On today’s date in 1914, a monument commemorating King Edward VII was unveiled in Montréal’s Phillips Square.
Designed by Louis-Philippe Hébert, the monument was unveiled by Edward’s brother, Governor General Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, with a massive crowd in attendance. At the base of the monument are four allegorical figures: “Peace” is the woman at front, holding an olive branch but keeping a sword hidden in the folds of her skirt; the western face depicts “Four Nations,” representing Montreal’s four founding nationalities (French, Scottish, Irish, and English) living together in harmony; the “Winged Genius” found at the back of the monument represents liberty; and “Abundance,” on the eastern face, represents Canada’s material prosperity.
‘KING AND EMPEROR’
Edward had visited Montreal in 1860, when he was the Prince of Wales, to open the Victoria Bridge. He has since been featured on many of Canada’s coins, including the one-, five-, 10-, 25- and 50-cent coins between 1902 and 1910. The inscription appearing around his effigy reads: “EDWARDVS VII DEI GRATIA REX IMPERATOR” or “D:G REX IMPERATOR”, depending on the denomination. Both of these inscriptions are Latin for “Edward VII, by the grace of God, the King and Emperor.”
More recently, in 2008, the Royal Canadian Mint commemorated Edward VII on a $15 silver coin. This coin effigy series, which retraces 170 years from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II, were the Mint’s first double-effigy coins. On the Edward VII coin, a reproduction of the effigy that appeared from 1902-10 was used. This coin has a mintage of 10,000, a weight of 30 grams and a 36.15-mm diameter.