King Edward VII statue

King Edward VII statue, Launceston, public art

Public Art: King Edward VII statue

Sculptor: © Alfred Drury (1856-1944)

Description: A bronze statue of King Edward VII in his royal robes holding a sceptre and orb in either hand. The sceptre seems to be missing the cross (or dove).

Date Unveiled: The statue of King George VII was unveiled in 1912.

Location : Park Street, Royal Park, Launceston, Tasmania

Inscriptions:

Edward VII

The Peacemaker
Britt Omn. Rex, Et. Imp.

1901-1910

 

Erected by residents of Northern Tasmania

 

This stone was laid by
Lieut General Sir R.S. Baden Powell. K.C.B.

8th June 1912

Trivia about King Edward VII statue:

Baden Powell laid the foundation stone for the King Edward VII statue during his 1912 Scouting World Tour.

King Edward VII statue, Royal Park, Launcston, Public Art

King Edward Statue, Launceston, public art

So Who Was King Edward VII? : King Edward VII was a popular British monarch and was often referred to as the "peacemaker". He was born on 9th November 1841. Being the first born of Queen Victoria he was destined to succeeded her when she died. She must have been a healthy monach because Edward had to wait until he was almost 60 before he came to the throne (he still holds the record for being the longest heir apparent, but Charles is coming a close second!). Queen Victoria died in 1901, but due to sickness (appendicitis) and the ending of the Boar War it meant that the King's coronation was delayed until 1902.

Queen Victoria and Edward had a very much love/hate relationship thanks in part to his first sexual encounter which led to the death of her beloved husband, Albert. When 19 year old Edward (then Prince of Wales) spent 10 weeks at Curraugh Camp in Ireland it wasn't long before his fellow cadets realized he hadn't much experience with women. So the lads organized the actress, Nellie Clifton, to bed the future king. Well, all hell broke loose when word got back to his parents. Prince Albert was so furious he traveled to Cambridge to lecture his son about his irresponsibilities.Unfortunately, Prince Albert chose to have his father/son chat whilst taking a long walk in the rain. Albert died a few weeks later having contracted typhoid fever. The Queen would never forgive her son and wrote to her eldest daughter "I never can, or shall, look at him without a shudder."

During his reign King Edward was a popular soul, despite his indescretions with numerous women. Unfortunately his reign was short lived, dying on May the 9th, 1910 surrounded by his family and the Archbishop of Canterbury. His death was a result of a bad dose of Bronchitis and heart failure. King Edward VII left behind his wife Alexandra and six children. The Edwardian Period was named after him.

Interesting Facts: The King Edward Memorial Executive Committee were adamant that the sculptor appointed to create the statue had the appropriate criteria -  'It being desirable the Sculptor should be a man of British race as well as of high qualifications, it is felt necessary to go to London - the centre of Empire Art.' A tad melodramatic but nether the less they appointed Thomas Brock in 1915, who was also responsible for the Queen Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace.

The completion of the statue was delayed due to World War I, but was eventually delivered in 1921.

The Edwardian period was named in honour of this king.

King Edward VII's nickname was "Tum Tum" because he was rather portly (fat).

Controversy Alert : One of the king's last mistress's was believed to have been socialite Alice Keppel, none other than Camilla Parker Bowles' great grandmother (apples don't fall far...). Rumour has it Camilla's grandmother, Sonia Keppel, was the illegitimate daughter of Edward. That will give you something to think about next time you see the Edward VII statue.

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