100 Years Ago — King Edward’s Funeral

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the funeral of King Edward VII. This was an interesting event in world history since it was the last great gathering of European monarchs.
Just about every king or crown prince was invited (see a listing here). In fact, many of them were related to the late king. The soon-to-hated Kaiser was Edward’s nephew. You’d hardly know that in just a few years the whole world these people knew was to be blown apart by the Great War.
King Edward’s funeral is also used as an entry point in George Dangerfield’s book “The Strange Death of Liberal England.” For a student of history, the ceremony serves as a good dividing line between two periods. Two worlds, really. If you want to read really good writing, check out pages 18 and 19 here.
The Library of Congress has some footage of the funeral which I’ve embedded below. Everyone is marching by rank so in the very back of the line is a commoner—the representative of a still-strange form of government—Former President Teddy Roosevelt. This is oddly symbolic because even though the U.S. was at the back of the line, it was about to become the world’s most powerful nation.

I’ve watched this a few times. I can’t be sure but I think TR appears at 4:53 in the lower right part of the screen. Here’s the NYT‘s coverage and it confirms that TR is carrying his overcoat.

Posted by on May 26th, 2010 at 11:12 pm

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