cambridge … He hardly knows the meaning of the words to read”.[20]

    At the start of the new term in October, Albert Victor, Dalton, and Lieutenant Henderson from Bacchante moved to Nevile’s Court at Trinity College, which was generally reserved for accommodating dons rather than students. The prince showed little interest in the intellectual atmosphere, and he was excused from examinations, though he did become involved in undergraduate life.[21] He was introduced to Oscar Browning, a noted don who gave parties and “made pets of those undergraduates who were handsome and attractive”,[22] and became friendly with Dalton’s godson, Alfred Fripp, who later became his doctor and royal surgeon. It is not known whether he had any sexual experiences at Cambridge, but partners of either sex would have been available.[23] In August 1884, he spent some time at Heidelberg University studying German, before returning to Cambridge.[21] Leaving Cambridge in 1885, where he had already served as a cadet in the 2nd Cambridge University Battalion, he was gazetted as an officer in the 10th Hussars.[24] In 1888, he was awarded an honorary degree by the university.[25]

    One of Albert Victor’s instructors said he learnt by listening rather than reading or writing and had no difficulty remembering information,[26] but Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, had a less favourable opinion of him, calling him “an inveterate and incurable dawdler”.[27] Princess Augusta of Cambridge was also dismissive, calling him: “si peu de chose”.[28]

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  • Much of Albert Victor’s time at his post in Aldershot was spent drilling, which he disliked, though he did like to play polo.[29] He passed his examinations, and in March 1887, he was posted to Hounslow where he was promoted to captain. He was given more public engagements, visited Ireland and Gibraltar, and opened the Hammersmith suspension bridge.[30] Of his private life, a childhood friend of Albert Victor later recalled that it was uneventful: “his brother officers had said that they would like to make a man of the world of him. Into that world he refused to be initiated.”[31]

    In July 1889, the Metropolitan Police uncovered a male brothel operated by Charles Hammond in London’s Cleveland Street. Under police interrogation, the male prostitutes and pimps revealed the names of their clients, who included Lord Arthur Somerset, an Extra Equerry to the Prince of Wales.[32] At the time, all homosexual acts between men were illegal, and the clients faced social ostracism, prosecution, and at worst, two years’ imprisonment with hard labour.[33]

    The resultant Cleveland Street scandal implicated other high-ranking figures in British society, and rumours swept upper-class London of the involvement of a member of the royal family, namely Prince Albert Victor.[34] The prostitutes had not named Albert Victor, and it is suggested that Somerset’s solicitor, Arthur Newton, fabricated and spread the rumours to take the heat off his client.[35][36] Letters exchanged between the Treasury Solicitor, Sir Augustus Stephenson, and his assistant, Hamilton Cuffe, make coded reference to Newton’s threats to implicate Albert Victor.[37]

    In December 1889, it was reported that the Prince and Princess of Wales were “daily assailed with anonymous letters of the most outrageous character” bearing upon the scandal.[38] The Prince of Wales intervened in the investigation; no clients were ever prosecuted and nothing against Albert Victor was proven.[39] Sir Charles Russell was retained to watch the proceedings in the case on behalf of Albert Victor.[40] Although there is no conclusive evidence for or against his involvement, or that he ever visited a homosexual club or brothel,[41] the rumours and cover-up have led some biographers to speculate that he did visit Cleveland Street,[42] and that he was “possibly bisexual, probably homosexual”.[43] This is contested by other commentators, one of whom refers to him as “ardently heterosexual” and his involvement in the rumours as “somewhat unfair”.[44] The historian H. Montgomery Hyde wrote, “There is no evidence that he was homosexual, or even bisexual.”[45]

    While English newspapers suppressed mention of the Prince’s name in association with the case, Welsh-language,[46] colonial, and American newspapers were less inhibited. The New York Times ridiculed him as a “dullard” and “stupid perverse boy”, who would “never be allowed to ascend the British throne”.[47] According to one American press report, when departing the Gare du Nord in Paris in May 1890, Albert Victor was cheered by a waiting crowd of English, but hissed and catcalled by some of the French; one journalist present asked him if he would comment “as to the cause of his sudden departure from England”. According to the report, “The Prince’s sallow face turned scarlet and his eyes seemed to start from their orbits,” and he had one of his companions upbraid the fellow for impertinence.[48]

    Somerset’s sister, Lady Waterford, denied that her brother knew anything about Albert Victor. She wrote, “I am sure the boy is as straight as a line … Arthur does not the least know how or where the boy spends his time … he believes the boy to be perfectly innocent.”[49] Lady Waterford also believed Somerset’s protestations of his own innocence.[50] In surviving private letters to his friend Lord Esher, Somerset denies knowing anything directly about Albert Victor, but confirms that he has heard the rumours, and hopes that they will help quash any prosecution. He wrote,

    I can quite understand the Prince of Wales being much annoyed at his son’s name being coupled with the thing but that was the case before I left it … we were both accused of going to this place but not together … they will end by having out in open court exactly what they are all trying to keep quiet. I wonder if it is really a fact or only an invention of that arch ruffian H[ammond].[51]


    He continued,

    I have never mentioned the boy’s name except to Probyn, Montagu and Knollys when they were acting for me and I thought they ought to know. Had they been wise, hearing what I knew and therefore what others knew, they ought to have hushed the matter up, instead of stirring it up as they did, with all the authorities.[52]

    The rumours persisted; sixty years later the official biographer of George V, Harold Nicolson, was told by Lord Goddard, who was a twelve-year-old schoolboy at the time of the scandal, that Albert Victor “had been involved in a male brothel scene, and that a solicitor had to commit perjury to clear him. The solicitor was struck off the rolls for his offence, but was thereafter reinstated.”[53] In fact, none of the lawyers in the case was convicted of perjury or struck off during the scandal, but Somerset’s solicitor, Arthur Newton, was convicted of obstruction of justice for helping his clients escape abroad, and was sentenced to six weeks in prison. Over twenty years later in 1910, Newton was struck off for twelve months for professional misconduct after falsifying letters from another of his clients, the notorious murderer Dr Crippen.[54] In 1913, Newton was struck off indefinitely and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for obtaining money by false pretences.[55]

    The foreign press suggested that Albert Victor was sent on a seven-month tour of British India from October 1889 to avoid the gossip which swept London society in the wake of the scandal.[56] This is not true;[57] the trip had actually been planned since the spring.[58] Travelling via Athens, Port Said, Cairo and Aden, Albert Victor arrived in Bombay on 9 November 1889.[59] He was entertained sumptuously in Hyderabad by the Nizam,[60] and elsewhere by many other maharajahs.[61] In Bangalore he laid the foundation stone of the Glass House at the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens on 30 November 1889. He spent Christmas at Mandalay and the New Year at Calcutta. Most of the extensive travelling was done by train,[62] although elephants were ridden as part of ceremonies.[63] In the style of the time, a great many animals were shot for sport.[64]

    During the trip, Albert Victor met Mrs. Margery Haddon, the wife of a civil engineer, Henry Haddon. After several failed marriages and Albert Victor’s death, Margery came to England and claimed the Prince was the father of her son, Clarence Haddon. There was no evidence and her claims were dismissed. She had become an alcoholic and seemed deranged. The allegations were reported to Buckingham Palace and the head of the police Special Branch investigated. Papers in The National Archives show that neither courtiers nor Margery had any proof to support the allegation. In a statement to police, Albert Victor’s lawyers admitted that there had been “some relations” between him and Mrs. Haddon, but denied the claim of fatherhood.[65]

    In the 1920s, however, the son, Clarence, repeated the story and published a book in the United States, My Uncle George V, in which he claimed he was born in London in September 1890, about nine months after Albert Victor’s meeting with Mrs. Haddon. In 1933, he was charged with demanding money with menace and attempted extortion after writing to the King asking for hush money. At his trial the following January, the prosecution produced documents showing that Haddon’s enlistment papers, marriage certificate, officer’s commission, demobilisation papers and employment records all showed he was born in or before 1887, at least two years before Albert Victor met Mrs. Haddon. Haddon was found guilty and the judge, believing Haddon to be suffering from delusions, did not imprison him but bound him over for three years on the condition that he made no claim that he was Albert Victor’s son.[66] Haddon breached the conditions and was incarcerated for a year. Dismissed as a crank, he died a broken man. Even if Haddon’s claim had been true, as with other illegitimate births it would have made no difference to the royal line of succession.[65]

    On his return from India, Albert Victor was created Duke of Clarence and Avondale and Earl of Athlone on 24 May 1890, Queen Victoria’s 71st birthday.[67]

    In 1889, Albert Victor’s grandmother Queen Victoria expressed her wish that he marry his paternal cousin Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine, who was one of her favorite granddaughters. In Balmoral Castle, he proposed to Alix, but she did not return his affections and refused his offer of engagement.[68][69] He persisted in trying to convince Alix to marry him, but he finally gave up in 1890 when she sent him a letter in which she told him “how it grieves her to pain him, but that she cannot marry him, much as she likes him as a Cousin.”[70] In 1894, she married Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, another of Albert Victor’s cousins.

