|Here is my argument;
King Edward VII (at the time Albert Edward Prince of Wales) was single handily responsible for the change of Britain’s shift in European Alliances from that of Germany to France at the end of the 19th Century.
This shift was to have dramatic implications in the 20th Century with the UK siding with France against Germany in the World Wars.
The move toward alliance with France was NOT made by British Government policy or (at first) due to changing public attitudes but because ONE British Prince, who would later become King, had spent many wild summers enjoying the decadent Parisian party scene and so become an ardent Francophile and creator of The Entente Cordial.
In March 1881 at the Château de Breteuil, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, met with the French statesman Léon Gambetta to suggest The Entente Cordiale, marking a significant turn around in British attitudes to France, and the end of centuries of intermittent conflict between the two nations.
As King Edward VII, Edward further promoted this topic, which gained much public support and so in April 1904 the Entente Cordiale was signed. This agreement was to form the basis of the Alliance between Great Britain and France in WW1 and WW2.
Traditionally Britain had strong sympathies with Germany, through Royal family bonds (shared blood lines – Prince Albert and Kaiser William were Cousins) and previous military alliances (e.g. American Revolution, Napoleonic Wars).
Without King Albert’s love affair with Parisian Culture, and his own determination to bring Britain and France closer together, Britain would have never moved towards alliance with France and would have stayed more disposed to becoming allied with Germany.
A UK- German Alliance in the beginning of the 20th Century would have resulted in a totally different Europe and World history.