Coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra
Two days before his coronation in June 1902, King Edward VII was diagnosed with appendicitis. Emergency surgery was quickly performed and the news spread across the United Kingdom. The next morning, the King was reportedly “smoking cigars in his bed.” The operation was a success. Just a few weeks later, on August 9, Edward VII and his wife, Alexandra, took their place in history as the new rulers of the United Kingdom. Because of the postponement, celebrations actually took place over several weeks. The King ordered that all regional celebrations, scheduled for the end of June, take place at their original time. On the actual date of the Coronation in August, Edward VII and Alexandra, along with 30,000 men representing all areas of the Empire, paraded through the streets of London as thousands lined the route, waving flags and cheering their new monarch. Once they reached Westminster Abbey, the aging Archbishop of Canterbury anointed both Edward VII and Alexandra as King and Queen of the British Empire.