Death and state funeral of Edward VII

State funeral of Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Emperor of India
Funeral of Edward VII -1910 -cropped.JPG
The funeral procession of King Edward VII, passing through Windsor.
DateFriday, 20 May 1910 (1910-05-20)
LocationSt George's Chapel, Windsor Castle (official ceremony)
ParticipantsBritish royal family

The state funeral of Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India, occurred on Friday, 20 May 1910.

The funeral was the largest gathering of European royalty ever to take place, with representatives of 70 states, and the last before many royal families were deposed in the First World War and its aftermath.[1]

Organisation

The lying-in-state of King Edward VII in Westminster Hall, 17–19 May 1910.

King Edward VII had died on 6 May, and following a private lying in state in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace,[2] on 17 May the coffin was taken in procession to Westminster Hall, where there was a public lying in state.[3] This was the first to be held in the hall for a member of the royal family and was inspired by the lying in state of William Gladstone there in 1898. A short service was held at the arrival of the coffin, with the combined choirs of Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal singing the hymn Praise, my soul, the King of heaven at the request of Queen Mary, although it was noted that their voices were drowned by the accompanying military band.[2]

On the first day, thousands of members of the public queued patiently in the rain to pay their respects; some 25,000 people were turned away when the gates were closed at 10 pm. On 19 May, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, wanted to have the hall closed while he laid a wreath; however, the police advised that there might be disorder if that happened, so the emperor was taken in through another entrance while the public continued to file past.[4] An estimated half a million people visited the hall during the three days that it was open.[5]

The body of the late King lying on bed, 20 May 1910

The funeral was held two weeks after the king's death on 20 May. Huge crowds, estimated at between three and five million, gathered to watch the procession, the route of which was lined by 35,000 soldiers.[6] It passed from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where a small ceremony was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Randall Davidson, before a small group of official mourners – the late King's widow Queen Alexandra, his son King George V, his daughter The Princess Victoria, his brother the Duke of Connaught, and his nephew the German Emperor. The remainder of the funeral party waited outside the Hall, consisting of thousands of people. Big Ben, the bell in the nearby clock tower, was rung 68 times, one for each year of Edward VII's life. This was the first time it was used in this way at a monarch's funeral.[7]

Contemporary photograph showing 'the late King's charger and favourite dog' walking in front of his coffin in the State funeral procession.

The whole procession then proceeded from Westminster Hall, via Whitehall and the Mall, from Hyde Park Corner up to the Marble Arch, and thence to Paddington Station; from there, a funeral train conveyed the mourners to Windsor.[2] The mourners used the Royal Train, which together with the funeral car built for Queen Victoria, was hauled by the GWR 4000 Class locomotive King Edward.[8] From the station, the procession then continued on to Windsor Castle, and a full funeral ceremony was held in St George's Chapel. The funeral service followed the format used for Queen Victoria, except that it included the interment within the chapel, whereas Victoria had been interred at Royal Mausoleum, Frogmore. The liturgy was closely based on the Order for The Burial of the Dead from the Book of Common Prayer. Queen Alexandra had specifically requested an anthem by Sir Arthur Sullivan, Brother, thou art gone before us, however Archbishop Davidson and other senior clerics thought that the piece lacked sufficient gravitas and Alexandra was persuaded to accept instead His Body Is Buried In Peace, the chorus from George Frideric Handel's Funeral Anthem For Queen Caroline.[2] Alexandra also requested two hymns that were sung by the congregation, My God, my Father, while I stray and Now the labourer's task is o'er; this was an innovation at royal state funerals.[9]

Tomb of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra

The funeral directors to the Royal Household appointed to assist during this occasion were the family business of William Banting of St James's Street, London. The Banting family also conducted the funerals of King George III in 1820, King George IV in 1830, the Duke of Gloucester in 1834, the Duke of Wellington in 1852, Prince Albert in 1861, Prince Leopold in 1884, and Queen Victoria in 1901. The royal undertaking warrant for the Banting family ended in 1928 with the retirement of William Westport Banting.[10]