    After her proposed match with Alix fell through, Victoria suggested to Albert Victor that he marry another first cousin, Princess Margaret of Prussia. On 19 May 1890, she sent him a formal letter in which she expressed her opinions about Margaret’s suitability to become Queen: “Of the few possible Princess (for of course any Lady in Society would never do) I think no one more likely to suit you and the position better than your Cousin Mossy  … She is not regularly pretty but she has a very pretty figure, is very amiable and half English with great love for England which you will find in very few if any others.”[71] Although Albert Victor’s father approved, Queen Victoria’s secretary Henry Ponsonby informed her that Albert Victor’s mother “would object most strongly and indeed has already done so.”[72] Nothing came of Queen Victoria’s suggestion.

    By this time however, Albert Victor was falling in love with Princess Hélène of Orléans, a daughter of Prince Philippe, Count of Paris, a pretender to the French throne who was living in England after being banished from France in 1886.[73] At first, Queen Victoria opposed any engagement because Hélène was Roman Catholic. Once Albert Victor and Hélène confided their love to her, the Queen relented and supported the proposed marriage.[74][75] Hélène offered to convert to the Church of England,[76] and Albert Victor offered to renounce his succession rights to marry her.[74] To the couple’s disappointment, her father refused to countenance the marriage and was adamant she could not convert. Hélène travelled personally to intercede with Pope Leo XIII, but he confirmed her father’s verdict, and the courtship ended.[77] When Albert Victor died, his sisters Maud and Louise sympathized with Hélène and treated her, not his fiancée Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, as his true love. Maud told her that “he is buried with your little coin around his neck” and Louise said that he is “yours in death”.[78] Hélène later became Duchess of Aosta.

    By 1891, another potential bride, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, was under consideration. Mary was the daughter of Queen Victoria’s first cousin Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck. Queen Victoria was very supportive, considering Mary ideal—charming, sensible and pretty.[79] On 3 December 1891 Albert Victor, to Mary’s “great surprise”, proposed to her at Luton Hoo, the country residence of the Danish ambassador to Britain.[80] The wedding was set for 27 February 1892.[81]

    In 1891, Albert Victor wrote to Lady Sybil St Clair Erskine that he was in love once again, though he does not say with whom.[82] A week after the first letter, he asked Erskine, “I wonder if you really love me a little? … I should be very pleased if you did just a little bit.”[83]

    In late 1891, the Prince was implicated as having been involved with a former Gaiety Theatre chorus girl, Lydia Miller (stage name Lydia Manton), who committed suicide by drinking carbolic acid.[84] Although she was the nominal mistress of Lord Charles Montagu, who gave evidence at the inquest, it was alleged that he was merely a cover for the Prince, who had requested she give up her theatrical career on his behalf, and that the authorities sought to suppress the case by making the inquest private and refusing access to the depositions.[85] Similarly to the Cleveland Street scandal, only overseas newspapers printed Albert Victor’s name, but regional British newspapers did quote the radical London newspaper The Star[86] which published: “It is a fact so well known that the blind denials of it given in some quarters are childishly futile. Lydia Manton was the petite amie of a certain young prince, and that, too, quite recently.”[84] It was labelled “a scandal of the first magnitude … on the lips of every clubman”,[84] and compared to the Tranby Croft affair, in which his father was called to give evidence at a trial for slander.[87]

    Rumours also surfaced in 1900, after Albert Victor’s death, of his association with another former Gaiety girl, Maude Richardson (birth name: Louisa Lancey),[88] and that the royal family had attempted to pay her off.[89] In 2002, letters purported to have been sent by Albert Victor to his solicitor referring to a payoff made to Richardson of £200 were sold at Bonhams auction house in London.[90][91] Owing to discrepancies in the dates and spelling of the letters, one historian has suggested they could be forgeries.[92]

    In mid-1890, Albert Victor was attended by several doctors. In Albert Victor’s and other correspondence, his illness is only referred to as “fever” or “gout”.[93] Some biographers have assumed he was suffering from “a mild form of venereal disease”,[44] perhaps gonorrhea,[94] which he may have suffered from on an earlier occasion,[95] but the exact nature of his illness is unknown.[96] Letters dated 1885 and 1886 from Albert Victor to his doctor at Aldershot (known only as “Roche”) detail that he was taking medicine for ‘glete’ (gleet), then a term for gonorrhea discharge.[97]

    Just as plans for both his marriage to Mary and his appointment as Viceroy of Ireland were under discussion, Albert Victor fell ill with influenza in the pandemic of 1889–1892. He developed pneumonia and died at Sandringham House in Norfolk on 14 January 1892, less than a week after his 28th birthday.

    His parents the Prince and Princess of Wales, his sisters Princesses Maud and Victoria, his brother Prince George, his fiancée Princess Mary, her parents the Duke and Duchess of Teck, three physicians (Alan Reeve Manby, Francis Laking and William Broadbent) and three nurses were present.[98] The Prince of Wales’s chaplain, Canon Frederick Hervey, stood over Albert Victor reading prayers for the dying.[99]

    The nation was shocked. Shops put up their shutters. The Prince of Wales wrote to Queen Victoria, “Gladly would I have given my life for his”.[100] Princess Mary wrote to Queen Victoria of the Princess of Wales, “the despairing look on her face was the most heart-rending thing I have ever seen.”[101] His younger brother Prince George wrote, “how deeply I did love him; & I remember with pain nearly every hard word & little quarrel I ever had with him & I long to ask his forgiveness, but, alas, it is too late now!”[102] George took Albert Victor’s place in the line of succession, eventually succeeding to the throne as George V in 1910. Drawn together during their shared period of mourning, Prince George later married Mary himself in 1893. She became queen consort on George’s accession.[103]

    Albert Victor’s mother, Alexandra, never fully recovered from her son’s death and kept the room in which he died as a shrine.[104] At the funeral, Mary laid her bridal wreath of orange blossom upon the coffin.[105] James Kenneth Stephen, Albert Victor’s former tutor, refused all food from the day of Albert Victor’s death and died 20 days later; he had suffered a head injury in 1886 which left him suffering from psychosis.[106] The Prince is buried in the Albert Memorial Chapel close to St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. His tomb, by Alfred Gilbert, is “the finest single example of late 19th-century sculpture in the British Isles”.[107] A recumbent effigy of the Prince in a Hussar uniform (almost impossible to see properly in situ) lies above the tomb. Kneeling over him is an angel, holding a heavenly crown. The tomb is surrounded by an elaborate railing, with figures of saints.[108] The perfectionist Gilbert spent too much on the commission, went bankrupt, and left the country. Five of the smaller figures were only completed with “a greater roughness and pittedness of texture” after his return to Britain in the 1920s.[107]

    One obituary, written by a journalist who claimed to have attended the majority of Albert Victor’s public appearances, stated:

    He was little known personally to the English public. His absence at sea, and on travels and duty with his regiment, kept him out of the general eye … at times, there was a sallowness of hue, which much increased the grave aspect … not only in the metropolis, but throughout the country, somehow, it was always said, ‘He will never come to the throne.'[109]

