Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pets of the Belle Époque: King Edward VII’s Dog, Caesar

"I am Caesar.  I belong to the King."

I'm repeating portions of this article from 2010 because, well, I'm particularly fond of the story of Edward VII and his terrier buddy.  I have updated this article quite a lot and added many new images as well as film footage from Edward VII's 1910 funeral procession.

Caesar, The Royal Collection
King Edward VII, son of Queen Victoria, was a great lover of dogs. He kept many dogs as companions and for sport, however, his favorite was a Wire Fox Terrier named Caesar. Caesar was King Edward’s constant companion. When the king traveled both in England, and abroad, he always brought Caesar with him. Caesar, being a terrier, had a mind of his own and was known to get into mischief from time-to-time. That only made the King love him more.

Caesar and Edward VII
The Royal Collection
Caesar wore a jaunty little collar with a gold tag which read. “I am Caesar. I belong to the King.” The tag served useful when Caesar invariably ran off in search of adventure—something he did quite often. Once, in fact, the entire Marienbad Police Force was dispatched to find Caesar after he had darted into the woods. While Caesar was perfect in the King’s eyes, when he would visit friends, his hosts often found the dog to be rather “stinky.”

Such a beloved pet, Caesar was immortalized in a jeweled sculpture created by Carl Fabergé which was given as gift from the King to his wife Queen Alexandra. Made of enameled chalcedony, the figure featured a gold collar and ruby eyes.

Figure of Caesar by Fabergé 
Jackson's World
In 1910, upon the death of the King, Caesar was reportedly broken hearted. The terrier walked in the King’s funeral procession—behind the carriage holding the casket. The sculpture atop the tomb of Edward VII depicts Caesar curled up at the King’s feet.

The British people felt a deep sympathy for Caesar and his bereavement. His image graced many postcards and a book was written “by Caesar” following the King’s death entitled, “Where’s Master?” The frontispiece of the book reads as follows:

We’ve come to the end of the journey.
They say I can’t follow Master any further.
They say there are no little dogs where master has gone.
...But, I know better.

Caesar in the King's Funeral Procession
The Royal Collection

Caesar's Book
Jackson's World
Upon the King’s death, Caesar stayed close to Queen Alexandra. When he passed away, she described him as her greatest comfort during a time of great loneliness. Caesar was a noble and royal companion who just happened to have a royal master.

The Queen made sure that Caesar was given a tomb of his own which befitted his noble spirit.

When the tomb of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra was unveiled in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in 1927, the Royal Family was pleased to see that sculptor Bertram Mackennal placed Caesar back in his rightful place at the feet of the King.

Caesar as depicted on the tomb at St. George's Chapel
A View of the Tomb of Edward VII and Alexandra taken just after the unveiling in 1927
Another View of Edward VII's Funeral Procession.
Caesar is shown by the black arrow.


Where's Master?

1 comment:

Shawn said...

So sweet...such a wonderful little doggy. I think that doggies are the only creatures on this earth that have the ability to give unconditional love and loyalty. :)