The future

George I and George II (1714 - 1760)


House of Windsor

A new luxury (part one)

House of Hanover

Ye Olde Britain

A new luxury (part two)

The Telephone Box

Ethelred II Unraed to Cnut: 978-1035

Greenacres Camping, Barrow Lane, North Wootton, nr Shepton Mallet, Somerset

Blackberry Wood, Streat Lane, Streat, nr Ditchling, East Sussex

Highertown Farm Campsite, Lansallos, Looe, Cornwall

A new luxury (part three)

Coloured pigs (part one)

News from our friends
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Edward VII (1901 - 1910)
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Edward VII (1901 - 1910)Edward VII ('BERTIE' to his family) was born in 1841 and had to wait almost 60 years to become king. Given little to do during this long apprenticeship, he chose - to the alarm of his well-intentioned parents Victoria and Albert - the card-tables of fashionable society rather than the desk of diligent duty.

The smartest, richest homes in Britain welcomed the Prince of Wales for weekend parties, and while his amatory adventures were open society secrets, there were no tabloid newspapers headlining 'kiss and tell' stories. His marriage to Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863 was publicly affectionate and 'proper', however, and the prince was a kindly father.

Edward VII proved a more able monarch than many had expected. Politically conservative, befitting a country gentleman who loved shooting and horse racing (his horses winning the Derby three times), he also enjoyed the London theatre. His reign saw Britain's first old-age pensions and National Insurance schemes, but also the arms race that led to the First World War.

'We are all socialists nowadays'
The future Edward VII addressing a Mansion House audience in 1895

Stately Edward fitted the role of imperial monarch, and he helped stiffen the Entente Cordiale with France, earning approval from a music-hall song ('There'll be no war, as long as there's a king like good King Edward') but outraging the Kaiser. Though he failed to restrain his German nephew's ambitions, Edward earned people's affections and the title 'Peacemaker'. Edward VII died, on 6 May 1910, four years before the start of the war he had worked hard to prevent.

Victoria's funeral
People who saw Queen Victoria's funeral never forgot it. Black drapes were banished (on the queen's instructions) in favour of white and gold. Victoria's last public journey was made through packed, silent streets, escorted by troops from around the empire. The Kaiser had measured her for her coffin; her sons 'Bertie' (now King Edward VII) and Prince Arthur lifted her into it. She wore her wedding veil, with spring flowers laid on her white dress.

After the lying-in-state at Osborne House, the coffin was moved to the royal yacht Alberta for its journey to the mainland and then by train to London's Victoria station. All along the route, people stood bare-headed, many in tears. A gun carriage took the coffin to Paddington for the second train journey to Windsor. From the park, a salute of 81 guns boomed, one for each year of the queen's life. A brief service in St George's Chapel (a place she had never liked) was followed by a second lying-in-state in the Albert Memorial Chapel. The queen was laid to rest, beside Prince Albert, on 4 February in the mausoleum. Snow began to fall as the family mourners dispersed.

Edward VII (1901 - 1910)

Four generations
Queen Victoria at the christening in 1894 of Edward, later Edward VIII and Duke of Windsor. To the right is his grandfather, the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII); to the left his father, the Duke of York (later George V).

Edward VII (1901 - 1910)

Sandringham Hause
In 1862 the Prince of Wales bought an estate in Norfolk, and in 1867-70 a house was built therefor him. Sandringham remains a favourite royal home.

Edward VII (1901 - 1910)

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