    During his life, the bulk of the British press treated Albert Victor with nothing but respect and the eulogies that immediately followed his death were full of praise. The radical politician, Henry Broadhurst, who had met both Albert Victor and his brother George, noted that they had “a total absence of affectation or haughtiness”.[110] On the day of Albert Victor’s death, the leading Liberal politician, William Ewart Gladstone, wrote in his personal private diary “a great loss to our party”.[111] However, Queen Victoria referred to Albert Victor’s “dissipated life” in private letters to her eldest daughter,[112] which were later published and, in the mid-20th century, the official biographers of Queen Mary and King George V, James Pope-Hennessy and Harold Nicolson respectively, promoted hostile assessments of Albert Victor’s life, portraying him as lazy, ill-educated and physically feeble. The exact nature of his “dissipations” is not clear, but in 1994 Theo Aronson favoured the theory on “admittedly circumstantial” evidence that the “unspecified ‘dissipations’ were predominantly homosexual”.[41] Aronson’s judgement was based on Albert Victor’s “adoration of his elegant and possessive mother; his ‘want of manliness’; his ‘shrinking from horseplay’; [and] his ‘sweet, gentle, quiet and charming’ nature”,[41] as well as the Cleveland Street rumours and his opinion that there is “a certain amount of homosexuality in all men”.[113] He admitted, however, that “the allegations of Prince Eddy’s homosexuality must be treated cautiously.”[114]
    queen victoria’s successor

    Rumours that Prince Albert Victor may have committed, or been responsible for, the Jack the Ripper murders were first mentioned in print in 1962.[115][116] It was later alleged, among others by Stephen Knight in Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution, that Albert Victor fathered a child with a woman in the Whitechapel district of London, and either he or several high-ranking men committed the murders in an effort to cover up his indiscretion. Though such claims have been repeated frequently, scholars have dismissed them as fantasies, and refer to indisputable proof of the Prince’s innocence.[117] For example, on 30 September 1888, when Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes were murdered in London, Albert Victor was over 500 miles (over 800 km) away at Balmoral, the royal retreat in Scotland, in the presence of Queen Victoria, other family members, visiting German royalty and a large number of staff. According to the official Court Circular, family journals and letters, newspaper reports and other sources, he could not have been near any of the murders.[118] Other fanciful conspiracy theories are that he died of syphilis or poison, that he was pushed off a cliff on the instructions of Lord Randolph Churchill, or that his death was faked to remove him from the line of succession.[119]

    Albert Victor’s posthumous reputation became so bad that in 1964 Philip Magnus called his death a “merciful act of providence”, supporting the theory that his death removed an unsuitable heir to the throne and replaced him with the reliable and sober George V.[120] In 1972, Michael Harrison was the first modern author to re-assess Albert Victor and portray him in a more sympathetic light.[121] Biographer Andrew Cook continued attempts to rehabilitate Albert Victor’s reputation, arguing that his lack of academic progress was partly due to the incompetence of his tutor, Dalton; that he was a warm and charming man; that there is no tangible evidence that he was homosexual or bisexual; that he held liberal views, particularly on Irish Home Rule; and that his reputation was diminished by biographers eager to improve the image of his brother, George.[122]

    The conspiracy theories surrounding Albert Victor have led to his portrayal in film as somehow responsible for or involved in the Jack the Ripper murders. Bob Clark’s Sherlock Holmes mystery Murder by Decree was released in 1979 with “Duke of Clarence (Eddy)” played by Robin Marchal. Jack the Ripper was released in 1988 with Marc Culwick as Prince Albert Victor. Samuel West played “Prince Eddy” in The Ripper (1997), having previously played Albert Victor as a child in the 1975 TV miniseries Edward the Seventh. Older versions of Albert Victor in Edward the Seventh are played by Jerome Watts and Charles Dance. From 1989 to 1998 Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell published the graphic novel From Hell in serialized form, which is based on Stephen Knight’s theory. It was adapted into a 2001 film of the same name by the Hughes brothers. Mark Dexter portrayed both “Prince Edward” and “Albert Sickert”. The story, based largely on the same sources as Murder by Decree, is also the basis for the play Force and Hypocrisy by Doug Lucie.[123]

    A pair of alternative history novels King and Joker (1976) and Skeleton in Waiting (1990), written by Peter Dickinson, are the adventures of a fictitious royal family descended from an Albert Victor who survived and reigned as King Victor I. In Gary Lovisi’s parallel universe Sherlock Holmes pastiche, “The Adventure of the Missing Detective” in Sherlock Holmes: The Hidden Years, Albert Victor is portrayed as a tyrannical king, who rules after the deaths (in suspicious circumstances) of both his grandmother and father. The Prince also appears as the murder victim in the first of the Lord Francis Powerscourt crime novels Goodnight Sweet Prince, and as a murder suspect in the novel Death at Glamis Castle by Robin Paige. In both The Bloody Red Baron (volume 2 of Anno Dracula series) by Kim Newman and the novel I, Vampire by Michael Romkey, he has become a vampire. In the former, he is the British monarch during the First World War. The Prince of Mirrors by Alan Robert Clark is a historical novel which closely follows the factual trajectory of Albert Victor’s documented life, and imaginatively interweaves how that life might have been emotionally. Two DC Comics series published as part of its Elseworlds imprint feature Prince Albert (“Eddy”) as a minor character: Gotham by Gaslight and Wonder Woman: Amazonia.

    The Duke of Clarence’s full style, as proclaimed at his funeral by Garter King of Arms was: “[the] Most High, Mighty, and Illustrious Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Earl of Athlone, Duke of Saxony, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick”.[124]

    British honours[125]

    Foreign honours

    British

    With his dukedom, Albert Victor was granted a coat of arms, being the royal arms of the United Kingdom, differenced by an inescutcheon of the arms of Saxony and a label of three points argent, the centre point bearing a cross gules.[142]


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    Biarritz (UK: /bɪəˈrɪts, ˈbɪərɪts/ beer-ITS, BEER-its,[2][3] US: /ˌbiːəˈrɪts, ˈbiːərɪts/ BEE-ə-RITS, -⁠rits,[2][4] French: [bjaʁits] (listen), Basque: [bi.arits̻]; Basque also Miarritze [mi.arits̻e]; Occitan: Biàrritz [ˈbjarits]) is a city on the Bay of Biscay, on the Atlantic coast in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the French Basque Country in southwestern France. It is located 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the border with Spain. It is a luxurious seaside tourist destination known for the Hôtel du Palais (originally built for the Empress Eugénie circa 1855), its casinos in front of the sea and its surfing culture.

    Biarritz is located in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is adjacent to Bayonne and Anglet and 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the border with Spain. It is in the traditional province of Labourd in the French Basque Country.

    In Basque, its name is Biarritz or Miarritze. Its current Gascon name is Biàrrits. The name for an inhabitant is Biarrot in French and Biarriztar or Miarriztar in Basque. The suffix -itz, as in Isturitz, is a Basque locative. The name appears as Bearriz in 1170, Bearids in 1186 and Bearritz in 1249.

    Biarritz appears as Bearids and Bearriz in 1150, Beiarridz in 1165, Bearriz and Beariz in 1170, Bearidz (1186), Bearriz and Beariz (12th century), lo port de Beiarriz and Bearridz in 1261 (cartulaire de Bayonne). Other forms include Beiarid (1199), Bearritz (1249), Beiarriz and Beiarrids (1261), Bearridz (1281), Bearrits (1338), (rôles gascons), Bearritz (1498, chapitre de Bayonne38), Sanctus Martinus de Biarriz (1689, collations du diocèse de Bayonne, mearritcen (1712), Biarrits (1863, Dictionnaire topographique Béarn-Pays basque) and Biarritze and Miarritze.

    Analysis of stones from the Middle Paleolithic show that the Biarritz area was inhabited at that time.
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    The oldest mention of the city appears in a cartulary, Bayonne’s Golden book, from 1186, where it is named Bearids; some years later the name used was Beiarrids. The first urban development was to the south, at the top and at the interior. Today this is near the location of the church of San Martin, the oldest church in Biarritz.

    In 1152, Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henry II of England, who became suzerain of the Duchy of Aquitaine. Prince Edward, oldest son of Henry III of England, was invested with the duchy, and betrothed to Eleanor of Castile, who brought him rights over Gascony.

