King Edward VII: Evil Demiurge of The Triple Entente and World War

by Webster Tarpley

Printed in the The American Almanac, May 8, 1995

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For long years, King Edward wove, with masterly skill, the Nessus robe that was to destroy the German Hercules.--Leipziger Neuste Nachrichten, after the death of Edward VII, May 1910.
What neither Azincourt nor Poitiers could do, the genius of Edward VII realized.--Emile Flourens, La France Conquise, 1906
There are no frictions between us, there is only rivalry.--Edward VII to State Secretary von Tschirschky of the German Foreign Ministry, at the Cronberg Anglo-German summit, 1906

The Triple Entente is the name given to the alliance among Great Britain, France, and Russia which was formed during the first decade of this century, and which led to the outbreak of the First World War. This Triple Entente was the personal creation of King Edward VII of Britain.

It was King Edward who set up the British alliance with Japan, the Russo-Japanese War, and the 1905 Russian Revolution. It was King Edward VII, acting as the autocrat of British foreign policy, who engineered the Entente Cordiale between Britain and France in 1903-04, and who then went on to seal the fateful British-Russian Entente of 1907. It was King Edward who massaged Theodore Roosevelt and other American leaders to help bring about the U.S.-U.K. ``special relationship,'' which dates from the time of his reign. This diplomatic work was masterminded and carried out by King Edward VII personally, with the various British ministers, cabinets, round tables, and other apparatus merely following in his wake. Edward had a geopolitical vision in the Venetian tradition, and it was one of brutal simplicity: the encirclement of Germany with a hostile coalition, followed by a war of annihilation in which many of Britain's erstwhile ``allies''--notably France and Russia--would also be decimated and crippled.

Edward VII died in May 1910, before he could see his life's work carried through to completion. But he had created the war alliance of Britain, France, Russia, and Japan, with support from the United States, that would take the field in August 1914. He had created the nightmare world of crossed mobilizations among Germany, France, and Russia. And he had created a network of cothinkers, agents, and dupes in every chancery in England, Europe, and America, who would, when the time came, push the mobilization buttons and launch the war. The madmen of 1914--Sir Edward Grey, Izvolski, Sazonov, Delcassé, Clemenceau, Poincaré--were all agents of Edward VII's influence. It was Edward's crowd that made sure that the lights went out across Europe, not to be re-illuminated for a generation and more.

Edward VII was also Casanova with a crown, a satyr and sodomist on the throne of England, the royal rake of Edwardian legend. All of this provides useful insight, but is finally beside the point. Edward VII, far more than any other single human being, was the author of the First World War, and thus brought about what is probably the most destructive single event in the history of western civilization. Without Edward's exertions, the war could never have occurred.

Edward VII, Autocrat

Edward VII has been hailed by the British as the greatest political activist of the House of Windsor, and as the greatest monarch since William the Conqueror in 1066. He represents the case in which the monarch and the leader of the oligarchy are united in the same person. The result was an autocrat more absolute than the kaiser or the czar.

Edward VII's role as dictator of British foreign policy before the war, although denied by recent biographers, was a matter of common knowledge through the 1920s. During the last months of Edward's life, Robert Blatchford, the editor of the Clarion, wrote in the Daily Mail of Dec. 14, 1909 that:

