Edward VII

From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
Edward VII
Portrait painted in 1873 by Oscar Glyn-Davis
Reign4 August 1873 - 28 December 1878
Coronation23 September 1873
PredecessorErnest I
SuccessorAlexander I & IV
Reign1873 – 1878
Born24 April 1824
Palace of Whitehall, London, Britain
Died4 August 1873
Palace of Whitehall, London, Britain
Burial5 January 1879
St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
SpouseMarie Louise of Sweden (1827-1908) (m. 1847)
FatherErnest I
MotherCharlotte Sophia of Pomerania

Edward VII (Edward Augustus; 1824-1878), was the King of the United Kingdom from 1873 until his assassination in 1874. The King was most notable for his artistic and literary prowess, with him publishing several novels under the pseudonym “Leonard E.A. Stewart”. He would be the first British or English monarch to be violently killed since Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field when he was assassinated by Communard sympathizers. He was succeeded by his younger brother, Alexander I & IV.


Prince Edward Augustus was born at the Palace of Whitehall on April 24, 1824, to the recently crowned King Ernest I of the United Kingdom and Queen Charlotte Sophia. As the eldest son of a British sovereign, he automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay at birth; while his father waited until his 9th birthday before creating him Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester. In 1841, the royal family had to squash a massive scandal, when two housemaids were found to have been impregnated by the Prince of Wales. Both mothers were sent to an estate in Twickenham, where after giving birth to a healthy child each, the children and mothers would be cared for by Lady Catherine Darcy, the Dowager Countess of Waldegrave, an illegitimate granddaughter of Prime Minister Robert Darcy as well as a close friend to Queen Charlotte Sophia who had in the past served as Lady of the Bedchamber.

This scandal led to an early marriage being arranged by his mother to princess Marie Louise of Sweden and the two would be married in 1847. Prince Edward and Marie Louise’s marriage would be miserable, with Edward spending far more time with his mistress than her due to his regarding Marie as unattractive and unhygienic. She would also suffer from “bouts of madness”, which modern historians believe to have been schizophrenia, where she claimed to have seen demonic beings and at one point was rumored to have physically attacked the Prince of Wales. The two would live separately from each other after the birth of their first child, Prince Charles Ernest Augustus. However, in 1870 the sole legitimate child of the Prince of Wales died of Typhoid fever, which moved the unmarried Prince Alexander Victor, Duke of York and Albany up the line of succession. Edward would be devistated by the loss of his only legitimate child and he would turn to painting and writing as a coping mechanism.

In 1873 he would become king of the United Kingdom after his father’s fatal stroke, taking the regal name Edward VII. His estranged wife would attend his connotation, but afterward, they would never see each other again as she spend most of her time in Scotland. As King, Edward’s reign would prove to be one marked by a surprising degree of energy and dynamism from the new monarch. Despite the many controversies surrounding his relationships, he was fairly popular and expressed much more liberal views than his father, with him openly supporting calls for the expansion of suffrage and improved workers' rights. A distinguished writer and musical amateur himself, King Edward proved a generous friend of learning and did much to encourage the development of education throughout his dominions. He took an interest in the arts and philosophy, and he would personally fund the establishment of several new universities in both Britain and Ireland. An avid painter himself, he took part in art competitions facilitating the development of the arts and took a keen interest in the intellectual growth of his Kingdom by visiting several educational institutes as well. He personally wrote over 9 plays and over 21 poems and 28 short stories. Though his plays and poems are noted upon, his literary skills shined in his stories - with the genre of horror in which he excelled. His books The Haunting of Camelot and The Hound of the Vasas are considered to be the most stellar examples of the horror genre in the 19th century by literary historians.

However all of this would be all for naught as on March 5, King Edward would be assassinated by members of the Communard organization known as the “People’s Indomitable Will”. They had been infuriated by the fact that the British helped overthrow the radical Communards in power in France the previous year, and they swore to kill King Edward as revenge. Of the four assassins coordinated by Sophia Thackeray, two of them actually committed the deed. One assassin, Nicholas Feiling, threw a bomb that damaged the carriage he was traveling in, prompting the King to disembark. At this point, a second assassin, John Lyndon, threw a bomb that fatally wounded King Edward. The assassins would quickly be caught and later executed, but the King would eventually succumb to his wounds only three hours after the attack. After his untimely death, he would be succeeded by his younger brother, Alexander I & IV.


  • Paternal great-grandparents:
    • George I (1743-1804)
    • Lady Barbara Beauclerk-Lennox (1750-1819)
  • Paternal grandparents:
    • King George II (1779-1821)
    • Wilhelmina Marianne of the Netherlands (1782-1858)
  • Father: King Ernest I (1779-1821)
  • Mother: Charlotte Sophia of Pomerania (1796-1877)
  • Spouse: Marie Louise of Sweden (1827-1908)
  • Siblings:
    • Charlotte of Great Britain, Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel (Charlotte Sophia Augusta) (1822-1897)
    • Wilhelmina of Great Britain, Duchess of Saxe-Altenburg (Wilhelmina Augusta) (1825-1889)
    • Alexander I & IV (Alexander Victor) (1827-1896)
    • Prince Alfred, Duke of Clarence and St Andrews (Alfred Augustus) (1827-1880)
    • Princess Henrietta of Great Britain (Henrietta Adelaide) (1829-1910)
    • Prince William, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale (William Henry) (1831-1893)
    • Princess Amelia of Great Britain (Amelia Louise) (1832-1877)
    • Prince Adolphus, Duke of Sussex (Adolphus Frederick) (1834-1903)
    • Prince Lionel, Duke of Cambridge (Lionel Benedict) (1836-1911)
    • Princess Philippa of Great Britain, Duchess of Grafton (Philippa Augusta) (1837-1933)
  • Legitimate Children:
  • Prince Charles of Wales

Titles and honours

  • 1824-1833: His Royal Highness Prince Edward of the United Kingdom
  • 1833-1873: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
  • 1873-1878: His Majesty the King

The official style of Edward VII as king was "Edward the Seventh, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India, etc.".

See also