    Two population centers are attested in the Middle Ages. On the one hand, the église Saint-Martin was active in the neighborhoods in the territory’s interior, which were:[5]

    On the other hand, the château of Belay (first mentioned in 1342), also called château de Ferragus, protected the coast and the current Port-Vieux (old port), while religious life and community assemblies took place at Notre-Dame-de-Pitié (a chapel mentioned in 1498), dominating the Port-des-Pêcheurs, or fishing port.

    A document dated May 26, 1342 attested to this fishing activity, authorising les Biarrots to “(…) remit to Bayonne all the fresh fish that we and succeeding inhabitants of Biarritz can fish from the salt sea”.

    Construction of the château de Ferragus was decided by the English, on the foundations of a Roman work, at the summit of the promontory overlooking the sea, named Atalaye, used as a whale-observation post. This château had a double crenulated wall two meters thick, a drawbridge and four towers. Mentions of this château occur as late as 1603, in the letters patent of Henry IV. One tower remained as of 1739, when a daymark was established there, called de la Haille, then de la Humade. The tower disappeared in 1856.

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  • Most of the documents, records and official agreements gathered in the archives from Biarritz mention whaling. This was the principal local industry. Consequently, the town’s coat of arms features the image of a whale below a rowing boat manned by five sailors wearing berets, one of whom is preparing to throw a harpoon. This inscription is written on it: Aura, sidus, mare, adjuvant me (The air, the stars and the seas are helping me).

    Biarritz has long made its living from the sea: from the 12th century onwards, it was a whaling town. In the 18th century, doctors claimed that the ocean at Biarritz had therapeutic properties, inspiring patients to make pilgrimages to the beach for alleged cures for their ailments. After the 7th century, Biarritz had many confrontations with Bayonne, with the Kingdom of England – Lapurdi was under its control – and with the Bishop of Bayonne. Almost all of the disputes were about whale hunting. In 1284, the town’s right to hunt whales was reinstated by the authorities of Lapurdi and the Duchy of Aquitaine.

    From the Middle Ages and Early modern period a watchtower has looked down over the sea at Biarritz, from “La Humade”, waiting for the sight of a whale. Whenever those keeping watch saw a whale, they would burn wet straw, to create a large amount of smoke and thus communicate the news to their fellow countrymen. Eventually, however, the tower disappeared.

    In the 16th century, as a consequence of the attacks suffered in this area, or for other reasons, the whales migrated to other places. Whale hunters from Lapurdi, therefore, crossed the Atlantic Ocean in pursuit of them, and they spent over a century in the Labrador Peninsula and on Newfoundland. Later, instead of hunting whales, they started cod fishing in Newfoundland. A century later,[when?] due to the ban on fishing off the coasts of North America[citation needed] and the steely competence of English and Dutch fishermen, the number of fishing boats from Biarritz diminished and nowadays,[when?] the Biarritz fishing industry in these areas has come to an end.

    Even though the population from Biarritz was originally Basque, it is hard to assert whether the main language of the village was Basque or French.[citation needed]

    The first lighthouse of the village was built in 1650.[citation needed]

    Biarritz was an independent municipality, until 1784, a clergyman, four sworn and the city was governed by twelve deputies. Deputies were democratically chosen: there were four neighbourhoods (Portua, Bustingorri, Hurlaga and Alto), and three deputies had to be chosen from each of them. However, deputies were chosen by the abbot and sworn. Since they had no Town House, they gathered in a ward near the church. As they did not have a place for all the attending people, they made their meetings in the cemetery. That time, Biarritz was composed of around 1,700 citizens.

    In the mid-18th century, the city began to change into a worldwide known bath-city.

    From 1784 onwards, after the French Revolution, taking a bath at the sea was no longer a behaviour of those who were fools; sea-baths were fashionable. In 1808, Napoleon himself broke prejudices and took a bath on the Basque Country’s coastal water.

    In 1840, the Town House or Municipality of Biarritz started to organize an initiative in order to promote and attract those who loved most the sea.

    From the 11th century, Biarritz was a village dedicated to whale hunting, until Victor Hugo, found it in 1843. This writer made to Biarritz the following compliments on his book “Alpeak eta Pirinioak” :

    « I have not met in the world any place more pleasant and perfect than Biarritz. I have never seen the old Neptune throwing joy and glory with such a force in the old Cybele. All this coast is full of humming. Gascony’s sea grinds, scratches, and stretches on the reefs its never-ending whisper. Friendly population and white cheerful houses, large dunes, fine sand, great caves and proud sea, Biarritz is amazing. My only fear is Biarritz becoming fashionable. Whether this happens, the wild village, rural and still honest Biarritz, will be money-hungry. Biarritz will put poplars in the hills, railings in the dunes, kiosks in the rocks, seats in the caves, trousers worn on tourists. »

    Either for good or for bad, Victor Hugo’s prophecy was fulfilled. Biarritz planted poplars, tamarinds, hydrangeas, roses and pittosporums on the slopes and the hills, set railings on the dunes, covered moats with elegant stairs… and polluted with the speculation of the land and the money-hunger.

    Humble and proud tourists praise Biarritz’s coast, from the beach at the limit of Bidarte (Plage des Basques), to the cape of San Martin. There it can be found a white lighthouse 44 metres (144 feet) tall, built in 1834 replacing the one Louis XIV ordered to build. Various hotels were made, as well as a municipal casino, the club Belleuve and the casino were opened in 1857, the thalassotherapy house, and wonderful luxury houses. Luxurious store shops from London and Paris were also set up in Biarritz, and 36 small newspapers were published in the village.

    Biarritz became more renowned in 1854 when Empress Eugenie (the wife of Napoleon III) built a palace on the beach (now the Hôtel du Palais). European royalty, including British monarchs Queen Victoria and King Edward VII (who caused a minor scandal when he called H. H. Asquith to kiss hands at Biarritz in 1908 rather than return to London for the purpose),[6] and the Spanish king Alfonso XIII, were frequent visitors.

    Biarritz’s casino (opened 10 August 1901) and beaches make the town a notable tourist centre for Europeans and East Coast North Americans. The city has also become a prime destination for surfers from around the world, developing a nightlife and surf-based culture.

    Originally, there were two settlement sites: the neighborhood that was around the church of San Martin, and the fishing-port defended by château of Belay (also known as château of Ferragus). The coat of arms was a whaler, which was a symbol of the town.

    Opened in June 1893, Biarritz’s salt baths were designed and built by the architect Lagarde. From the gatzagas of Beskoitz and after passing through a 20-kilometre (12 mi) pipe, water ten times saltier than the sea was used. The baths were closed in 1953 and demolished in 1968.

    The presence of French Republic’s authorities and the fact of having launched the Paris-Henday train led Biarritz to become one of the most outstanding tourist areas all over Europe. The queen of the beaches became the beach of the kings: Oscar II of Sweden, Leopold of Belgium, tireless traveller, empress of Russia Maria Feodorovna, mother of Nicholas II of Russia, Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Natalie of Serbia and her son Alexander I of Serbia, George V from Britain, Edward VII and Britain’s Queen Victoria, Alfonso XIII of Spain, aristocrats, rich people, actors, from Europe and South America… In the summer-time, high-status people gathered in Biarritz. Therefore, the number of population remarkably increased, from 5,000 to 18,000. At the end of the 19th century, 50,000 vacationers were gathering in Biarritz.

    During the Belle Époque of European peace and prosperity, the department store called Biarritz Bonheur, created in 1894, enlarged twice (in 1911 and 1926), and still operating, became the temple of luxury and fashion. At the start of the 20th century, most of its workers spoke in English.