``The king and his councellors have strained every nerve to establish Ententes with Russia and with Italy; and have formed an Entente with France, and as well with Japan. Why? To isolate Germany.'' (Farrer, p.|261)
J.A. Farrer, writing after the cataclysm of World War I, commented that Edward's:
``whole reign was a preparation and education for a war accepted as inevitable.... It is now plain that [Edward's] policy, though achieving peace in some directions, was in essence a policy of war, and one that ended in war. The panic of a German invasion, sustained by the Press during the whole decade, failed of such discouragement as might have prevented a needless enmity to arise between us and Germany. The king seems to have shared the popular belief in the will and power of Germany to invade us.'' (Farrer, p.|5, pp.|261-262)
The leading ambassadors and ministers of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs clearly recorded their understanding of Edward's project. Here is the view of Baron Greindl, the Belgian ambassador to Berlin, as expressed in April 1906:
``One is driven to the conclusion that British foreign policy is directed by the king in person ... there is undoubtedly in England a court policy pursued outside and alongside that of the government.''
In 1907 Greindl added:
``The king of England's visit to the king of Spain is one of the moves in the campaign to isolate Germany that is being personally directed with as much perseverance as success by his Majesty King Edward VII.'' (Middlemas, pp.|173-174)
Austrian sources confirm the essential view of Edward the Encircler (Eduard der Einkreiser) as the architect of the Entente system. The following example is from the Vienna Neue Freie Presse of April 15, 1907, and came in response to Edward VII's overtures to Russia:
``Who can fail to receive the impression that a diplomatic duel is being fought out between England and Germany under the eyes of the world. The king of England ... is no longer afraid of appearing to throw the whole influence of his personality into the scales whenever it is a question of thwarting the aims of German policy. The meeting at Gaeta [of Edward VII with the king of Italy] is another fact connected with the burning jealousy between England and Germany. Already people are asking themselves everywhere: `What is the meaning of this continual political labor, carried on with open recklessness, whose object is to put a close ring around Germany?'|'' (Brooke-Shepherd, p.|283)
Born in 1841, Edward VII had the typical Saxe-Coburg-Gotha mug, like the current heir apparent. Edward VII was a pupil of Lord Palmerston, with whom he discussed a Russian alliance during the mid-1860s. The young Edward was also close to Palmerston's stooge Napoleon III, and the Empress Eugénie.

In that 1866 war, Edward's mother, Queen Victoria, sympathized with Prussia. But Edward supported Austria, even when Austria was crushed by Prussia at Königgrätz. In 1866, Edward favored what he called an Anglo-French Entente to contain Prussia. This was already the germ of the London-Paris Entente Cordiale of nearly 40 years later. Hostility to Prussia and later to Germany is thus the one fixed point of Edward VII's career. What is reflected here is classical Venetian geopolitics as applied by the British. For centuries, London's maxim has been to ally with the second strongest continental power to destroy the strongest continental power. Until 1870, the British perceived Russia to be the strongest land power. In the 1870s that abruptly changed with the emergence of a united Germany. Edward VII was quicker than other elements of the British oligarchy to take note of that momentous shift.

Edward visited Canada and the United States in the fall of 1860, helping to give a final push to secession and civil war. In 1862 he was in Egypt and the Middle East. In 1875-76 Edward visited India, where he helped to prepare the Afghan war of 1878, which was waged against the influence of Russia. One of the members of Edward's party on this tour was his fellow rake, lifelong friend, and political ally, Lord Carrington.

Queen Victoria: Mrs. John Brown

Edward's apprenticeship for the monarchy was a long one. In 1861 his father, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, died. Edward's mother, Queen Victoria, went into deep mourning and did not emerge from it during the 40 remaining years of her life. The queen was an occultist, as befits a royal house which has always been dominated by Venetians.

Queen Victoria retreated to her castle at Balmoral in the Scottish highlands, 500 miles north of London. The court was organized as a death cult, with every pretense that Albert was still alive. His laundry had to be done, and his nightgown laid out every night. Hot water was brought to his room every morning, and the chamberpot cleaned. There were two guest books, one for the queen, one for Albert, and so on. Victoria made repeated attempts to contact the shade of Prince Albert in the underworld--or the beyond--and these became the origins of the modern British occult bureau. As a result of these seances, the queen became convinced that her Scottish gillie--or attendant--John Brown--was a powerful medium through whom the spirit of Albert addressed her. Gossip seeped out from Balmoral to London that John Brown was ``the queen's stallion,'' granted every conjugal privilege, including adjoining bedrooms far from the ladies-in-waiting. A pamphlet about the queen appeared entitled ``Mrs. John Brown.'' Victoria was very like Miss Habisham of Satis House in the Dickens novel Great Expectations. This was the woman for whom time had stopped when she had lost her husband. When we factor in the frequent orders made for opium and heroin at the local Balmoral pharmacy, we get a picture of Victoria's life in the Highlands. Prim and straightlaced it was not.

