It was the Queen’s official birthday this weekend and it was celebrated with a service at St Paul’s cathedral followed by the Trooping the Colour on Horse Guards Parade. The finale of the celebrations was a giant street party on the Mall.

Queen Elizabeth II is the great- granddaughter of Edward VII [1901-1940] who inherited the crown from his mother, Queen Victoria. Edward, known to his family as Bertie, became a self-indulgent playboy who loved racing, shooting and socialising. One of his mistresses was Alice Keppel, the great-grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Mordecai, Joseph; Edward VII (1841-1910); Herbert Art Gallery & Museum;


This was the last portrait of Edward VII painted by Joseph Mordecai, [1851-1941] a famous Jewish artist, who was a great portrait painter of his day. He studied at the R.A Schools and exhibited at the Royal Academy and Suffolk Street and elsewhere. He was a double medallist at the RA and his works are held at the National Portrait Gallery and in other London collections.


  • Joseph Mordecai 1851-1940
  • Portrait of a girl
  • Oil on Canvas. Signed
  • 61cm x50.5 cm

In the last years of Edward VII life his favourite dog was a wire fox terrier named Caesar. He was given to the King by the Duchess of Newcastle and was known officially as Caesar of Notts. He was inseparable from the king and travelled everywhere with him. He had a footman assigned to him and was allowed to sleep on a chair by the Kings bed. Even a Faberge model was made of Caesar from chalcedony, rubies, enamel and gold. He had a collar made for him that read: “I am Caesar. I belong to the King”. However, some courtiers, including his wife, found the dog a little difficult to cope with and some referred to him as “Stinky “.

After the death of the King in 1910 Caesar refused to eat and pined for his Master. Queen Alexandra felt sorry for him and encouraged him to eat and helped to restore him to good health.


Caesar attended the funeral of Edward VII and led the procession ahead of the Heads of state including George V and eight other kings. The Daily Mail wrote an article on the massive effect it had taking Caesar before the crowned heads of Europe. After the funeral an unofficial book was published called “Where’s Master?” giving a first person account of Caesar and the King’s death. The Steiff Company also produced stuffed toys modelled on Caesar.

Caesar didn’t outlive the king by very long and died following an operation in 1914. The inscription on his tombstone reads: “Our beloved Caesar who was the King’s Faithful and Constant Companion until Death and My Greatest Comforter in my Loneliness and Sorrow for Four Years after. Died April 18th 1914”.

After the King’s death Maud Earl painted a portrait of the dog entitled “Silent sorrow” featuring Caesar resting his head on the King’s favourite chair.

silent sorrow
Silent Sorrow by Maud Earl 1910, American Kennel Club
 Maud Alice Earl [1864-1943], was an eminent British/American dog painter. She was born in London, the daughter of artist George Earl and his first wife. Her father George, her Uncle Thomas and her brother Percy were all painters of note. George Earl was his daughter’s first teacher and passed on a great knowledge of anatomy. Afterwards Maud went on to study at the Royal Female School of Art. Maud Earl was an extremely successful Victorian artist whose patrons included Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra. She died in New York in 1943 and is buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, New York. Below is a beautiful painting done by her father of Caesar.


  • George Earl 1824-1908
  • Caesar
  • Oil on canvas. Signed
  • 20cm x 25cm

George Earl, a London artist, was an early member of the Kennel Club and he is chiefly remembered for his dog paintings. He exhibited 19 paintings at the R.A between 1857- 1882, some of which sit at the Kennel Club. He also painted two very famous railway platform pictures, “King’s cross-Going North” and “Perth Station – Coming South”.

Queen Elizabeth is just as fond of her dogs as her Great- Grandfather was and her Corgis and Dorgis are a familiar sight at the Palace. The Queen has loved dogs from being a young child, once stating “My corgis are family”. This photograph was taken of the Queen with her dogs to mark her ninetieth birthday.

Her Majesty with two corgis Willow and Holly and two dorgis Candy and Vulcan. Photo by Annie Leibovitz



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