William Sterling

Edward VII

The Life and Times of King Edward VII

This course ran at the City Lit on Saturday 20th February 2016.

Edward VII was heir for nearly 60 years and often in conflict with his parents. He had a popular wife and charmed all those he met. When he succeeded he surprised many with his successful reign.

The course covered Edward’s upbringing and education, his difficulties in trying to live up to his parents’ expectations, his extravagant lifestyle, his popular marriage helping him to become the acceptable face of the monarchy after his mother disappeared into reclusive widowhood. Edward toured Britain and the Empire as well as other foreign countries laying down the pattern still followed by the royal family today. When he eventually succeeded he played an important role in government encouraging reforms in the navy and army and leading the push towards better relations with the French in the Entente Cordiale. Edward was also interested in culture, founding the Order of Merit, and in food, establishing roast beef and Yorkshire pudding as a standard Sunday lunch.

Below is a timeline of his life

Edward VII Timeline

This is the poem written by Tennyson to welcome his new bride

A Welcome to Alexandra

The Song God Bless The Prince of Wales was written for Edward on his marriage by John Ceiriog Hughes with music by Henry Brinley Richards.

God bless the Prince of Wales lyrics

Sullivan composed a Te Deum to celebrate Edward’s recovery from Typhoid in 1871.  This is the opening.

Elgar wrote his Coronation Ode for Edward VII with words by A C Benson, son of the Archbishop of Canterbury and brother of E F Benson of Mapp and Lucia fame.  They include the original words for Land of Hope and Glory which were revised for Clara Butt.

crown the king