Edward the Caresser

When Edward VII married, he chose Princess Alexandra of the Danish Royal House, who had her own anti-German revanche complex because of Bismarck's war against Denmark in 1864. Victoria remained in mourning, gazing at a marble bust of Albert. Victoria refused to appear at state occasions, so Edward had to assume these functions, for 40 years. Edward set up a household in Marlborough House in London, and began his career as a royal rake. He became the undisputed leader of British high society. Hence the Edwardian legend of the sybaritic hedonist and sex maniac whose mistresses included Lillie Langtry, Daisy Countess of Warwick, Lady Brooke, Mrs. George Keppel, and others too numerous to mention. Some of the can-can dancers painted by Toulouse-Lautrec had been Edward's girlfriends.

There was a fling with Sarah Bernhardt, the French actress. When Bernhardt was playing in ``Fedora'' in Paris, Edward told her that he had always wanted to be an actor. The next night, in the scene in which Fedora comes upon the dead body of her lover, few recognized the heir to the British throne: Edward VII had made his stage debut as a cadaver.

Edward's home at Marlborough House in London was also a center of the ``Homintern.'' One of Edward's friends, Lord Arthur Somerset--known to his friends as Podge--was arrested during a police raid in one of London's numerous homosexual brothels. A satire of Edward was written in the style of Tennyson's ``Idylls of the King.'' This was called ``Guelpho the Gay--the Coming K.'' Some recalled a predecessor on the throne, Edward the Confessor. This future king was to go down as Edward the Caresser.

Prince Felix Yussupov was the heir to the biggest fortune in Russia. He was also considered the most beautiful transvestite in Europe. One evening Yussupov, dressed as a woman, attended the theater in Paris. He noted a portly, whiskered gentleman ogling him through an opera glass from one of the box seats. Within minutes, Yussupov received a mash note signed King Edward VII. Remember that Yussupov is the man who assassinated Rasputin, the holy man and reputed German agent, in December 1916, detonating the Russian Revolution a few months later. Here we see the great political importance of King Edward's Homintern.

The House of Jack the Ripper

Edward VII's first son was Prince Albert Victor Edward, known in the family as Prince Eddy and formally as the Duke of Clarence and Avondale. Prince Eddy, like his father, had been considered mentally impaired in his youth.

Prince Eddy was arrested at least once in a homosexual brothel. His main claim to fame today is that he is the prime suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders. This grisly series of crimes involved the murder of five prostitutes in the Whitechapel-Spitalfields slum of London in 1888-89. At the time of the murders, rumors abounded of the involvement of a member of the royal family, and of an obscure background of freemasonic intrigue. The papers of the attending physician of the royal family indicate that he had indeed treated Jack the Ripper. A number of exhaustive studies have concluded that this was Prince Eddy. According to some versions, Prince Eddy had contracted syphilis during a trip to the West Indies during his youth, and this had affected his brain. According to others, Prince Eddy was part of a homosexual clique that killed because they hated women. There is no doubt that Prince Eddy answered to the best available description of the Ripper. Young Prince Eddy conveniently died a few years after the Ripper murders ceased.

A quarter of a century ago, a British physician came forward with evidence supporting the thesis that Jack the Ripper was Prince Eddy. A wire service dispatch from Nov. 1, 1970 sums up the allegations made at that time:

``LONDON, Nov. 1 (AP)--The Sunday Times expressed belief today that Jack the Ripper, infamous London murderer of nearly 100 years ago, was Edward, Duke of Clarence, grandson of Queen Victoria and older brother of George V. The Times was commenting on the statement of an eminent British surgeon who said that the Ripper `was the heir to power and wealth.' The surgeon, Thomas E.A. Stowell, while claiming to know who the criminal was, refused to identify him in an article to be published tomorrow in The Criminologist.... The Sunday Times, in commenting on Dr. Stowell's article, said there was one name that fitted his evidence. It said: `It is a sensational name: Edward, Duke of Clarence, grandson of Queen Victoria, brother of George V, and heir to the throne of England. All the points of Dr. Stowell's story fit this man.'|'' (Spierig, p.|11)
Shortly after having published his article in The Criminologist and thus made his allegations public, Dr. Stowell wrote a letter to the London Times in which he disavowed any intention of identifying Prince Eddy or any other member of the royal family as Jack the Ripper. In this letter Stowell signed himself as ``a loyalist and a Royalist.'' Stowell died mysteriously one day after this letter appeared, and his family promptly burned all his papers.

