King Edward the Seventh, in a sixty years' tenure of the difficult position of Heir to the British Throne, built into the history of his country and Empire a record of which he and his people had every reason to be proud. He had for many years the responsibilities of a Royal position without the actual power; the public functions of a great ruler without the resources usually available; the knowledge, experience and statecraft of a wise Sovereign without Regal environment.
rations have had great weight but so also has the traditional and actual power of the Monarchy in moulding institutions and ideas during a thousand years of history. To a much greater extent than is generally understood in these democratic days has this latter influence been a factor. Through nearly all British history the Sovereign has either represented the popular instincts of the time or else led in the direction of extended territory and power under the individual influence of royal valour or statecraft. The history of England has not, of course, been confined to the biography of its Kings or Queens, but it would be as absurd to trace those annals without extended study of the rulers and their characters as it would be to write the records without reference to the people and popular progress. And the Monarchy has done much for the British Isles. Its influence has effected their whole national life in war and in peace, in religion and in morals, in literature and in art. The individual achievements and ac
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