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Houses of Saxe-Coburg and Windsor

King Edward VII

Edward VII (1901–1910)

Edward VII was 59 when he became king, having been heir for longer than anyone else before in British history. As a young prince, he was subjected to a strict upbringing. Although his parents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, were keen to ensure he was prepared to rule, Edward was given almost no opportunity to become involved in affairs of state until Victoria was an elderly woman in 1897. So Edward joined London society instead, spending his time eating, drinking, gambling, shooting and watching horse-racing. In 1863, he married Princess Alexandra of Denmark and they had six children, five of whom survived to adulthood. Edward also had a series of mistresses, including the actress Lily Langtry. Edward succeeded to the throne as Edward VII on the death of Victoria, in 1901. Related to most European royalty, for which he was known as the “Uncle of Europe”, Edward was able to assist in foreign policy negotiations. He died in May 1910 and was succeeded by his son, who became George V.

Christened Albert Edward, Edward VII was known as "Bertie" to other members of the royal family all his life.

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