Edward VII carries a plumed hat, indicating his status as Prince of Wales, in this portrait engraving, published in 1879. He was a constant supporter of France and of Anglo-French relations, both as Prince of Wales and as King. He spoke fluent French and made many visits to the country. In 1903 he spent some months travelling between European capitals and paid a state visit to Paris, where he was warmly received.
He had held little political responsibility as Prince of Wales and was not granted access to details of cabinet proceedings until the 1890s. He and his wife, Alexandra of Denmark, were known instead as prominent figures in fashionable society. As King, he demonstrated considerable interest in foreign policy, and the Entente Cordiale of 1904 owed much to his personality and diplomatic efforts.
Heinrich von Angeli was born in Sopron, Austria. He moved to Vienna in 1853 to live with his uncle. In 1854 he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and moved to Dusseldorf two years later to study under Friedrich von Amerling. From 1859 to 1862 he produced history paintings in Munich. He then returned to Vienna, where he exhibited at the World Fair. He moved to Italy in 1871, turning to genre and portrait painting. He received portrait commissions from the courts of Vienna, St. Petersburg and London. He became a professor of the Academy of Fine Arts and President of the Künstlerhaus in Vienna. He remained in Vienna (occasionally sending work to the Royal Academy or Grosvenor Gallery in London) until his death at the age of 85.
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