The Kings

5 Apr

Barbara W. Tuchman, in her highly influential The Guns of August (1962), takes as her prologue the funeral rites of Britain’s King Edward VII.  The funeral brought together dozens of heads-of-state from across the world, and occasioned one of the single largest gatherings of royalty in history.  It has never been equaled since, and I should be very surprised to learn that it had been dwarfed by anything before.

It was during this funerary gathering that this remarkable photograph was taken, at Windsor in May of 1910:

Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, King Ferdinand of Bulgaria, King Manuel of Portugal, Kaiser Wilhelm II of the German Empire, King George I of Greece and King Albert I of the Belgium.

Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V of Great Britain and King Frederick VIII of Denmark.

There almost appears to be a certain wariness on Albert’s face — perhaps rightly so.

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