An American study of the Jack the Ripper mystery was authored by the forensic psychiatrist David Abrahamsen, who sums up his own conclusions as follows:

``It is an analysis of the psychological parameters that enabled me to discover that the Ripper murders were perpetrated by Prince Eddy and J.K. Stephen.'' (Abrahamsen, pp.|103-104)
J.K. Stephen had been chosen as a tutor for Prince Eddy, who was mentally impaired. Stephen was a homosexual, was the son of the pathological woman-hater Fitzjames Stephen. J.K. Stephen's uncle was Sir Leslie Stephen, the writer. There is evidence that J.K. Stephen sexually molested his cousin, best known today by her married name, Virginia Woolf, the novelist. This experience may be related to Virginia Woolf's numerous suicide attempts.

While he was at Cambridge, Prince Eddy was a member of the Apostles secret society. Abrahamsen quotes a maxim of the Apostles:

``The love of man for man is greater than that of man for woman, a philosophy known to the Apostles as the higher sodomy.'' (p.|123)
Prince Eddy died on Jan. 14, 1892. J.K. Stephen died in a sanitarium on Feb. 3, 1892.

Prince Eddy's younger brother, the later George V, assumed his place in the succession, married Eddy's former fiancée, Princess May of Teck, and became the father of the Nazi King Edward VIII. If the persistent reports are true, the great-uncle of the current queen was the homicidal maniac Jack the Ripper. Perhaps the recurring dispute about what to call the British royal house--Hanover, Windsor, Guelph, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, etc.--could be simplified by calling it the House of Jack the Ripper.

Of the existence of a coverup there can be no doubt. One of the main saboteurs of the investigation was a certain Gen. Sir Charles Warren, the chief of the London Metropolitan Police. Warren suppressed evidence, had witnesses intimidated, and was forced to resign amidst a public outcry about masonic conspiracy. Warren was the master of a new freemasonic lodge that had recently been created in London. This was the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, number 2076 of the Scottish rite. The Quatuor Coronati lodge had been founded in 1884 with a warrant from the Grand Master of British freemasonry, who happened to be Edward VII.


During these years, Edward VII built up an unparalleled personal network of politicians and others who owed their careers to him. They are historically significant because they constituted the international war party up through 1914, and have remained in power through two world wars and the cold war, into the Balkan crisis of the 1990s.

The Churchill family

One of the habitués of Edward's Marlborough House fast set and a rising member of Parliament during the Disraeli era of the 1870s was Lord Randolph Churchill. Randolph was clearly headed for a great political career when he died of syphilis. Randolph's son was Sir Winston Churchill, who was promoted by Edward VII to a post in the Privy Council. Winston considered himself King Edward's protégé; Edward had urged him to pursue a career in politics and writing. For a time Winston sent the king a daily letter summing up the activities of the House of Commons.

The Chamberlains

Another of Edward's most important political operatives was Joseph Chamberlain. Chamberlain had been mayor of Birmingham and known for his anti-royaltist rhetoric, but he soon became a member of the Marlborough House set. When Edward VII wanted to start the Boer War, he did so through Joseph Chamberlain, who was the Colonial Secretary between 1895 and 1903, serving for years in Lord Salisbury's cabinet. Chamberlain was an architect of the Fashoda crisis with France and of the Boer War. Chamberlain was also the point man for Edward's deception operation of an alliance with Germany. Edward also used Chamberlain to propose the Entente Cordiale to the French. Those who don't know Joseph Chamberlain may know his son, the later Prime Minister Sir Neville Chamberlain, the author of the Munich sellout of 1938.

Sir Edward Grey

A family servant of Edward VII was Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary who actually started World War I. Grey's father was an army officer who had joined the household of Edward when he was Prince of Wales. The elder Grey was an equerry, or master of the royal horses. Edward was Lord Grey's godfather. Edward did the travelling, while Grey stayed in the Foreign Office to do the clerking. Grey's problem later, in August 1914, was to make Germany think that England would not go to war until the war had actually started. This he did with the help of Edward's surviving son, George V. At the same time, Grey had to convince the Russians and the French that Britain would indeed honor the Triple Entente and go to war in support of Russian aggression. In his effort to start the war, Grey also had to lie to his own prime minister and cabinet. He finally had to sell the entire result to the House of Commons. Grey was Perfide Albion with an Edwardian pedigree.

