worthing history
 

© FREDDIE FEEST 2012

 
Edward VII
 
       
 
Edward VII
Edward VII

MOST British sovereigns in the past 200 years visited Worthing prior to, or during their reign. Sometimes the visits lasted only a few minutes, such as the two made by Queen Victoria in the mid-1800s. On both occasions travelling with the Prince Consort, she briefly paused at the Marine Hotel on the seafront for refreshment and to water the horses pulling the royal carriage from Brighton to Arundel Castle.

But which sovereign was the most frequent visitor to the town, stayed the longest and even considered living here?

Beach House worthing
Beach House, Worthing

    The little-known answer is King Edward VII. During his brief reign (1901-1910) he came no less than six times, always unofficially, to visit his good friend Sir Edmund Loder at Beach House.
    At one point he even considered buying the property as a seaside holiday retreat.. What a difference it would have made to Beach House and Worthing had the idea come to fruition!
    During one visit, Edward VII sat on Worthing Pier reading his newspaper and was invited to join in a game of deck quoits by a member of the public before people began to recognise him.
This delighted the King, who had bought his ticket at the entrance kiosk without identifying himself.
    Affectionately he became known to local townspeople as Teddy and one of his greatest pleasures was sitting peacefully on the southern verandah of Beach House overlooking the sea.

Edward VII considered buying Worthing’s Beach House as a seaside holiday retreat while he was King. Had the purchase been completed it could have changed the course of the town’s history.