The Edwardian era or Edwardian period of British history spanned the reign of King Edward VII, 1901 to 1910, and is sometimes expanded to the start of the First World War. The death of Queen Victoria in January 1901 marked the end of the Victorian era. Her son and successor, Edward VII, was already the leader of a fashionable elite that set a style influenced by the art and fashions of continental Europe. Samuel Hynes described the Edwardian era as a “leisurely time when women wore picture hats and did not vote, when the rich were not ashamed to live conspicuously, and the sun really never set on the British flag.”
The Liberals returned to power in 1906 and made significant reforms. Below the upper class, the era was marked by significant shifts in politics among sections of society that had largely been excluded from power, such as labourers, servants, and the industrial working class. Women started to play more of a role in politics.
The Edwardian era was the last period of British history to be named after the reigning monarch. The subsequent reigns of George V and George VI are not commonly termed Georgian era, this name being reserved for the time of the 18th-century kings of that name. Similarly, Elizabethan era refers solely to the 16th-century queen Elizabeth I and is not extended to the current Elizabeth II.