Adm. Jackie Fisher

A leading proponent of preventive war against Germany was Edward's protégé Adm. Jackie Fisher, the man who introduced the new battleship called the Dreadnought. Fisher owed his entire career to Edward's patronage. As First Sea Lord after 1904, Fisher was constantly talking about the need for a sneak attack to destroy the German Navy. He called this the need to ``Copenhagen'' the German fleet, referring to British attacks on the Danish fleet in Copenhagen harbor during the Napoleonic wars. Fisher caused a war scare in November 1904, during frictions with Germany involving the Russo-Japanese war. At this time, his demand for Copenhagening leaked out. During the first Moroccan crisis of 1905, Fisher was at it again, telling Edward that the Royal Navy could ``have the German fleet, the Kiel canal, and Schleswig-Holstein within a fortnight.'' (Magnus, p.|340) In the Balkan crisis of 1908, Fisher again called for Copenhagening. Fisher once expressed his gratitude to Edward for protecting him from his many enemies who, he said, ``would have eaten me but for Your Majesty.'' (Magnus, p.|442)

Nobody in Europe, not the Austrian crazies Berchtold and Hoetzendorf, not the even crazier Russian Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich, was so outspoken a warmonger as Fisher.

Sir Ernest Cassell

Sir Ernest Cassell typified another group that Edward VII cultivated assiduously: Jewish bankers. As Prince of Wales, Edward had to live on a limited allowance, and he was deeply in debt. Edward accordingly allowed a series of Jewish bankers to buy their way to presentability at court by their benvolent management of his personal finances, with the proviso that Edward would always make a handsome profit. The first of Edward's financial advisers was Baron von Hirsch of Vienna. Then came Sir Ernst Cassell, knighted by Edward. Edward also cultivated the Rothschild and Sassoon families. In short, Edward's personal household finance agency was identical with the leading lights of turn-of-the-century Zionism. Cassell was also a political operative for Edward, becoming the head of the Ottoman National Bank--the Banque Ottomane--at the request of the Young Turk regime in 1909.

Battenbergs and Bastards

Edward was also a close friend of Prince Louis of Battenberg, who married Princess Victoria, the daughter of Edward's late sister Alice, in 1884. This marks the entrance of the Mountbatten family, including Lord Louis and Prince Philip, onto the British royal scene. Asquith, Balfour, and Lloyd George were all more or less Edward's stooges. Edward's influence also lived on through his bastards, one of whom, Sir Stewart Menzies, was a boss of British secret intelligence who betrayed vital U.S. secrets to the Soviets.

Georges Clemenceau

Edward's French network was extensive, and included royalists and oligarchs. The common denominator of Edward's network was la revanche, the need for France to exact vengeance from Germany for the loss of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine in 1871. The central figure was a leftish radical, Georges ``Tiger'' Clemenceau, France's wartime premier and the chairman of the Peace Conference at Versailles. Clemenceau's talents for overthrowing governments gave the Third French Republic some of its proverbial instability. Clemenceau was attacked from 1892 on as a British agent and paid spy of the British Embassy.

Former French Foreign Minister Emile Flourens saw that the Dreyfus affair was concocted by Edward VII and his agents in order to break French institutional resistance to a dictatorial regime of Clemenceau. Flourens wrote that:

``Clemenceau is the pro-consul of the English king, charged with the administration of his province of the Gauls.'' (Flourens, 1906)
Flourens argued that the friends of the late French leader Leon Gambetta were determined to resist Clemenceau. At the same time, in Flourens's view, the French Army simply hated Clemenceau. According to Flourens, Edward VII used the 1890s Panama scandal to wreck the Gambetta political machine, and then unleashed the Dreyfus affair in order to break the resistance of the French Army to Clemenceau.

Flourens also showed how Edward VII was the mastermind of the post-1904 anti-clerical hysteria in France, which included the confiscation of Catholic Church property and the the break of diplomatic relations with the Holy See. For Flourens, Edward VII was seeking to shut down the French Catholic foreign missions, which had proved a barrier to British colonial expansion. Edward VII's ultimate goal was to create a schismatic church in France on the Anglican or Presbyterian model, wrote Flourens.

