Albert ('Bertie') Edward Wettin was the second child and eldest son of Queen Victoria. He was Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Lord of the Isles, and Baron Renfrew from birth and was created Prince of Wales on 8 December 1841. He was heir apparent to the throne longer than anyone in British history. He finally became King Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Sea and Emperor of India on 22 January 1901 and reigned until 1910.
He was widely travelled, broadly educated, charming and cultivated, a philanderer, gambler and sportsman. The presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales at the Private View of WHistler's exhibition at the Fine Art Society in 1883 undoubtedly confirmed the artist's social, economic and artistic success.
Whistler cultivated the acquaintance thereafter, but it is not clear with what success. Edward inherited a number of WHistler etchings, including a specially bound volume of the Naval Review Set, which, it is said, was sold to pay his gambling debts.
Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004.