Edward's body was temporarily interred in the Royal Vault at Windsor under the Albert Chapel. On the instructions of Queen Alexandra, a monument in the South Aisle was designed and executed by Bertram Mackennal in 1919, featuring tomb effigies of the king and queen in white marble mounted on a black and green marble sarcophagus, where both bodies were interred after the Queen Mother's death in 1925. The monument includes a depiction of Edward's favourite dog, Caesar, lying at his feet.[11]

People in the procession

The Nine Sovereigns at Windsor for the funeral of King Edward VII, photographed on 20 May 1910. Standing, from left to right: Haakon VII of Norway, Ferdinand of Bulgaria, Manuel II of Portugal, Wilhelm II of Germany, George I of Greece and Albert I of Belgium. Seated, from left to right: Alfonso XIII of Spain, George V of the United Kingdom and Frederick VIII of Denmark.
Ceremonial funeral procession of King Edward VII (1901-1910) passing through the streets of London on May 20, 1910. Views of the moving coffin, heads of state walking behind the coffin, the royal carriage, and various marching military units. Attending the ceremony were Kaiser Wilhelm II, Stéphen Pichon, kings of Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and Theodore Roosevelt.

The funeral was notable for the enormous number of important European and world royalty who participated in it. The funeral procession saw a horseback procession, followed by 11 carriages. Caesar, the late King's dogs led the funeral procession with a highlander walking behind the carriage that carried the King's coffin.

Procession of the Nine Kings, an artist's impression by Harry Payne.

Guests

As per report in London Gazette.[12]

British royal family

Foreign royalty

Other dignitaries

Nobility

Notes

  1. ^ Tuchman 2014, p. 1.
  2. ^ a b c d Range, Matthias (2016). British Royal and State Funerals: Music and Ceremonial since Elizabeth I. Boydell Press. pp. 277–278. ISBN 978-1783270927.
  3. ^ "Plaque: Westminster Hall - Edward VII". www.londonremembers.com. London Remembers. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  4. ^ Hibbert, Christopher (2007). Edward VII: The Last Victorian King. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 318. ISBN 978-1-4039-8377-0.
  5. ^ Quigley, Christine (2005). The Corpse: A History. Jefferson NC: McFarland & Co. p. 67. ISBN 978-0786424498.
  6. ^ Hopkins, John Castell (1910). The Life of King Edward VII. Palala Press (2016 reprint). p. 342. ISBN 978-1356057740.
  7. ^ Weinreb & Hibbert 1992, p. 66
  8. ^ Maggs, Colin (2011). The Branch Lines of Berkshire. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Amberley Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 978-1848683471.
  9. ^ Range 2016, p. 281
  10. ^ Todd Van Beck, "The Death and State Funeral of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill", part II, in Canadian Funeral News (October 2012), Vol. 40 Issue 10, p. 10 (online Archived 2014-03-16 at the Wayback Machine)
  11. ^ Dodson, Aidan (2004). The Royal Tombs of Great Britain: An Illustrated History. Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd. p. 145. ISBN 978-0715633106.
  12. ^ "No. 28401". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 July 1910.
  13. ^ Tuchman 2014, p. 6.

See also

References

Media related to Funeral of Edward VII of the United Kingdom at Wikimedia Commons

