Edward VI of England and Scotland
Edward VI of England and II of Scotland (b. 1913 d. 1972) was king during the Second Great War and is great-uncle of the current Queen. Short (just 5' 5"), sporting a set of pinze-nez and author of a monograph on growing a proper moustache (his own was the subject of much humor), he seemed like a poor choice to lead his nations through a long, titanic struggle. Yet by war's end, "King Eddie" had warmed the hearts of his subjects and even today his tomb in Westminster sports flowers from those who remember him with affection.
The short man who would one day reign over England and Scotland indulged himself in various forms of enjoyment at University (he earned a degree in history) and afterwards--cards, horsemanship (he was himself a fine rider), theatre and movies. The fact he didn't get along very well with his grandfather, James V and IX, or his father, Prince Victor Albert, Duke of Kent and Rothesay (1890-1925), was only too well known, and officials saw his coronation with worry. Even his speech--a slight stammer punctuated with a horse-like laugh--seemed to mark him as a lightweight at best.
All in all, they were probably relieved when he left the business of government to them.
Yet from his coronation in 1936 onward, he showed himself very willing to function as a presence around which the country could rally. They--somewhat surprisingly--discovered they could do so. His perfectly tailored suits contained a near-perfect listener, whose wit could be used to lighten spirits of those around him. When pressed, he could be tireless and hardly anyone who actually met him did not walk away an admirer to some degree.
Once notable exception to this rule was Sherrinford Bell, who was first Foreign Secretary then First Lord during Edward's reign. They did not enjoy each other's company in the slightest. But then, almost no one liked Bell anyway, and his icy demeanor made the King seem that much more approachable by comparison.
Edward fell in love with Lady Agatha Marlowe, only child of the third Duke of Denver, but they refused to wed until War was at an end. This very public announcement caused some debate at the time, yet in the end helped cement Scottish and English loyalty to the King. Certainly their marriage in Novermber, 1949 was a grand event by any standards and helped take people's minds off of things like shortages and rationing.
For 26 years, Edward VI grew in popularity and by the time of his death (from a combination of high blood pressure and hypoglycemia) the humor about his affectations was very much laced with affection. "King Eddie" was mourned deeply, and Gereint XIII even offered to be one of his pallbearers (they met briefly during the war and became friends later).
He had no children, but was succeeded by his niece Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of his brother Prince Richard, Duke of York and Albany.
| Preceded by:|
James V and IX
King of England
| Succeeded by:|
King of Scotland