Edward VII was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Born in 1841, he did not inherit the throne until his mother's death in 1901, when he was 59 years old. Given little responsibility during Victoria's lifetime, Bertie (as he was called by his family) devoted himself to a life of pleasure. Despite his 1863 marriage to Princess Alexandra of Denmark, with whom he had six children, he was infamous for his many mistresses and playboy lifestyle.
As king, Edward VII was popular with his people and abroad, but he reigned for only nine years before dying in 1910. He was succeeded by his oldest surviving son, King George V.
Edward VII's mother, Victoria, was a member of the royal House of Hanover. Her husband, Prince Albert, was the son of Ernst, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, so their son Edward VII was a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
However, Edward's son and successor, George V, changed the royal family's name to Windsor. Therefore King Edward VII is considered the only British monarch from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
List of British Royal Dynasties:
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Edward VII: The Last Victorian King by Christopher Hibbert. Shedding new light on the scandals that peppered his life, this biography reveals Edward's dismal early years, lively social life, and ascent to the throne at age 59.
The Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince by Jane Ridley. Playboy son of Queen Victoria, Edward VII confounded his critics by reinventing the monarchy for the 20th century. This biography portrays his age in all its excess and eccentricity. (Previously published under the title Bertie.)
Edward VII: The Cosmopolitan King by Richard Davenport-Hines. To the despair of his parents, Edward rebelled as a young man, living a life of pleasure. But as king he made a distinct contribution to European diplomacy.
Dirty Bertie: An English King Made in France by Stephen Clarke. Despite fierce opposition from his mother, Queen Victoria, Edward VII was always passionately in love with France. He had affairs with the most famous Parisian actresses, spoke French more elegantly than English, and learned all the essentials in life from the French.
The Playboy Princes: The Apprentice Years of Edward VII and VIII by Peter J. Beer. This dual biography offers a portrait of men living for the moment, knowing that a later life of solemn duty beckons.
Edward, the U.S., and Canada
The King and the Cowboy: Theodore Roosevelt and Edward the Seventh, Secret Partners by David Fromkin. How the friendship of King Edward VII and U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt shaped the course of the 20th century.
Royalty in the New World: Or, the Prince of Wales in America by Kinahan Cornwallis. The writer witnessed the 19-year-old Prince of Wales's 1860 highly successful tour of Canada and America more closely than anyone else outside the royal party. (The prince later became King Edward VII.) First published in 1860.
Royal Spectacle by Ian Radforth. About the 1860 visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada and the United States.
Peter Lovesey's "Bertie" Novels. Mystery stories in which the future King Edward VII plays detective.
Developing the Picture: Queen Alexandra and the Art of Photography by Frances Dimond. This collection of photos taken by Queen Alexandra provides insight into the lives of the royal families of Europe before the First World War.
Queen Alexandra by Georgina Battiscombe. Biography of Edward VII's wife. Published in 1969.
Prince Eddy: The King Britain Never Had by Andrew Cook. Biography of King Edward VII's scandalous eldest son, Prince Albert Victor, who died in early adulthood.
Prince Eddy and the Homosexual Underworld by Theo Aronson. First full account of the life of Prince Eddy, his candidacy as Jack The Ripper, his alleged marriage, and his connection with The Cleveland Street Scandal.
Edward VII's Children by John Van Der Kiste. King Edward VII had six children. Only one, George V, has received much attention from biographers. The eldest son, Albert Victor, a subject of scandal, died before age 30. The three princesses, Louise, Victoria, and Queen Maud of Norway, were never well-known to the British public. This detailed account draws upon correspondence from the Royal Archives.
Clarence: The Life of H. R. H. the Duke of Clarence and Avondale (1864-1892) by Michael Harrison.
The King in Love: Edward VII's Mistresses by Theo Aronson. An account of the loves of the celebrated royal womanizer, including his official mistresses, Lillie Langtry, Daisy Warwick and Alice Keppel.
Edward VII: The Prince of Wales and the Women He Loved by Catharine Arnold. While the scandals resulting from Bertie's love affairs were a blight on the royal family, he became a surprisingly modern monarch.
Daisy: The Life and Loves of the Countess of Warwick by Sushila Anand. A colorful biography, based on correspondence and family papers. A mistress of the future King Edward VII, Daisy lived a life of decadent luxury, then suddenly became a political activist in the 20th century.
The Darling Daisy Affair by Theo Lang. The full story of the secret affair between Frances, Countess of Warwick and the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.
Mrs Keppel: Mistress to the King by Tom Quinn. A biography of Alice Keppel, who was for many years the lover of King Edward VII, though she managed to avoid the stigma of being a royal mistress.
Mrs. Keppel & Her Daughter by Diana Souhami. This book deals more with Mrs. Keppel's daughter Violet than Mrs. Keppel herself, but contains enough detail about the king's mistress to be of interest to royalty fans.
Power and Place: The Political Consequences of King Edward VII by Simon Heffer. A major reconsideration of a monarch whose achievements in 20th century political and diplomatic history have too often been ignored.
The State Visits of Edward VII: Reinventing Royal Diplomacy for the Twentieth Century by Matthew Glencross. Explores the revival of the ceremonial state visit, using information from the Royal Archives, memoirs and newspapers.
The Edwardians: The Remaking of British Society by Paul Thompson. Records the life stories of some 500 Edwardians. Domestics, labourers, workers, professionals and high society men and women describe their work, families, politics and leisure.
Edwardian Architecture by Alastair Service. A handbook to building design in Britain, 1890-1914.
The King's Jester by Barry Anthony. The first biography of Dan Leno, a Victorian comic genius dubbed "The King's Jester" because even King Edward VII was a fan.
Secrets of the Royal Detective by Don Hale. The author tells the true story of his grandfather, who became a bodyguard for members of the British royal family after the death of Queen Victoria.
These DVDs are formatted for North American audiences.
Edward the King. This 13-part BBC miniseries covers 70 tumultuous years of Edward VII's life. The story begins with the rebellion of a pampered boy, and continues through his mother's distrust, his marriage, scandalous affairs, and behind-the-throne carousing. From BBC America.
Lillie. Originally released in 1979, this 13-part Masterpiece Theatre presentation stars Francesca Annis as Lillie Langtry, who bedded the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), bore a daughter to Prince Louis of Battenburg, gained a British title, and even had a town in Texas named after her. (Review © Amazon.com)