Edward VII was Christened Albert Edward, but was known to all as “Bertie”. He was heir apparent to the United Kingdom throne for nearly 60 years because his mother, Queen Victoria, reigned for nearly 64 years. It was the longest wait to become Monarch prior to great-great grandson Prince Charles, now King Charles III. Edward VII was King for just nine years until he died in 1910. Two years before his death, Edward officially opened the first Olympic Games to be held in London, an honour that befell his grandson George VI (1948) and great-granddaughter Elizabeth II (2012).
Edward VII was the Prince of Wales prior to becoming King and was Patron of the Arts and helped with the formation of the Royal College of Music in 1883. He was also something of a playboy and socialite whose life was often shrouded with public scandals. “Bertie” enjoyed gambling and was a keen racehorse owner and breeder. One of his horses was the Irish-trained Ambush II, winner of the Aintree Grand National in 1900. His best-known horse, however, was the 1909 Epsom Derby winner Minoru, who sired two Triple Crown winners: Diamond Jubilee (1900) and Gainsborough (1918). Minoru was also the paternal grandfather of the legendary New Zealand-bred horse Phar Lap, winner of 37 of the 51 races he contested.
“Bertie” was responsible for laying out the golf course at Windsor. He also enjoyed organising hunting and shooting parties at the Sandringham estate where he set all the clocks to half-an-hour fast so members of visiting parties would all arrive on time. The clocks were not set to the correct time until 1936.
|1908 Summer Olympics||Officially opened the Games||GBR||Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom|