Alexandra of Denmark (1844–1925) was the wife of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. As such, she was Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, from 1901 to 1910.
She was chosen at the age of sixteen from a relatively obscure royal backround as the future wife of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales and heir to Queen Victoria. They married eighteen months later in 1863, the same year her father succeeded a distant counsin as King of Denmark and her brother was appointed King of Greece. She was Princess of Wales from 1863 to 1901, the longest anyone has ever held that title, and became generally popular. Although largely excluded from wielding any political power, she unsuccessfully attempted to sway the opinion of British ministers and her husband’s family to favour Greek and Danish interests. Her public duties were restricted to uncontroversial involvement in charitable work.
Biographers agree that their marriage was in many ways a happy one; however, throughout their marriage the Prince had a succession of mistresses including: the actress Lillie Langtry; Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick; humanitarian Agnes Keyser; and society matron Alice Keppel. Most of these were with the full knowledge of Alexandra, who later permitted Alice Keppel to visit the King as he lay dying.
On the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 Albert Edward became King-Emperor as Edward VII, with Alexandra as Queen-Empress consort. From Edward's death in 1910 until her own death, she was the Queen Mother although she was more generally styled Her Majesty Queen Alexandra. She greatly distrusted her nephew, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and supported her son during World War I.
She hid a small scar on her neck, which was likely the result of a childhood operation, by wearing choker necklaces and high necklines, setting fashions which were adopted for fifty years. Alexandra retained a youthful appearance into her senior years, but during the war her age caught up with her. She took to wearing elaborate veils and heavy makeup and was described by gossips as having her face ‘enamelled’. She made no more trips abroad, and suffered increasing ill-health. In 1920, a blood vessel in her eye burst, leaving her with temporary partial blindness and towards the end of her life, her memory and speech became impaired.
She died on 20 November 1925 at Sandringham after suffering a heart attack and was buried in an elaborate tomb next to her husband in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.