Posted by: Graham | July 5, 2009

King Edward VII of England succeeded by George V. 1910

The transition from Edward VII to George saw a continuity institutionally but a fundamental shift in characters. This would not have been very obvious to the average person in the country but George and Edward were very different people.

George V

George V

Edward had a reputation as a playboy, especially when he was the Prince of Wales. He had numerous mistresses including Lillie Langtry; Lady; Alice Keppel; and a prostitute called Giulia Barucci. George was very different. His official biographer Harold Nicholson wrote “He may be all right as a young midshipman and a wise old king, but when he was Duke of York … he did nothing at all but kill [i.e. shoot] animals and stick in stamps.”

Perhaps it was George, the rather boring safe individual, who decided that rather than commission new coronation robes has his father’s robes simply adjusted!

As such, perhaps he was right for United Kingdom in the 20th century, where monarchy played more of a ceremonial, symbolic and less political role.


Ede & Ravenscroft

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