The Scandalous Life of England's Ultimate 'Playboy Prince', Edward VII

The Scandalous Life of England’s Ultimate ‘Playboy Prince’, Edward VII

By D.G. Hewitt

Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, was the eldest son – and so their heir – of Queen Victoria. Born in 1841, he had to wait 59 years to become King himself. Thanks to his mother’s longevity, he spent almost a full 6 decades waiting to fulfill his destiny. Since he didn’t need to work, he needed to find something to kill the time. And he found it in women, food and gambling. By the time he reached his 20s, Edward had gained a reputation for being the ultimate ‘Playboy Prince’, and for good reason.

The heir apparent to the British throne spent huge sums of money traveling between London, Paris and the far reaches of the Empire. Occasionally, he traveled for official duties. But just as often he travelled the world in search of the best parties, the most glamorous women or the biggest card games. Despite this lavish lifestyle, the British people loved their ‘Dirty Bertie’, and he would go on to become one of the most popular Kings in centuries. So, why was Edward so decadent and why was he so beloved? Here are 40 things you need to know about the life of Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales:

Prince Albert and Queen Victoria defined an age, and groomed their son to succeed them. Wikimedia Commons.

40. Prince Edward was born to rule – but was he born into a gilded cage he would spend years trying to escape?

On the morning of 9 November 1841, Buckingham Palace announced the birth of Edward, the first son of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. The infant was named after his grandfather on Victoria’s side, Prince Edward. By right of his birth alone, Edward was automatically born with a string of titles, including that of the Duke of Cornwall and the Prince of Saxe-Coburg. He was born into a life of immense wealth and privilege. But, as we shall see, this brought with it a host of problems.