In 1901, on this day, Albert Edward became King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the British Dominions as well as Emperor of India UPon the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.
He was known to his family simply as “Bertie”.
He was heir apparent longer than anyone else in history, and was still ill-prepared to rule.
The poster child for the idle elite, he had a beautiful wife, money, social power, mistresses and a vocracious sexual appetite. It is believed he had at least 55 mistresses in his lifetime, maybe more.
He was a naughty, naughty boy.
Victoria wanted to live forever just to prevent him from taking the throne.
He was the first ruler of England in the 20th Century.
He was the King Emperor for just over nine years, and did a much better job than anyone ever expected.
England was still a power, and the Sun never set on the British Empire.
He had a secret friendship with US President Teddy Roosevelt, and the two of them probably delayed WW I by 10 or 12 years.
He and his wife Queen Alexandra had six children, one was at one time thought to be Jack the Ripper – later disproved, one would become King George V, and one would become the Queen of Norway.
He was the Uncle of Europe.
His mistresses included Sarah “the devine” Bernhardt and the Jersey Lily, Lily Langtry, both actresses. One of the greatest books I’ve ever read is called The Prince and the Lily, which is about his decades long relationship with Langtry…you may remember her character from the film, “Judge Roy Bean”.
One his mistresses, Alice Keppel was at his death-bed along with his wife, the Queen; her presence was a request of the King, not the Queen. Alice’s great-granddaughter is Camilla Parker-Bowles, the present Duchess of Cornwall, and the wife of the current Prince of Wales, Charles.
He put the fun in dysfunctional. But not to worry, Camilla is truly a Keppel, and not a descendant of Bertie.
He was the first member of the royal family to be called into court as a witness…it was a divorce case on the grounds of adultry. Shocker!!
He was a gourmand and became so fat that he had a special chair designed so that he could engage in sex…without suffocating his partner.
Just thougth you’d want to know…and see, history can be fun.