    At the end of World War II in Europe, the U.S. Army’s Information and Educational Branch was ordered to establish an overseas university campus for demobilized American service men and women in the French resort town of Biarritz. Under General Samuel L. McCroskey, the hotels and casinos of Biarritz were converted into quarters, labs, and class spaces for U.S. service personnel. The University opened 10 August 1945 and about 10,000 students attended an eight-week term. This campus was set up to provide a transition between army life and subsequent attendance at a university in the US, so students attended for just one term. After three successful terms, the G.I. University closed in March 1946 (see G. I. American Universities).[7]

    In 1957, the American film director Peter Viertel was in Biarritz with his British actress wife Deborah Kerr working on the film The Sun Also Rises. One of his Californian friends came for a visit, and his use of a surfboard off Biarritz is recognized as the first time surfing was practised in Europe. Biarritz eventually became one of the most popular European surfing spots.

    Sights in Biarritz include:

    Cliffs and lookouts lie to the west of the main beach.

    Biarritz has a temperate oceanic climate, Cfb in the Köppen climate classification. It is one of the wettest cities in Metropolitan France.

    Les baigneuses à Biarritz, by Édouard François Zier

    Biarritz from the Pointe Saint-Martin.

    La Grande Plage, the town’s largest beach.

    Sainte-Eugénie church.

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    Outdoor cafés.

    Notre Dame du Rocher.

    Plage Miramar

    Railway poster

    Although Biarritz’s economy was based on fishing before, nowadays it has a modern economy due to the metropolitan location of Bayonne-Anglet-Biarritz.
    Together with Bayonne and Anglet, Biarritz takes part in the management of the BAB Airport.
    The most important economic activities are:

    As in the cases of Anglet and Bayonne, also located in the approximate cultural border between Gascony and the Basque Country, it is uncertain if the historic language of Biarritz was Basque or Gascon.

    According to the book Atlas Linguistique de Gascogne, Biarritz is considered a Gascon town. But in 1863, Luis Luciano Bonaparte located the northern frontier of Basque in Biarritz, and in some neighborhoods it was without any doubt the most used language. However, over the course of the 20th century, French became the main language. Beginning in the 1990s, the municipal government of Biarritz has promoted the Basque language and culture. At the same time, Gascon has been promoted by various private institutions, for instance the group of Gascon culture Ací Gasconha. [19]

    The city has the Ballet of Biarritz, which is the choreography location of France. Furthermore, it has the cultural centre Atabal and the chorus Oldarra, created in 1946.

    The emperors Napoleon III and Eugene of Montijo brought the sea-theater on the Old Port neighborhood into fashion. Nowadays, the light works made by Pierre Bideau can be seen at night in the clift.

    Two film festivals of cinema are celebrated in Biarritz:

    Surfing in Biarritz is of a world-class standard and first appeared in 1957.[17] The town has a strong surfing culture,[18] and is known worldwide for its surfing scene and the competitions it hosts yearly, including the Quiksilver/Roxy Jam tournament. In July 2011, Biarritz also hosted the Roxy Pro event, a tournament part of the ASP Women’s World Tour.

    The town is home to a prominent rugby union club, Biarritz Olympique.

    Basque pelota is a very popular sport of the Basque country. Several local and international competitions take place in Biarritz.

    The golf course near the lighthouse (Le Phare) was created in 1888 by British residents. In addition, the town has a large circular golf range area on the border with illbaritz.

    The city has two public schools (Villa Fal and Jean Rostand) and one private (Immaculée-Conception).

    Malraux High Schools is the only one in Biarritz. There is also a tourism high school in the border of the Western neighborhood of La Négresse.

    Biarritz is easily accessible from Paris by France’s high-speed train, the TGV, and more regionally from Bordeaux, by TGV or TER. Trains are also available to travel east towards Nice. Night trains regularly depart from Irun, south of Biarritz and pass through the city before heading to Paris during an overnight trip. Many tourists and regulars to the city have begun using the night train to take weekend trips to Biarritz and saving travel time by traveling at night. The Biarritz – Anglet – Bayonne Airport is located about four kilometres (2.5 miles) from the city. It is near N10 road towards Anglet and is served by airlines from France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Ireland and Germany.

    Biarritz was the birthplace of:

    Other notable people associated with Biarritz:

    Biarritz is twinned with:[21]


    The major festivities are celebrated on November 11, for Saint Martin. That day, the new gentleman of the Confrérie de l’Operne de Biarritz are proclaimed. Barnacle is their logotype and people who work in favor of ecology are chosen.
    Since Biarritz is a city based in tourism, there are acts during the whole summer, such as pelota festivity, equestrian competition, concerts and recitals, folklore festivals, water acrobatic ski, sea trips, performances, rugby competitions, bullfights and night parties.

    Since summer 2018, Biarritz hosts the festival of pop music “Biarritz en été” whose second edition took place on July 19, 20 and 21, 2019.


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    Edward VII became king upon the death of his mother, Queen Victoria, in 1901. A popular member of social and sporting circles, Edward VII strengthened England’s ties with the rest of Europe, although his relationship with Germany’s emperor — his nephew — was rocky. His reforms of the military and navy prepared them well for World War I.

    The eldest son of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, the future Edward VII was born Albert Edward on November 9, 1841. Known as “Bertie” within the family, he was subjected to a strict regimen to prepare him for the throne. As was customary for members of British royalty, Prince Edward attended Oxford and Cambridge universities and soon after declared his desire to pursue a career in the military. His mother vetoed that idea, hoping to keep him safe for the throne. During his short time in the army, he rose to the level of lieutenant colonel through honorary promotions.

    On March 10, 1863, Prince Edward married Princess Alexandra of Denmark. The marriage, arranged by Edward’s parents, produced six children, five of whom lived to adulthood. Before his marriage but after his engagement, Edward fell into a scandalous love affair with actress Nellie Clifton. So distraught was his father, Prince Albert, over the disgrace to the royal family, that he personally went to his son to reprimand him. The affair was ended, but two weeks later Albert fell ill and died of typhoid on December 14, 1861. Queen Victoria fell into a deep depression and blamed Edward for her husband’s death, never to forgive him. Edward continued to have many affairs throughout his marriage. Actresses Sarah Bernhardt and Lillie Langtry, as well as Lady Randolph Churchill (Winston’s mother) and Alice Keppel (great-grandmother of Camilla, wife of Charles, the current Prince of Wales) were among his many trysts.

    With Queen Victoria’s retreat from public life, Edward was allowed to represent her at official state events, but not given any responsibility in political matters. He took his seat in the House of Lords as the Duke of Cornwall, but had few or no administrative duties. As a result, he spent much of his time on the London social scene, eating, drinking, gambling and acquiring a reputation as a playboy.

    All this changed on January 22, 1901, when Queen Victoria died. Crowned King Edward VII in August 1902, Edward had been the longest heir apparent (59 years) in British history (that record has now been surpassed by Prince Charles.) Upon ascending the throne, he threw himself into his new role with energy and enthusiasm and restored the sparkle to the monarchy. His effusive personality and likable character soon won over much of the British population. Edward used his fluency in French and German to shuttle across Europe and meet with major heads of state. He helped negotiate the Triple Entente between Britain, France and Russia, which played an important role in World War I. Following the Boer War (1899-1902), he played an active role in reforming the military, pressing for an army medical service and the building of the modern Dreadnought battleships. queen victoria’s successor

    The Edwardian period (1901-1910) was seen as the golden age for the upper class in Britain. Though the rigid British class system held firm, rapid industrialization increased economic opportunity, creating conditions that allowed for more social mobility, and with it, more social change. There was a rise in socialism and attention to the plight of the poor as well as a push for women’s voting rights. Domestically, Edward did not support women’s suffrage nor attempts to redistribute wealth through taxes. Despite this, he was very popular with most of the British people.

    In 1909, a constitutional crisis erupted over the “People’s Budget,” legislation that called for unprecedented taxes on the wealthy and radical social welfare programs. The budget was championed by Liberal Party Prime Minister Harold Asquith and his chancellor, David Lloyd George. Privately, the king pleaded with Conservative lords to pass the budget and avoid political division. To break the deadlock, Lloyd George proposed the king create a large number of Liberal positions in the House of Lords to offset the “no” votes. However, the king refused, insisting that the issue be decided by the people in a general election. The issue remained unresolved until Edward’s son George ascended the throne and became King George V.

