Sunday, March 10, 2013

UK: Diaries of The Prince of Wales (Edward VII)

King Edward VII (1841-1910) enjoyed the company of countless mistresses throughout his married life, yet after 60 years as heir to the throne, he only ruled as king for nine years. But what was Queen Victoria’s eldest son like as a young man?
A journal he kept during a trip through southern Europe and the Middle East in 1862 reveals Edward — who was 20 years old and the Prince of Wales at the time — was fascinated by travel, culture, and not surprisingly, women.
On Friday, the British Royal Collection Trust published online the young prince’s handwritten diaries to mark the opening of “Cairo to Constantinople: Early Photographs of the Middle East,” an exhibition of works by British photographer Francis Bedford, who accompanied Edward on his journey.
As the first photographer to be embedded on a royal tour, Bedford documented the group’s travels through Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon and Greece. He watched as the 20-year-old Prince of Wales met with rulers and politicians from far-off lands, documenting the trip in a collection of photos that have not been displayed together in public since Bedford’s debut exhibition in 1862. The photos he took of the young prince are some of the earliest shots ever taken of a member of the Royal Family.
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