Edward VII

Albert Edward, the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, was born at Buckingham Palace on 9th November 1841. He succeeded to the throne in 1901. He was well known as a lover of good food and wine, clothes, racing, gambling and ladies. In 1871 he fell seriously ill with typhoid but eventually recovered.


He married Princess Alexandra of Denmark at St George's chapel Windsor on 10th March 1863.


Their coronation day was set for 26th June 1902 and guests were invited from all over the world. However, the King suffered an appendicitis a few days beforehand and developed peritonitis: unless he postponed the coronation and had an operation immediately he would die. The King, though hugely reluctant, finally relented, and 9th August was chosen as the new date. By then he was much recovered and the service proceeded as planned. The ageing and almost blind Archbishop of Canterbury had the prayers printed in large letters on card so he could see them. He still mis-read some of them and at the moment of crowning (after he appeared to drop the crown) he placed it on the King's head the wrong way round!

Watch: Edward VII and the postponed Coronation

The Abbey Surveyor, J.T. Micklethwaite, designed a set of copes for the Abbey clergy to wear and new altar hangings. These are of crimson velvet stamped with designs of large flowers and crowns and the dorsal, for the back of the altar, shows 24 Royal badges and crowns. A Latin inscription is shown which translates as "Praise to Thee King of Eternal Glory". The copes are still used. 


He died after a short illness on 6th May 1910 and was buried at St George's chapel Windsor.

Further reading

King Edward VII by Sir Sidney Lee, 2 vols. 1925

King Edward the Seventh by P. Magnus, 1964

The coronation of Edward the Seventh by J.E.C. Bodley, 1903

The coronation book of Edward VII by W.J. Loftie [1902]

Music for Edward VII's Coronation, 1902 (PDF, 2584KB)

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004


9th November 1841


6th May 1910


9th August 1902

Depiction of Edward VII walking through Westminster Abbey in his coronation robes
Edward VII coronation, the King enters Westminster Abbey

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Red altar hangings used during Edward VII's coronation
Coronation altar hangings 1902

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster