Today in History... the first Windsor ascends the throne

Edward VII came to the throne in 1901. The Edwardian period, constituting the first decade of the 20th century was a period of substantial change in technology and society, with the start of powered flight and the birth of the Labour party.

He was the first king of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which was later renamed 'Windsor' by his son George V and nicknamed 'Peacemaker' by the public for fostering good relations with other European states.

However, he predicted his nephew Wilhelm II of Germany would be content to go to war, which proved to be the case with the commencing of WW1 a few years after Edward's death.

Some very rare stamps depicting Edward are currently available. An unusual block of two 1907, salmon-pink-and-green, overprinted 5 shilling stamps from the Cayman Islands, from the famous Alexander Reid collection, is coming up for auction by Spink in March and expected to sell for up to £50,000.

Even more excitingly, an example of a stamp which was cancelled and almost completely eradicated from existence when Edward died is available for sale: a Tyrian Plum.

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