- NAME: Edward VII
- OCCUPATION: King
- BIRTH DATE: November 09, 1841
- DEATH DATE: May 06, 1910
- Did You Know?: King Edward VII had an affair with Winston Churchill's mother.
- EDUCATION: Oxford University, Cambridge University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: London, England, United Kingdom
- PLACE OF DEATH: London, England, United Kingdom
- Full Name: Albert Edward Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
- AKA: King Edward VII
- AKA: Edward VII
- Nickname: Bertie
Best Known For
King Edward VII took over the British throne after the death of Queen Victoria. He was a popular ruler who strengthened his country prior to World War I.
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The Edwardian period (1901-1910) was seen as the golden age for the upper class in Britain. Though the rigid British class system held firm, rapid industrialization increased economic opportunity, creating conditions that allowed for more social mobility, and with it, more social change. There was a rise in socialism and attention to the plight of the poor as well as a push for women's voting rights. Domestically,
Edward did not support women's suffrage nor attempts to redistribute wealth through taxes. Despite this, he was very popular with most of the British people.
In 1909, a constitutional crisis erupted over the "People's Budget," legislation that called for unprecedented taxes on the wealthy and radical social welfare programs. The budget was championed by Liberal Party Prime Minister Harold Asquith and his chancellor, David Lloyd George. Privately, the king pleaded with Conservative lords to pass the budget and avoid political division. To break the deadlock, Lloyd George proposed the king create a large number of Liberal positions in the House of Lords to offset the "no" votes. However, the king refused, insisting that the issue be decided by the people in a general election. The issue remained unresolved until Edward's son George ascended the throne and became King George V.
By 1910, Edward VII's years of smoking 12 cigars and more than 20 cigarettes a day brought on a severe case of bronchitis. During an official event in France, he momentarily lost consciousness, and on April 27, 1910, he returned to London. The next day, he suffered a series of heart attacks and died within a half hour. Edward VII was buried at Windsor Castle on May 20, 1910, in a funeral attended by a massive assemblage of royalty. His legacy is marked by criticism for his pursuit of self-indulgent pleasures but also praise for his affable personality and diplomatic skill.
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