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House of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha

Queen Alexandra, consort of King Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom (1844-1925)

Queen Alexandra was the daughter of Christian IX of Denmark. She married Edward VII in 1863. Her principal residences were Marlborough House, London and Sandringham House, Norfolk, in addition to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

Queen Alexandra grew up in Denmark in relatively modest surroundings compared to her future ones. After her marriage to Edward VII in 1863 she lived in England as Princess of Wales. The paintings of Copenhagen and the Danish Royal summer residence, Bernstoff House, were presented to the royal couple on the occasion of their marriage. They also received a porcelain dinner and dessert service made by Royal Copenhagen.

By the end of 1864, Alexandra's father had become King of Denmark and her brother the King of Greece, and her sister Dagmar (later Marie Fedorovna) became engaged to the Tsar of Russia. The family had greater links with other European royal houses from that point onwards.

Dagmar married the future Tsar Alexander III in 1866, and lived in Moscow, and she began to send her sister objects from one of the most famous manufacturers in Russia at the time, Carl Fabergé. This began a group of Fabergé objects in the Royal Collection eventually numbering more than 500. Edward VII would shop there when he visited Moscow and in 1903, Fabergé opened a London branch also. Pendants, photo frames, silver and gold boxes all came into the collection as well as more than 200 carved farm animals, known as the Sandringham Commission.

An enthusiastic and prolific amateur photographer, Queen Alexandra learned how to use a hand-held camera. She enjoyed creating albums of family photographs and painting them with watercolour decoration. In 1908 a selection of her photographs was published as a gift book to raise money for charity.

Queen Alexandra had six children, five of whom survived infancy. Her eldest son, Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, died young and tragically, in 1892 at the age of 28. Edward and Alexandra commissioned the sculptor Sir Alfred Gilbert to make a memorial sculpture for him, which is located in the Albert Memorial Chapel at St George's, Windsor. It is a marvel of art nouveau design and invention in metalwork, dominating the chapel space.

Queen Alexandra was Princess of Wales for several decades, and set many trends for fashion over this time. The portrait by the French painter, François Flameng, depicts her when she had finally become queen, a dazzling example of glamour and style.

Consort of King Edward VII


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Objects associated with Queen Alexandra, consort of King Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom (1844-1925)