Day 5: 15 August 2019 – Exploring Aberdeen
Edward VII 1841-1910
The eldest son of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, Albert Edward VII was born on 9 November 1841. Known as “Bertie” within the family, he was subjected to a strict regimen to prepare him for the throne. As was customary for British Royalty, Prince Edward attended Oxford and Cambridge universities. He soon after declared his desire to pursue a career in the military. His mother vetoed that idea, hoping to keep him safe for the throne. During his short time in the army, he rose to the level of lieutenant colonel through honorary promotions.
Edward VII became king upon the death of his mother, Queen Victoria, in 1901. A popular member of social and sporting circles, Edward VII strengthened England’s ties with the rest of Europe, his relationship with Germany’s emperor — his nephew — was rocky. His reforms of the military and navy prepared them well for World War I.
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 he returned to London. Alexandra, his wife, returned from Greece on 5 May and the next day called her children and told them their father was gravely ill. On 10 May 1910, Edward suffered a series of heart attacks and died. His legacy is marked by criticism for his pursuit of self-indulgent pleasures. He also got praise for his affable personality and diplomatic skill. He was 69 years of age when he died.
In this life-size statue, he is wearing a robe in his role as a Royal Knight Companion of the Garter. He carries a gilded scepter plus an orb and cross, symbols of his authority. In the shield below his feet is the image of Saint Andrew, Scotland’s patron saint. The granite sculpture by James Philip is located at the edge of a public park called Union Terrace Gardens along Union Street.
Thank you very much for taking the time to join me on my travels through Scotland. I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did.
Till next time, safe travels and keep dreaming.
Have a fabulous day.