``As the schism in England dates from the reign of Henry VIII, so the schism in France will date from the reign of Edward VII.'' (Flourens, pp.|155-156)

Théophile Delcassé

Delcassé was Edward's partner in the British-French Entente Cordiale of 1903-04. Delcassé had taken office in the British-French confrontation around the Fashoda crisis, when London and Paris had been on the verge of war. Delcassé's view was that France could survive only as a very junior partner of the British.

When Kaiser Wilhelm made his famous visit to Tangier, Morocco in March 1905, France and Germany came to the brink of war. At this time, Edward VII was vacationing on board his yacht in the Mediterranean. During the debate on the Moroccan question in the French National Assembly in April 1905, Delcassé came under heavy attack because of his refusal to seek a modus vivendi with Germany; one of Delcassé's severest critics was the socialist leader Jean Jaurès. When Delcassé was about to be forced into resignation, Edward VII docked his yacht, the Victoria and Albert, at Algiers, and asked the French governor-general to send a telegram to Paris. This was a personal messge to Delcassé dated April 23 in which Edward announced that he would be ``personally distressed'' if Delcassé were to leave office. Edward ``strongly urged'' Delcassé to remain in office, because of his great political influence but also because of England. As in the case of Alexander Izvolski, Edward VII was not reticent about standing up for his own puppets.

But it became clear that Delcassé had been acting as Edward's minister, not the republic's, and that he had been lying to his ministerial colleagues about the actual danger of war with Germany. Delcassé fell as foreign minister, but stayed on in other posts. Other members of Edward's network in France included Paul Cambon, for many years the French ambassador in London, and Raymond Poincaré, the wartime President and a leading warmonger.

Alexander Izvolski

``A plumpish, dandified man, he wore a pearl pin in his white waistcoat, affected white spats, carried a lorgnette, and always trailed a faint touch of violet eau de cologne.''
So wrote a contemporary of Alexander Petrovich Izvolski, the Russian foreign minister who was Edward's partner for the Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907, which completed the encirclement of Germany. Edward first proposed the Anglo-Russian Entente to Izvolski in 1904, and at that point Izvolski entered Edward's personal service. Izvolski was made Russian foreign minister in May 1906, after Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War; he served under Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin. With Izvolski, Russian diplomacy gave up all interest in the Far East, made deals with the British for Iran, Afghanistan, and Tibet, and concentrated everything on expansion in the Balkans--the approach that was to lead straight to world war.

When Izvolski's position as Russian foreign minister became weakened as a result of his Buchlau bargain adventure, Edward VII took the singular step of writing to Czar Nicholas II to endorse the further tenure in office of his own agent. Edward wrote:

``You know how anxious I am for the most friendly relations between Russia and England, not only in Asia but also in Europe, and I feel confident that through M. Izvolski these hopes will be realized.'' (Middlemas, p.|170)

Izvolski had to settle for Russia's embassy in Paris, where he used a special fund to bribe the Paris press to write that France should go to war. In July 1914, Izvolski ran around yelling that it was his war. As Lord Bertie, the British ambassador to Paris, confided to his diary:

``What a fool Izvolski is! ... At the beginning of the war he claimed to be its author: C'est ma guerre!'' (Fay, I, p. 29)

Izvolski was succeeded as Russian foreign minister by Sazonov, another British agent who played a key role in starting the fateful Russian mobilization of July 1914.

Theodore Roosevelt

Edward VII's favorite pen pal was U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, who was handled from day to day by Cecil Spring-Rice of Sir Edward Grey's Foreign Office. Edward can hardly have been ignorant of the British role in the assassination of President William McKinley. Starting in 1904, Edward wrote Teddy letters about how the two of them had been placed in command ``of the two great branches of the Anglo-Saxon race.'' Teddy wrote back about the need for ``understanding between the English-speaking peoples,'' and discussing his race theories about ``our stock.'' Teddy wrote to Edward his view that ``the real interests of the English-speaking peoples are one, alike in the Atlantic and the Pacific.'' Roosevelt served Edward's goals in his mediation of the Russo-Japanese War, in his support for the British at the Algeciras Conference, and in raising naval disarmament at the Hague Conference. Behind his back, Edward's envoys mocked the U.S. President as a semi-savage who gave primitive lunches at Oyster Bay. Later, Sir Edward Grey exerted a decisive influence on Woodrow Wilson through the intermediary of his key adviser, Col. Edward House.

