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One of the most popular of all English rulers, Edward VII, born Albert Edward (1841-1910), succeeded his mother, Queen Victoria, as the King of Great Britain after her death in 1901. As the Prince of Wales, he was the heir apparent to the throne longer than any other individual. As King, Edward oversaw the reorganization of the British army and reform of its medical wing. He modernized the British Navy, and he instilled good relations with most of Europe--particularly with France, but failing with Germany and its ruler, his nephew Wilhelm II. He reinstituted many traditional ceremonies that Queen Victoria had discontinued. Although rarely interested in political matters, he took an interest in social reform, personally socializing with Jewish friends and denouncing the then common usage of the word "nigger." Edward was nicknamed the "Uncle of Europe," since he was related to rulers of many countries, including Russia, Hesse, Spain, Sweden, Romania, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal and Bulgaria.
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