Edward VII (1841 – 1910) became King in 1901 at the age of 59. Christened Albert Edward and known to his family and friends as "Bertie", Edward was brought up strictly and educated very thoroughly as his parents felt was appropriate for a future king. They were often disappointed in him, however! He was a popular man, fond of a party, warm-hearted with his friends, and a gambling, drinking, fashionable playboy with many well-known mistresses. When Prince Albert went to reprimand him over a scandal with an actress and died shortly afterwards, Queen Victoria blamed Bertie and never quite forgave him.
As king he was always popular with the people, and improved relations with foreign countries when he toured abroad. He also helped to modernise of the Royal Navy and reorganise the British Army after the Second Boer War.
Towards the end of his reign he tried to preserve peace in Europe (winning him the nickname "Edward the Peacemaker"). At home, however, things weren't so peaceful, wtih a crisis brewing over the power of the unelected House of Lords. He died before the crisis could be resolved and left the problem to his son, George V, to deal with!