Media files used on this page

Flag of Norway.svg
Flag of Norway. The colors approximately correspond to Pantone 200 C (deep red) and 281 C (dark blue).
Flag of Spain (1785–1873, 1875–1931).svg
Author/Creator: previous version User:Ignaciogavira ; current version HansenBCN, designs from SanchoPanzaXXI, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931)
Flag of the German Empire.svg
Bundesflagge und Handelsflagge des Norddeutschen Bundes (1866-1871) und Reichsflagge des Deutschen Reiches (1871-1918)
Flag of Germany (1867–1918).svg
Bundesflagge und Handelsflagge des Norddeutschen Bundes (1866-1871) und Reichsflagge des Deutschen Reiches (1871-1918)
Flag of Sweden.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: PD
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg
The civil ensign and flag of Belgium. It is identical to Image:Flag of Belgium.svg except that it has a 2:3 ratio, instead of 13:15.
Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg
Author/Creator: F l a n k e r, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
It is easy to put a border around this flag image
Merchant flag of Japan (1870).svg
Variant version of a flag of Japan, used between January 27, 1870 and August 13, 1999 (aspect ratio 7:10).
Flag of Japan (1870–1999).svg
Variant version of a flag of Japan, used between January 27, 1870 and August 13, 1999 (aspect ratio 7:10).
State Flag of Serbia (1882-1918).svg
Author/Creator: Guilherme Paula, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
State flag of Serbia (1882-1918)
Flag of Serbia (1882–1918).svg
Author/Creator: Guilherme Paula, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
State flag of Serbia (1882-1918)
Flag of the United States.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: PD
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: PD
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1911-1920).svg
Flag of the duchy of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha 1911-1920; Ratio (2:3)
Flagge Königreich Württemberg.svg
Flag of the Kingdom of Württemberg; Ratio (3:5)
Flag Portugal (1830).svg
Flag of Portugal, land use (1830-1910).
Funeral of Edward VII -1910 -cropped.JPG
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: PD-US
Flag of China (1889–1912).svg
Flag of the Chinese Empire under the Qing dynasty (1889-1912), details per the restoration of Beiyang fleet researcher [1].
Flagge Großherzogtümer Mecklenburg.svg
Flag of the Grand Duchies of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Mecklenburg-Schwerin; Ratio (2:3)
State flag of Persia (1907–1933).svg
State flag of Iran (1907-1933)
The Funeral of King Edward VII (16566590837).jpg
This is a Tuck's Chromograph printed in Prussia and shows a Harry Payne painting of part of the funeral procession which took place on Friday 20th May 1910. It is probably The Mall with St. James's Park in the background. The Kaiser is wearing the uniform of a British Army Field Marshall, that honour was given to him by his uncle Edward VII in January 1901 a few days after the death of his Grandmother, Queen Victoria,.
The Nine Sovereigns at Windsor for the funeral of King Edward VII.jpg
The Nine Sovereigns at Windsor for the funeral of King Edward VII. Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria, King Manuel II of Portugal, Kaiser Wilhelm II of the German Empire, King George I of Greece and King Albert I of Belgium. Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King-Emperor George V of the United Kingdom and King Frederick VIII of Denmark.
Edward VII Funeral Charger and Caesar.jpg
A photographic mass produced postcard produced by the Rotary Photo Company. Edward VII died in May 1910.
Flag of Thailand 1855.svg
"The White Elephant Flag" Thai national flag from 1855 to 1916, 31 December. It has a white elephant (based on Image:Naval Ensign of Thailand.svg) on red plain rectangular flag.
Flagge Großherzogtum Hessen ohne Wappen.svg
Flag of the Grand Duchy of Hesse without arms; Ratio (4:5)
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1844–1922).svg
The Ottoman flag of 1844–1922. Late Ottoman flag which was made based on the historical documents listed in the Source section. Note that a five-pointed star was rarely used in the star-and-crescent symbol before the 19th century.
4125s2.ogv
Ceremonial funeral procession of King Edward VII (1901-1910) passing through the streets of London on May 20, 1910. Views of the moving casket, heads of state walking behind the casket, the royal carriage, and various marching military units. Attending the ceremony were Kaiser Wilhelm II, Stéphen Pichon, Kings of Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and Theodore Roosevelt, representing the United States.
Tomb of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.jpg
Author/Creator: VCR Giulio19, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Tomb of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra
King Edward VII after death.jpg
The body of King Edward VII lies on the bed, the left-hand side of his head seen in profile. Some roses have been laid on the bed.
The Lying-in-State of His Late Majesty Edward VII in Westminster Hall LCCN2014688197.tif
Title: The Lying-in-State of His Late Majesty Edward VII in Westminster Hall Abstract/medium: 1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in. or smaller.
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1867-1918).svg
Flag of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (1867-1918)
Flag of Greece (1822-1978).svg
Old national flag of Greece on land (1822–1970 and 1974–1978)