    By 1910, Edward VII’s years of smoking 12 cigars and more than 20 cigarettes a day brought on a severe case of bronchitis. During an official event in France, he momentarily lost consciousness, and on April 27, 1910, he returned to London. His wife, Alexandra returned from Greece on May 5 and the next day called her children telling them their father was gravely ill. On May 6, Edward suffered a series of heart attacks and died. Edward VII was buried at Windsor Castle on May 20, 1910, in a funeral attended by a massive assemblage of royalty. His legacy is marked by criticism for his pursuit of self-indulgent pleasures but also praise for his affable personality and diplomatic skill.

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    Gerald Ford became the 38th president of the United States following Richard Nixon’s resignation, in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal.

    Charles II was the monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland during much of the latter half of the 17th century, marking the Restoration era.

    George VI served as king of the United Kingdom during World War II and was an important symbolic leader. He was succeeded by Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.

    Louis XVI was the last king of France (1774–92) in the line of Bourbon monarchs preceding the French Revolution of 1789. He was married to Marie Antoinette and was executed for treason by guillotine in 1793.

    American radio and television news broadcaster Edward R. Murrow gave eyewitness reports of WWII for CBS and helped develop journalism for mass media.

    Edward VIII became king of the United Kingdom following the death of his father, George V, but ruled for less than a year. He abdicated the throne in order to marry his lover, Wallis Simpson, thereafter taking the title Duke of Windsor.

    Known as the “Lion of the Senate,” Democrat Ted Kennedy was a staunch liberal who was elected to Congress nine times, spearheading many legislative reforms.

    Edward, Earl of Wessex is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. A former theater and television producer, Edward remains active in charity.

    Henry VIII, king of England, was famously married six times and played a critical role in the English Reformation, turning his country into a Protestant nation.

    Queen Victoria served as monarch of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 until her death in 1901. She became Empress of India in 1877. After Queen Elizabeth II, Victoria is the second-longest reigning British monarch.

    Victoria’s reign saw great cultural expansion; advances in industry, science and communications; and the building of railways and the London Underground.

    Born Alexandrina Victoria on May 24, 1819, Queen Victoria’s father died when she was 8 months old. Her mother became a domineering influence in her life. As a child, she was said to be warm-hearted and lively.

    Educated at the Royal Palace by a governess, she had a gift for drawing and painting and developed a passion for journal writing.

    Despite a feisty temperament, Victoria was famously tiny in stature, measuring just 4 feet 11 inches tall. Later in life, her weight ballooned, with her waist reportedly measuring 50 inches.queen victoria’s successor

    Queen Victoria was the only child of Edward, Duke of Kent, who was King George III’s fourth son. Her mother was Victoria Saxe-Saalfield-Coburg, sister of Leopold, king of the Belgians.

    Queen Victoria also had a half-sister who was 12 years her senior, Princess Feodora, from her mother’s first marriage to Emich Carl, Prince of Leiningen. When Princess Feodora was 6 years old, her father died. Her mother remarried Queen Victoria’s father, the Duke of Kent, and promptly moved from Germany to England for the future queen’s birth.

    At birth, Victoria was fifth in line to the throne. However, upon her father’s death in 1820, Victoria became the heir apparent, since her three surviving uncles — who were ahead of her in succession — had no legitimate heirs who survived childhood. When King William IV died in June 1837, Victoria became queen at the age of 18.

    Lord Melbourne was Victoria’s first prime minister, who served in 1834 and again from 1835 to 1841. When she first took the crown at the young age of 18 in 1837, Melbourne helped teach Victoria the intricacies of being a constitutional monarch. He acted as the queen’s political advisor and confidant during the early years of her reign.

    In 1840, when Great Britain was fighting wars with Afghanistan and China and facing a working-class movement, Melbourne helped the queen work with an uncooperative Conservative government and suggested she let her husband, Albert, take the reigns of state responsibilities.

    Victoria ascended to the throne at age 18 on June 20, 1837, and she served until her death at the age of 81 on January 22, 1901. Under Victoria’s reign, Great Britain experienced unprecedented expansion in industry, building railways, bridges, underground sewers and power distribution networks throughout much of the empire. Seven assassination attempts were made on Victoria’s life between 1840 and 1882.

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  • There were advances in science (Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution) and technology (the telegraph and popular press), with vast numbers of inventions; tremendous wealth and poverty; growth of great cities like Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham; increased literacy; and great civic works, often funded by industrial philanthropists.

    During Victoria’s reign, Britain expanded its imperial reach, doubling in size and encompassing Canada, Australia, India and various possessions in Africa and the South Pacific. The Queen was emblematic of the time: an enthusiastic supporter of the British Empire, which stretched across the globe and earned the adage: “The sun never sets on the British Empire.”

    At various points in her reign, Victoria exercised some influence over foreign affairs, expressing her preference, but not pressing beyond the bounds of constitutional propriety. During this time, the British Empire experienced only a few small wars, exerting its authority over foreign possessions.

    One of the major factors that helped Britain avoid European entanglements was the marriage of Victoria’s children: either directly or by marriage, she was related to the royal houses of nearly every major European power. Though the English constitutional arrangement denied her powers in foreign affairs, she ruled her family with an iron hand that helped keep Great Britain away from the intrigues of European politics.

    During Victoria’s reign, the political climate in British Parliament went through a major transition. The Tory Party split, forming the Liberal and Conservative parties, and started a succession of opposing administrations. Victoria played a crucial role as a mediator between arriving and departing prime ministers.

    Though she detested Liberal Prime Minister William Gladstone, she found ways to work with him, even during her mourning period. She was particularly fond of Conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who linked the monarchy to the expansion of the empire, which helped restore public opinion following Victoria’s long seclusion after the death of her beloved husband Albert.

    Victoria continued in her duties up to her death. In keeping with tradition, she spent the Christmas of 1900 at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, where her health quickly declined to the point that she was unable to return to London.

    Queen Victoria in February 1892

    Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

    Life in Britain during the 19th century was known as Victorian England because of Victoria’s long reign and the indelible stamp it and her persona placed on the country. Her strict ethics and personality have become synonymous with the era.

    In 1840, Victoria married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the son of her mother’s brother. The couple met when Victoria was just 16; their uncle Leopold suggested they marry.

    Since Victoria was queen, Albert couldn’t propose to her. So she proposed to him on October 15, 1839.

    At first, the British public didn’t warm up to the German prince and he was excluded from holding any official political position. At times, their marriage was tempestuous, a clash of wills between two extremely strong personalities.

    However, the couple was intensely devoted to each other. Prince Albert became Victoria’s strongest ally, helping her navigate difficult political waters.

    After several years of suffering from stomach ailments, Victoria’s beloved Albert died of typhoid fever in 1861 at the age of 42. Victoria was devastated, sleeping with a plaster cast of his hand by her side, and went into a 25-year seclusion. For the rest of her reign, she wore black.

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    Victoria and Albert had nine children together:

    John Brown was Victoria’s Scottish servant and one of her closest friends, with some suggestions that the two may have been lovers. Seven years her junior and many ranks below her, the queen said Brown was her dearest friend — an unthinkable relationship at the time. He became known as “the queen’s stallion” in the royal household and pledged his lifelong loyalty to her.

    There were rumors that Brown and Victoria were lovers, especially after the death of Albert. Historians have since parsed through her journals — which were edited by her daughter Beatrice — and never found evidence of an affair. But one thing is clear: She loved him. When Brown died suddenly in March 1883, Victoria told his sister-in-law that he was the “best, the truest heart that ever beat.”

    Following Brown’s death in 1883, Victoria’s servant Abdul Karim ascended into the queen’s inner circle and became her closest confidant. Karim was the son of a hospital assistant in Northern India and was brought to England to serve at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. He quickly impressed the queen with his cooking, and she asked him to teach her Urdu. Victoria lavished Karim with gifts including a private carriage, titles and honors. She also commissioned several portraits.

    In letters to Karim, the queen referred to herself as “your loving mother” and “your closest friend.” However, historians do not believe that the two had a physical relationship.

    Abdul’s great-grandson Javed Mahmood told The Telegraph in 2010 that they shared “a mother and son relationship. She became an Indophile in part because of her affection for him. But the prejudice of her family percolated down to Victoria’s staff.”