Edward was called the Uncle of Europe--Uncle Bertie--because so many of Queen Victoria's other children married into the various royal houses, making one European royal family. This, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany was Edward's nephew. Czar Nicholas II was also his nephew, married to Edward's wife's niece. After 40 years as Prince of Wales, Edward knew Europe like a book. He was personally acquainted with every crowned head, every prominent statesman and minister, and

``he could accurately gauge their influence, their processes of thought, their probable action in a given emergency.''

Ideological manipulation

Emile Flourens found that Edward owed his triumphs primarily to himself, to his
``profound knowledge of the human heart and the sagacity with which he could sort out the vices and weaknesses of individuals and peoples and make these into the worst and most destructive of weapons against them.''
Edward's empire was built on ``eternal human folly,'' on the ``intellectual and moral degradation'' of the subject populations. Flourens praised Edward's practical understanding of French ideology. Edward knew how to exploit the chauvinism of the Alsace-Lorraine revanchards to incite France against Germany. He knew how to play upon the fascination of the Russian slavophiles with the Greater Serbia agitation in the Balkans. He knew how to use the hatred of the Italian irredentisti against Austria to detach Italy from the pro-German Triple Alliance. He knew how to drive wedges between Germany and Austria by evoking Vienna's resentments of the 1866 war and Prussian preeminence, and their fear of Serbia. He could exploit an American racist's eagerness to be, like the king, a member of a mythical Anglo-Saxon race. He could use the aspirations of Japanese militarists, for the greater glory of the British Empire. Much of Edward's personal magnetism was exercised during his incessant state visits, where he was able to unleash highly orchestrated outbursts of ``Bertiemania.'' Those who recall the equally implausible Gorbymania of some years back will find the phenomenon familiar.

Kaiser Wilhelm II

Edward's mastery of psychological and ideological manipulation is most evident in his relation with his pathetic and unstable nephew, Kaiser Wilhelm. Edward made a detailed study of Willy's psychological profile, which he knew to be pervaded by feelings of inferiority and incurable anglophilia. As Flourens noted:
``Edward VII made an in-depth study of the defects of Wilhelm II. He counted them as his most precious allies.'' (Flourens, p.|58)
The British and Entente demonization of Wilhelm as the world's chief warmonger was always absurd. Wilhelm felt inferior to British royalty. Wilhelm's greatest secret desire was for acceptance by the British royals. Edward could modulate his own behavior to get the desired result from the kaiser. If he wanted a public tantrum, he could get that. One British writer, Legge, reports that Edward punched the kaiser and knocked him down in a meeting.

But if Edward needed to be friendly, he could do that too. During the Boer War, in November 1899, when Britain's diplomatic isolation was at its height, Edward was able to con the kaiser into making a state visit to Britain. The Boxer Rebellion in China, with its overtone of white racial solidarity against the ``yellow peril,'' was also made to order for duping the kaiser. In Wilhelm's dockside harangue to the German contingent setting out for Peking, he urged his soldiers on to cruelty against the Chinese:

``Give no quarter! Take no prisoners! Kill him when he falls into your hands! Even as, a thousand years ago, the Huns under their King Attila made such a name for themselves as still resounds in terror through legend and fable, so may the name of Germans resound through Chinese history a thousand years from now.'' (Cowles, p.|177)
This ``Huns'' speech has provided grist for the London propaganda mill for almost a century, from World War I to the Margaret Thatcher-Nicholas Ridley ``Fourth Reich'' hysteria of 1989. Not just once, but again and again, the kaiser muffed opportunities to checkmate Edward's plans.

Edward also played on the kaiser to sabotage the Berlin to Baghdad railway. At Windsor Castle in 1907, Edward demanded that the British keep control of a section of the railway between Baghdad and the Persian Gulf as a ``gate,'' supposedly to block German troops going to India. The kaiser was ready to grant such a gate. Otherwise, Edward demanded that all talks about the Baghdad railway should be four-way, with France, Russia, Britain, and Germany involved, so that German proposals would always be voted down 3 to 1.

When the war was finally over, and the kaiser had lost his throne, the f