More about King Edward

Peruse King Edward's photo album to find out the history and life of his Majesty

The Prince of Wales

KING Edward VII reigned from 1901 to 1910 and was a customer of Berry Bros. He was a thoroughly clubbable chap who enjoyed the high life as Prince of Wales in the late 1800s.

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The Prince of Wales

His parents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, were determined that the heir to the throne should have an education that would prepare Edward to be a model monarch. However, Edward chose to use his time at the universities of Edinburgh, Oxford and Cambridge to develop his skills in charm, sociability and tact as well as an impressive appetite for good living, cigars and gambling and came to personify the fashionable elite.

Edward was also enlisted in the Army and sent to Ireland in the hope it would instil in him some discipline. However, revelations soon surfaced that some of his manoeuvres were not strictly military, to his parents’ great dismay.

More socialite than statesman

QUEEN Victoria took the view that her eldest son was too irresponsible to participate in affairs of state so Edward devoted himself wholeheartedly to a more leisurely lifestyle.

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More socialite than statesman

EDWARD became a leader of London society and the fashionable elite, spending his time drinking, gambling, eating, shooting, racing, sailing and eating.

The start of his year might find him as a guest in Paris on his way to Biarritz for the spring; then at Epsom and the Derby horse races in early summer; racing his yacht, Britannia, during Cowes regatta week; opening the red grouse shooting season on the Glorious 12th August, followed by autumn shoots at Balmoral and ice skating in winter at Sandringham.; entertaining Europe's aristocracy in London's Royal Palaces or in his box at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Edward the Caresser

The encumbrance of marriage didn't curb the socialising to which Edward had become accustomed.

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Edward the Caresser

Although the Palace decided Edward was in need of a wife to settle down, he continued to have many lady friends throughout his life, earning him the nickname 'Edward the Caresser'.
These included Lady Randolph Churchill (mother of Winston Churchill), renowned actress and beauty Lillie Langtry, actress Sarah Bernhardt and Alice Keppel, the great-grandmother of Camilla Parker-Bowles.

The horseless carriage

Edward was a keen pioneering motorist, having made his maiden journey in a ‘horseless carriage’ – a Daimler – in 1896.

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The horseless carriage

In 1900 Edward bought a car, also a Daimler, and thus became the first member of the Royal family to own one. In 1905 he purchased no fewer than seven Daimlers in a single year.

By indulging in this favoured pursuit of riding the horseless carriage, the Royal Physician became concerned about the monarch's health, exposed as he was to the elements. He commissioned, therefore, Berry Bros. to formulate a liqueur which would warm and revivify His Majesty during his morning rides; the result, a rich, golden nectar with a pronounced spicy ginger emphasis and delightfully crisp flavour.

A sportsman for all seasons

Sandringham House in Norfolk was Edward's country residence, which suited him immensely as he was an enthusiastic hunter.

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A sportsman for all seasons

IT is no coincidence, perhaps, that in the first season after the creation of The King's Ginger, a record 1300 partridge were shot in one day at Sandringham.

After opening the red grouse shooting season on the Glorious 12th August, Edward would also enjoy autumn shoots at the Royal residence of Balmoral.

He was also an enthusiastic golfer, bridge player and enjoyed horse riding at Windsor. When not participating in sport, Edward would be in attendance at all the key sporting events of the social calendar – from the Epsom and Derby horse races of early summer, to enjoying the Henley Regatta and racing his yacht, Britannia, during Cowes Week.

A great appetite

KING Edward's greatest passions were fine wining, dining and the very best cigars; often enjoyed in the company of beautiful ladies.

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A great appetite

He had a great appetite eating five large meals a day, often consisting of ten or more courses and introduced the epitome of Britishness that is the eating of roast beef, roast potatoes, horseradish sauce and Yorkshire pudding on Sundays.

A cut above

Edward had peerless fashion sense and he made wearing tweed, Homburg hats and Norfolk jackets popular.

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A cut above

In 1906, when His Majesty attended Goodwood, he discarded formal morning dress in favour of a linen suit and Panama hat – the race event has been the home of quintessential English summer fashion ever since.

The tradition of men leaving the bottom button of suit-coats undone is also attributed to Edward and his generous girth (his waist measured an impressive 48 inches shortly before his coronation).