    Victoria and Karim’s close relationship was scandalous to the royal family. Upon the queen’s death in 1901, they had all of the pair’s letters burned, and Victoria’s daughter Beatrice removed all references of Karim from the queen’s journals. Although the family followed through with the queen’s wish for Karim to be among a small group of mourners at her funeral, they later evicted Karim from the home Victoria gave to him and sent him back to India.

    Karim’s relationship with Victoria was uncovered decades later by journalist Shrabani Basu, who visited the queen’s summer home in 2003 and noticed several paintings and a bust of Karim. Basu investigated their relationship and wrote a book, Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant.

    Victoria died after a lengthy period of poor health on January 22, 1901, at the age of 81. Her son, the future King Edward VII, and her eldest grandson, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, were both at her bedside.

    Prince Albert Edward Wettin, Victoria’s eldest son, succeeded her to the British throne as King Edward VII upon her death in 1901.

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    Mary of Teck became Queen Mary, consort of King George V. She was the mother of kings Edward VIII and George VI, and the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II.

    Prince Albert married his first cousin, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, at the age of 20, and after his untimely death at age 42, the queen’s memory of him guided her for the next 40 years.

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    Queen Victoria had nine children – four boys and five girls born between 1840 and 1857 – with her husband, Prince Albert. But what was Victoria like as a mother and did she really hate being pregnant? Here, Denys Blakeway explores the queen’s relationship with her family…

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    Queen Victoria and her consort, Prince Albert, were passionate lovers with a mutual physical attraction but with seemingly no understanding of family planning. The result was nine children born between 1840 and 1857. Albert, intelligent and ambitious, was determined to put this burgeoning brood to good use. He and Victoria were united in the desire that they should not just be a model, loving and happy family, but that they would also set a moral example that would redefine royalty and be the foundation of a dynasty that would stretch across Europe, bringing peace and harmony to the fractious continent.

    It was a noble plan, motivated by the highest ideals, and one that was to lead to the creation of the modern idea of the royal family so familiar to us today. But like so many of the best-laid plans, human nature got in the way.queen victoria’s successor

    It was Albert, the intellectual, who was responsible for shaping and modernising the royal family in the 19th century; his influence would last well into the next. From the moment of his marriage to Victoria in 1840 to his untimely death 21 years later, he saw his purpose as protecting and nourishing the British monarchy at a time when political turmoil threatened at home and revolution was sweeping Europe. Albert believed that in order to survive and prosper, royalty should be presented as a respectable and close- knit, loving family. As the historian Miranda Carter says: “It’s as if Albert and Victoria are trying to reach out to their middle class subjects and say, ‘look, we are like you, trust us’.”

    But of course the royal family was not like the middle class. It existed in the enclosed bubble of the court where tensions and hostilities festered and where children were fawned over and flattered from the moment they were born. Yet at the same time these youngsters were expected to be model children, utterly obedient to their parents. It was an intolerable tension.

    A fraught family life was perhaps unsurprising, given the couple’s own experiences. They were both the product of unhappy childhoods. Albert’s upbringing in Germany had been overshadowed by the breakdown of his parents’ marriage. His father, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield (and then, from 1826, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) was a serial philanderer who paid little attention to his son. Albert grew up longing for his father’s love while detesting his behaviour. He was determined when the time came to be a model father and everything that his father was not. But when he became a parent the problem was that he had no example to follow.

    Victoria, too, had much to react against. She had grown up secluded at Kensington Palace under the control of her domineering mother, the Duchess of Kent. Later she admitted, revealingly, “I had led a very unhappy life as a child – had no scope for my very violent feelings of affection… and did not know what a happy domestic life was”.

    The couple, deeply in love and physically well suited, were united in the wish to create a family that would serve not just as an escape from their own unhappy pasts, but also as a pan-European dynasty and a model for a nation.

    Unsurprisingly, given the couple’s physical infatuation, their first child, Princess Victoria, called Vicky, was born nine months after their wedding. The queen was busy with her duties as monarch and could spare little time for her baby, seeing her only twice a day. Within a year of Vicky’s birth Albert Edward, known as Bertie – the future King Edward VII – was born. The queen now had a healthy male heir. “Our little boy is a wonderfully strong and large child,” she wrote proudly. “I hope and pray he may be like his dearest Papa.”  With the succession reasonably assured, it might be thought a rest from the risk of childbearing would be appropriate. Not so. Over the next five years another three children were born: Alice, Alfred and Helena.

  • how big is 32 mm
  • While Queen Victoria gave birth to many children, she hated being pregnant, and historians have suggested that she may have suffered from post-natal depression. She compared pregnancy to feeling like a cow and wrote that “an ugly baby is a very nasty object – and the prettiest is frightful when undressed”.

    Nor did Victoria necessarily like babies. “An ugly baby is a very nasty object,” she protested, “the prettiest are frightful when undressed… as long as they have their big body and little limbs and that terrible froglike action”. Nor could she contemplate breastfeeding them, finding the whole process repulsive. A wet nurse was therefore employed for all her children, as Victoria devoted herself to Albert. The result was four more children: Louise, Arthur, Leopold and Beatrice. Victoria had nine babies over 17 years – a tremendous physical feat, and a dangerous one given the high rates of maternal mortality at the time.

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    The royal couple set to work putting their plan for a model family into action. It was essential for them also that they were seen to be doing so. With the birth of mass communication, Albert well understood the need for the public to be made aware of the ideal for which they were striving. Under the Hanoverians the monarchy had fallen into disrepute, torn apart by feuding and scandal. Now, in countless paintings and photographs, Victoria and Albert were shown in harmonious family group portraits. Today they are a lovely record, if not a strictly true one, of the development of the royal family. The publicity worked and Victoria was delighted: “They say no Sovereign was ever more loved than I (I am bold enough to say), and this because of our happy domestic home and the good example it presents”.

    In this podcast Professor Jane Ridley reveals some lesser-known aspects of Queen Victoria’s life:

    In a reversal of the typical roles of the time, Victoria devoted herself to regal duties while Albert took responsibility for the upbringing of the children. He was a new type of father, ahead of his time, with a hands-on approach to child rearing. From the beginning his relationship with his first child, Vicky, went well. Lady Lyttleton, a governess, remembered seeing him playing with her: “Albert tossed and romped with her, making her laugh and crow and kick heartily”.

    Victoria, by contrast, was far more distant and guarded. She looked on as Albert took control of all aspects of the children’s development. At first Albert found this task fulfilling and stimulating, appealing to his sense of himself as an expert in human behaviour: “There is certainly a great charm, as well as deep interest, in watching the development of feelings and faculties in a little child,” he once remarked.

    Albert was the product of an intensive German education that had made him into an accomplished polymath. He expected the same of his children – and more. He developed a punishing educational programme to create the model prince or princess that took little account of the abilities of an average intellect. According to Baron Stockmar, his advisor, the regime would give any child brain fever.

    The plan began when the children were infants, with the instilling of discipline. “The chief objects here,” the prince opined, “are their physical development, the actual rearing up, the training to obedience”. Corporal punishment was at the heart of this training. The children frequently received “a real punishment by whipping” if they stepped out of line and Albert himself would hit his children’s fingers during piano lessons when they played the wrong notes.

    There was instruction, too, in manners and, as the children grew older, lessons in the languages of the courts of Europe, especially German and French. On top of this there was tuition in Latin, geography, maths and science. The education would have been tough even for the most able child, but for the mostly very average young princes and princesses it was purgatory. Fortunately Vicky, the eldest child, was extremely bright and the strict regime got off to a good start. She began her French lessons at the tender age of 18 months; soon she was speaking Latin and reading Shakespeare. Naturally, given her parents’ heritage, she was also fluent in German.

    The queen fully backed her husband’s plan. She idolised him to the children, telling them “none of you can ever be proud enough of being the child of such a father who has not his equal in this world”. It followed that she would want them, especially the boys, to be brought up as mini-replicas of the man she adored so ardently. She prayed that her baby Bertie would grow up to “resemble his angelic dearest Father in every, every respect, both in body and mind”. Of course, life being what it is, the heir to the throne turned out in every respect to be the opposite of his father. His parents believed he could be a blank slate on which they could draw a perfect little Albert – they were utterly wrong.

