Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, 1874‑1901

 The porcelain bust of Most Worshipful Brother His Royal Highness Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, was "Published" by W. Bro. J.S. Crapper, Past Master, Past Provincial Grand Assistant Director of Ceremonies, and W. Bro. C. Marsh, Past Master, Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden, both of Staffordshire. It is registered and dated April 16, 1875. It is not known when the bust originally came into the possession of the Grand Lodge but it is believed that it was acquired about one hundred years ago.

 The column on which it is placed is made of Wombeyan marble, a feature of which is the glorious golden streaks of colour, which add lustre to the beautiful and elegant charm of the placid marble. The column was donated to Grand Lodge by V.W. Bro. George Ackers, P.D.G.I.W., in 1980.

 Most Worshipful Brother His Royal Highness Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, was born at Buckingham Palace on 9th November 1841. He was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and His Royal Highness Prince Albert (the first child was the Princess Royal, Princess Victoria, who later became the Empress of Germany).

 The Prince of Wales was educated at home under the tutelage of various masters Later he entered Christ Church, Oxford, where he attended public lectures for one year and afterward he resided for three or four terms at Trinity College, Cambridge.

 His Royal Highness had many distinctions conferred upon him from home and abroad. including Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in 1841 (he was installed in 1858), Privy Councillor in 1863, Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in 1865, Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India in 1866, Knight of the Most Ancient and ,Noble‑Order of the Thistle in 1867, Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick in 1868, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of ,Saint Michael and Saint George in 1877 Knight Grand Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire in 1887 and Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in 1896.

 The Prince of Wales was initiated into Freemasonry in St John's Lodge at Stockholm, Sweden, by His Majesty the King of Sweden on 21st December, 1868. He became a member of Royal Alpha Lodge, No. 16, in 1870 (he is depicted wearing the jewel of Royal Alpha Lodge on the sculpture) and became the Worshipful Master of that Lodge in 1871‑2 and again in 1882‑6. He affiliated with Apollo University Lodge, No. 357, in 1872, being its Worshipful Master in 1873. In 1872 he also Joined Prince of Wales Lodge No. 259, being its Worshipful Master from 1874 to 1901. He affiliated with the Grand Master's Lodge, No. 1, in 1880. He was the first Worshipful Master of Household Brigade Lodge, No. 2614, in 1896, and the first Worshipful Master of Navy Lodge, No. 2612, in 1896. He was a so a member of several other Lodges.

 In 1870 he became the Patron of the Order in Scotland and the following year, 1871, was made Patron of the Order in Ireland.

 He was created a Knight Commander of the Order of Charles XIII of Sweden.

 He became Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1874 and held the office until his resignation in 1901 when he became King of England. On his accession to the Throne he assumed the title of Protector of the Craft.

 His Royal Highness was also First, Grand Principal of the Holy Royal Arch in England from 1875 until 1901. He died on 6th May 1910. During his Grand Mastership two Jubilees of special Masonic significance were held ‑ the first being the Golden Jubilee of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and the other being the Diamond Jubilee of her reign. On each occasion special jewels were struck to commemorate the joyous event – The     United Grand Lodge of New South Wales is the proud possessor of each of these jewels. He was also the Festival Chairman of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls Centenary in 1888 and the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys Centenary in 1898. Our Grand Lodge possesses one of each of the jewels struck to commemorate­ the occasions. Under his Grand Mastership the Masons to charitable purposes, apart, donated nearly 1 million from considerable amounts which were‑donated to non‑Masonic causes. In the sculptured bust one can notice the jewel of the Honourable. Testimonial of Masonic Charities below that of the Royal Alpha Lodge.  By his devotion to the cause of Freemasonry and the enthusiasm which he injected into its working the Prince of Wales enlarged the Fraternity and improved its general conduct and social status. He was a keen and passionate supporter of Masonic charities.

 In December 1913, it was resolved to enlarge the then Freemasons' Hall in London, which would be known as the Edward, VII Memorial but the Great War intervened. Much progress had been made on the structure by May, 1916, when the Ministry of Munitions took away the workmen to build factories. The Edward VII Memorial was never completed as the plans were replaced by more ambitious ones after the war.

 Most Worshipful Brother His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales took an active interest in the formation of The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales. Lord Carrington, who had been the Senior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England, had recently been appointed Governor of the Colony of New South Wales.

 He was aware of the differences of opinion which existed between the District Grand lodges of England and Scotland, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ireland and the Grand Lodge of New South Wales. It is asserted that His Royal Highness sent his Pro Grand Master, M.W. Bro. the Earl of Carnarvon to Sydney with the object of healing the enmities which had developed between the various factions. That the Earl of Carnarvon and Lord Carrington were successful in their efforts to bring unity into the Fraternity is a matter of great joy. The barriers were broken down thanks to the efforts of the two ambassadors and the foresight and determination of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales; they achieved in a quiet and unostentatious manner what many had been trying to achieve for more than a decade.

 The bust of Most Worshipful Brother His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is located in a prominent position on the third floor foyer in acknowledgment of the debt we owe to his perception and pertinacity.

On a personal note it is recorded that the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, was a warm‑hearted man. It is Written that he was never known to bear a grudge or to do the proverbial ill turn to anyone. It is difficult to say whether he was at his best among people or in society. By the people of his own estate and by the members of his household he was adored. He went among the country people in the simplest way.

 He was unspoiled and unaffected by his position.

 These qualities, allied with his insatiable love of the Craft, made him an outstanding Grand Master.