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Lugano, Switzerland

King Edward VII


The new king;

One of the first things he did was donating his parents' house, Osborne on the Isle of Wight, to the state, he continued to live at Sandringham.

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.

Edward's coronation¬†had originally been scheduled for 26 June. However, two days before on 24 June, he was diagnosed with¬†appendicitis.¬†Appendicitis was generally not treated operatively & carried a high mortality rate, but developments in¬†anaesthesia¬†&¬†antisepsis¬†in the preceding 50 years made life-saving surgery possible. Sir¬†Frederick Treves, with the support of¬†Lord Lister, performed a then-radical operation of draining a pint of pus from the infected¬†abscess¬†through a small incision (through 4¬Ĺ inch thickness of belly fat and abdomen wall); this outcome showed thankfully that the cause was not cancer. The next day, Edward was sitting up in bed, smoking a cigar. Two weeks later, it was announced that the King was out of danger.

Treves was honoured with a baronetcy (which Edward had arranged before the operation) & appendix surgery entered the medical mainstream.

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.

Edward refurbished the royal palaces, reintroduced the traditional ceremonies, such as the State Opening of Parliament, that his mother had forgone, & founded new honours, such as the Order of Merit, to recognise contributions to the arts & sciences.

As king, Edward's main interests lay in the fields of foreign affairs & naval & military matters. Fluent in French and German, he made a number of visits abroad, & took annual holidays in Biarritz & Marienbad

Edward reigned as king from  22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.


22 January 1901

King Edward VII accession .

When Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901, Edward became King of the United Kingdom, Emperor of India &, in an innovation, King of the British Dominions.

He chose to reign under the name Edward VII, instead of Albert Edward the name his mother had intended for him to use declaring that he did not wish to "undervalue the name of Albert" & diminish the status of his father with whom the "name should stand alone". 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". 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."