The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. Before his accession to the throne, he served as heir apparent and held the title of Prince of Wales for longer than any royal until Prince Charles (son of Elizabeth II). During the long reign of his mother, he was largely excluded from political power, and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite. He traveled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties, and represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were popular successes, but despite public approval his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother.
As king, Edward played a role in the modernization of the British Home Fleet and the reorganization of the British Army after the Second Boer War. 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, Wilhelm II, German Emperor, was poor. The Edwardian era, which covered Edward's reign and the four years after his death and before World War I, 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 on 6 May 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. He was succeeded by his son George V.
Edward VII in Southern Victory
Edward VII's image had graced Canada's currency, as had Victoria's and George V's, until the United States defeated and occupied the country during the Great War. The loss of the monarchy rankled already disgruntled Canadian nationalists such as Arthur McGregor.
- References to Historical Figures in Turtledove's Work for other more minor passing references to Edward.
- Breakthroughs, pg. 105, pb.
|King of Great Britain
and the British Dominions,
Emperor of India
22 January 1901 – 6 May 1910