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Edward VII Kenya stamps     1901  -  1910

Edward was sixty when his mother died and he became King. He had never been allowed by Victoria to have any part in affairs of state, and his main interests were sport and travel. He knew every important man and every ruling monarch in Europe, and was quite at home in many continental capitals. Edward has been called the Peacemaker, and he did a great deal to bring about real friendship between England and France. This was to be severely tested within a few years of his death. Edward's common sense, and his habit of mixing freely with the people, made him a popular king.
The first ten years of the 20th century were socially gay. England was wealthy and at peace. London was the centre of the world, and English goods were sought after everywhere. Riches poured into the country from the vast Empire. One event, perhaps more than any other, gave a hint of what was to come. On July 25th, 1909, a Frenchman named Bleriot flew across the English Channel in a very simple and primitive aeroplane. This meant that England could no longer be protected by the ships which, age after age, had been built for her defence.