    From an early age Bertie obstinately refused to conform to his father’s plan for the royal children’s education. Here was no renaissance prince in the making: despite being stuffed with facts and theory he found learning difficult and was unable to concentrate.  The intense pressure on the backward young prince produced a negative reaction. His tutor Frederick Gibbs remembered the frequent schoolroom tantrums during arithmetic lessons with the Prince of Wales: “He became passionate, the pencil was flung to the end of the room, the stool was kicked away and he was hardly able to apply himself at all”.

    Albert’s plan for the heir to the throne of the greatest empire the world had ever seen turned out a complete failure. Instead of the longed for polymath his son turned out to be a dunce.  Victoria complained about his “systematic idleness, laziness – disregard of everything”. The worried parents consulted a phrenologist, a modish quack who claimed the shape of the head affected the brain. His diagnosis confirmed everything they feared: “The feeble quality of the brain will render the Prince highly excitable… intellectual organs are only moderately well developed. The result will be strong self-will, at times obstinacy”.

    The Prince of Wales was not the only one of the nine children who played up and refused to conform to Albert’s plan for a perfect royal development. As each grew up, he or she displayed the quirks and characteristics of individual human nature. Albert was perplexed and dismayed and he came to suspect that his children were suffering from their Stuart inheritance – certainly they could not have inherited their frailties and foibles from his princely blood! But the plan had to go on.

    As time passed, eight of the children were married off to European princes and princesses, in order that a pan-European dynasty be created. First to go was Princess Victoria, the eldest, to Fritz of Prussia. Both parents were devastated to lose their 17-year-old, especially Albert who wrote “the pang of parting was great on all sides, and the void which Vicky has left in our household and family circle will stand gaping for many a day”. But dynastic duty had to override human feeling, and his favourite daughter was taken away to a new and bewildering life in the Prussian court.

    The pressure on Albert to carry out all his many royal duties and to bring up the family according to his plan was immense. He found his work exhausting. In 1860 he compared himself to a donkey on a treadmill, complaining: “He, too, would rather munch thistles in the castle moat. Small are the thanks he gets for his labour”. Victoria, ever self-centred and emotional, came to resent the attention he paid to the children. There were frequent outbursts and marital rows. The strain took its toll on the Prince Consort’s health. He suffered toothache, insomnia and fits of shivering. The doctors were mystified, unable to make a proper diagnosis. Victoria failed to empathise with her husband. In one of her many letters to her daughter Vicky, she wrote: “Dear Papa never allows he is any better or will try to get over it, but makes such a miserable face that people always think he is very ill”.

    Albert soldiered on, desperate to realise his vision for the royal family. In 1860 he arranged the key dynastic marriage of the Prince of Wales to Princess Alexandra of Denmark. In a changing world it was crucial that this be portrayed both as a worthwhile diplomatic alliance (which it was), and a love match. The Victorian public, in an era of pious rectitude, demanded a pure marriage in which the heir to the throne appeared to be virtuous and chaste.

    In this podcast Jane Ridley, biographer of Queen Victoria, guides us around Osborne on the Isle of Wight where the queen and Prince Albert used to reside: 

    The Prince of Wales, however, was anything but chaste. His life from an early age was devoted to pleasure, much to his parent’s desperate alarm. In the summer of 1861 Bertie attended a training camp with Grenadier Guards in Dublin. His fellow officers arranged for a ‘lady of easy virtue’ to join him for the night. The story of the prince’s trysts got back to his parents and provoked in Albert a furious, almost hysterical, response. How could his son, he demanded, “thrust yourself into the hands of one of the most abject of the human species, to be by her initiated in the sacred mysteries of creation?”. Everything that Albert had been working for seemed threatened. He warned Bertie that “you must not, you dare not be lost; the consequences for this country and the world at large would be too dreadful”.

    Albert’s plan for perfect children seemed to have failed utterly. Sickening and feverish, Albert travelled to meet the Prince of Wales at Cambridge to harangue him on the error of his ways. Father and son went for a long walk in the rain. Bertie apologised, Albert forgave and then returned to Windsor wet through, racked with pain in his legs and suffering from fever. He retired to bed, where his symptoms worsened. In December 1861, aged only 42, he died. Queen Victoria’s grief was so great that it would dominate her family and the nation for decades to come. And of course she blamed her eldest son Bertie for her beloved’s death. For years she could hardly bear to bring herself even to look at him.

    With Albert’s death the idea of raising perfect children died too. Victoria managed as best she could, relying on her position as queen and her domineering character to make her children bend to her will. In this she was generally successful, though she and the Prince of Wales gave each other a wide berth. And her many letters show she was – if a mixture of egocentric martinet and self-pitying widow – always at heart a loving mother.

    Like all parents before and after, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert learned that children have an extraordinary ability to perplex, frustrate and amaze at their individuality and their obstinate refusal to turn into little paragons. Years later Victoria was honest enough to say this herself in a surprising yet characteristic admission: “You will find as your children grow up that as a rule your children are a bitter disappointment – their greatest object being to do precisely what their parents do not wish and have anxiously tried to prevent”. The great matriarch concluded with an eternal truth that it had taken her years to come to appreciate that “often when children have been less watched and less taken care of – the better they turn out! This is inexplicable and very annoying!”.

    Certainly her own children, in the main, turned out well enough despite the untimely death of their father and the failure of his plan. Even Bertie, a libertine and prince of pleasure, was as Edward VII a very successful king whose easy charm and diplomatic skills ensured the continuing popularity of the British royal family and brought Britain closer to France on the eve of the catastrophe of the First World War. In a surprising and all too human way, Albert’s plan had worked out after all.

    Denys Blakeway is a documentary producer and writer. He was the executive producer of Queen Victoria’s Children, a three-part series made for BBC Two that aired in 2016.

    This article was first published by HistoryExtra in September 2016

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    He was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and known to his family as Bertie. As Prince of Wales he did not meet his parents expectations of duty and during his mothers long reign devoted himself to being self-indulgent. He was likeable, sociable and outgoing but became known as a playboy interested in horse racing, shooting, eating, drinking and other mens wives.

    In 1863 he married Alexandra of Denmark and the marriage was a reasonably happy producing 6 children. Alexandra tolerated his succession of mistresses who included Lille Langtry (actress), Lady Churchill (mother of Winston Churchill), Sarah Bernhardt (actress) and Alice Keppel (great-grandmother of Camilla wife of Charles the current Prince of Wales). Having mistresses was at the time not uncommon amongst the aristocracy, but his mother despaired of him and kept him away from taking an active part in politics even after Albert’s death and she was elderly and retired to Balmoral and Osborne. In 1871 Edward survived a serious illness of typhoid which had killed his father. His eldest son Albert who was engaged to Mary of Teck died of pneumonia.

    Edward was well received abroad and as heir-apparent toured India in 1875. When he finally became King Edward VII on the death of his mother in 1901, he frequently made trips to Europe including France where he contributed to the Anglo-French Entente Cordiale signed in 1904, to Russia and the Triple Entente between Britain, Russia and France which a few years later would play an important role in affairs on the outbreak of World War I. He supported reform of the army following the Boer War, and Admiral Fishers expansion of the Royal Navy including building the new Dreadnought battleships.

    The Edwardian period was seen as golden age for the upper class in Europe and America, but society was changing socialism, women suffragettes, the Labour party and trade unions were becoming powerful and the founding of Britains Welfare State. We are all socialists now he is reported to have remarked. In an increasing democratic society Edward saw the importance of displaying the mystique of pomp and circumstance of the monarchy, and seeing and being seen by the people. A role he and his successors took to well. He died of pneumonia at Buckingham Palace in 1910 and was succeeded by his second son George V.

    I never can, or shall, look at him without a shudder Queen Victoria (who had a low opinion of her eldest son Edward)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. – Edward (complaining to his mother about British treatment of native Indians) We are all socialists now – King Edward VII (observing changes in society)I believe the emperor of Germany hates me – King Edward VII (on rising tensions with his nephew Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany).queen victoria’s successor

     

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