What a history……
Who was Edward VII ?
Albert Edward of Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha, son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, born on 9 November 1841 in Buckingham Palace, was nicknamed ‘Bertie’ up to his death on 6 May 1910. When Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901, Albert Edward decided to reign under the name of Edward VII. Before his accession to the throne, Edward bore the title of Prince of Wales and was the second longest heir to the throne in the history of the British monarchy, after his great-grandson, Prince Charles, the current Prince of Wales.
A great lover of Paris, Edward VII, then Prince of Wales, made the Hotel Edouard VII his Paris residence for exploring the city and admiring the unrestricted view from the balconies over the Opéra Garnier where he enjoyed being carried away by the performances and meeting the great and the good.
A refined, elegant man, and a great lover of fashion, it is to him that we owe the three-piece suit, which was created in Paris specially at his request. Edward VII had infinite admiration for singers and actresses. Among his many conquests, the most famous were the talented French actress Sarah Bernhardt, the great Australian singer Melba Helen Mitchell and the society hostess Alice Keppel, his last mistress, who was invited to his deathbed by his wife Alexandra. Alice Frederica Keppel was the maternal great-grandmother of Camilla Parker-Bowles.
Hotel Edouard 7, built in 1877 in pure Haussmanian style, has thus paid tribute over the centuries to its illustrious guest. The French authorities did likewise, having decided after his death to create Place Edouard VII in his honour a few steps from the hotel and to erect an equestrian statue to his glory (the sculptor Paul Landowski was chosen, in a competition) in front of the renowned eponymous theatre which opened its doors not long afterwards.
This recognition by the authorities honoured the main player of entente cordiale (the agreement that brought reconciliation between England and France in 1904) and also paid unofficial tribute to the most French of British sovereigns, who was very popular with the Parisians and loved the neighbourhood so much. Edward VII, that illustrious man of taste, would be thrilled to return today to this character hotel and discover the homage paid to him by a uniquely stylish establishment.
The renovation of Edouard 7 was the subject of a conceptual procedure unique in the hotel sector. It involved producing a thematic Couture collection, where each place was designed like a silhouette to be dressed, based on a meticulous study of the personality of Edward VII the man: his life, his background, his journeys, his loves.
The force emanating from this creation derives from that unexpected encounter between a man:
Edward VII and a woman, the hat designer Marina Bessé.
The entire project is based on 4 keywords, inspired by the personality of Edward VII:
Audacity, Seduction, Character, Theatricality
The result of the fusion of these 4 words led to a creation of great elegance and warmth. As soon as you walk into the hotel, you plunge into the world of Edward VII, the ground floor being the men’s floor; the rounded reception desk can be interpreted as Edward VII’s top hat, the walls his coat, the bar his belt, and so on. We are at the heart of a history that is later portrayed on the last 3 floors of the hotel.
In 2012, Christophe Daudré continued the metamorphosis of Hotel Edouard 7, a unique 4 star hotel on Avenue de l’Opéra, with a new collection of rooms, at the same time referring to that Franco-English alliance so dear to Edward VII by melding contemporary French-style elegance with a very British spirit. The theme of this renovation was the entente cordiale which King Edward VII upheld so well between England and France. Influenced by its ideal location, a few steps away from Opéra Garnier, Christophe Daudré found the perfect balance between modernity and traditional style, by preserving Edward 7-style French elegance combined with contemporary design. He was inspired by the know-how King Edward 7 so appreciated. The new rooms were enhanced by decorative elements, duck blue and taupe details, and contemporary materials which fully participate in the more meaningful decoration of the room. A blend of 19th century style (with embroideries) as well as contemporary elements such as glass desks, designed by Christophe Daudré himself.
This new collection offers new rooms like little ‘jewels’. Each guest enters into surroundings of velvet and colours which add warmth and transport him into a cosy, chic space. Guests are welcomed to a Couture ambience, faithful to the identity of the hotel.
Here you discover revisited lacework on some items of furniture, paintings dissimulating a feminine-masculine wink on the curtains, transparent materials such as glass, a deep blue embrasure, poetic 19th century notes, etc. It all emanates a certain sensuality, with an ‘indiscreet’ eye on the rooms.
The dissimulation of spaces and nooks such as the walk-in dressing room, the appearance of a colourful wall niche, the translucent sliding door, provide that feminine note and touch of impertinence so dear to Edward 7.
The deep blue intervenes in the spaces and furnishings, around a velvet armchair, on a cloud suspension lamp, offering all guests a warm and pleasant ambience in which to enjoy their Paris sojourn.
The combinations of materials such as the padded wall, the stylised furniture creations of Christophe Daudré, the association of accessories such as the Prince of Wales chair, cashmere rugs, the poetic notes inscribed on the walls, contribute an ingenious and subtle note to this new collection.