The End of the Edwardian Era
This exquisite print from 1910 captures the solemn funeral procession of King Edward VII. Central to the scene is the coffin bearing the late king, which leads the procession. Resting atop the coffin are symbols of monarchy: the Crown, the Orb, and the Sceptre. The coffin itself is mounted on a gun carriage, pulled forward by a team of eight horses. Following closely behind the coffin is King Edward VII's riderless horse, a poignant symbol of a fallen leader. A somber air fills the scene as the men around the coffin walk with their heads bowed.
In the heart of the procession, a mounted soldier carries the King's standard. At the edge of the print are the various crowned heads of Europe. Among these are King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and the kings of several nations including Spain, Portugal, Greece, Denmark, Norway, and Bulgaria. Each of these figures is identified by title beneath the image, demonstrating the importance of this occasion. Adding a whimsical touch to this otherwise grave print, the king's favorite dog is humorously depicted ahead of Europe's monarchs, showing the fondness Edward had for his dogs.
Above the scene is text detailing the passing of the funeral procession by Marlborough House and St. James's Palace and emphasizing the title given to the late king, "The Peacemaker." Edward was renowned for his diplomatic efforts during his tenure as king. Using his family connections and British power, Edward toured Europe and established functional relationships with major powers like France, Germany, and Russia.
The print is from an issue of the British newspaper, "The Sphere, Vol. XLL, No. 540." The focus of this particular issue was the demise, funeral, and subsequent remembrance of King Edward VII, who died May 6, 1910. This commemorative issue of The Sphere features many illustrations of the late king, the funeral procession, and new illustrations of royals. Several artists contributed to this issue, but this particular print is credited to Henry M. Paget.