The Scales of King Edward VII – Observer

The tradition dates back to the reign of Edward VII, and began at Sandringham House in Norfolk, the country house of the royal family, where Christmas is still celebrated today. With the death of Isabel II, the tradition must be maintained with Carlos. It is not known how Kate Midlleton and Meghan Markle have reacted to the old tradition, but what is certain is that they probably weigh themselves too.

The house in question is situated on 8100 hectares of land on the Norfolk coast and is listed on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. And it was there that Edward VII received many guests for short weekends or longer stays. It was the king himself who took charge of weighing the guests to prove his hospitality. Some say that this custom was still maintained during the reign of Elizabeth II and that Diana herself suffered from it during the times when she suffered from bulimia. In the 2021 movie “Spencer” starring Kristen Stewart, the habit was portrayed when Lady Di arrives at her mother-in-law’s country house to fulfill Christmas traditions in the early 1990s. It looks like guests were supposed to gain a pound and a half , but there is no certainty as to the exact number.

The one who didn’t suffer from eating disorders was Bertie, as the whole family treated him. He liked good food, good drinks and was also known as the “Uncle of Europe”. He used to smoke about twenty cigarettes and twelve cigars a day.

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He was born in London on 9 November 1841 and was King of the United Kingdom and Ireland, of the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death, being the first British monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg- Drop.

The son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, he was the second longest-serving heir apparent in all of history. He was only crowned at age 61. He was the second oldest of nine siblings. During his mother’s long reign, he was removed from affairs of state and personified the leisurely elite, so in vogue at the time. Although his parents prepared him for a model of constitutional monarchy, the truth is that, unlike his older sister, he never excelled in his studies. His talent was surrounded by charm and many social skills. He was a true gentleman, described as an “intelligent, informed and well-mannered man”.

He was the so-called “bom vivant” and he didn’t get rid of his playboy fame either. He had several mistresses and was a frequent visitor to cabarets and prostitutes during the 1880s, particularly Le Chabanais, which was considered the best establishment of its kind in Paris, where brothels were legal.

One of the rooms even had a custom-made bathtub that was sometimes filled with champagne, and a siège d’amour specially designed and created for the king. The original “love chair” is now in the possession of the grandson of Louis Soubrier, the craftsman chosen to build it in 1890, in the image of the king’s fantasies. There is a replica of the seat that can be seen in the Museum of Sex in Prague.

The parents never looked favorably on this facet of Eduardo. Queen Victoria even accused him of the death of his father, who, already ill, learned that his son Edward had been in the company of an actress while serving in a military campaign. Alberto, the father, would die two weeks later.

Married and the father of six children, Eduardo had many mistresses during his life. From actress Lillie Langtry, through Jennie Churchill, mother of future Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the Countess of Warwick, actress Sarah Bernhardt, aristocrat Susan Vane-Tempest, singer Hortense Schneider, prostitute Giulia Beneni, humanitarian Agnes Keyser and Alice Keppel, great-grandmother of the current queen consort, Camilla Parker Bowles. Although there are speculations about some illegitimate children of Edward VII, it is certain that he ensured, in his short reign, the preparation of his son George V to assume the crown. Many contemporary historians have described the father-son relationship as one of great affection and affection. In the prince’s diary, after his father’s death, his pain could be seen. “He was the best friend and the best of parents… I never had an argument with him in my life. I am heartbroken and filled with grief.”

Edward VII died on 6 May 1910 at Buckingham Palace. He wanted to work until the end, but successive heart attacks after an illness already worsened, knocked him down at 68 years old. The last words were exchanged with his son who also gave him the news of his horse’s victory at Kempton Park. Edward VII died after 15 minutes.

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