by Anita Mae Draper
|Prince of Wales "E.P." Ranch, Pekisko, Alberta, Canada, early 1920's|
When Edward, the Prince of Wales of Great Britain, bought the Bedingfeld Ranch in 1919, it came with a house full of simple furnishings. Thanks to the Glenbow Archives located both online and in Calgary, Alberta, and the Toronto Star Archives located in the Toronto Public Library, we have images of what the furnishings looked like in 1923 as well as in 1941.
The photo above shows the main house on the left and the original Bedingfeld homestead cabin on the right. As you can see, the main house was surrounded by open vine-covered and closed verandas, ensuring a great view of the Rockies no matter what the weather. According to the following photograph from the Toronto Star in 1923, Edward liked to sit and read on the veranda.
|EP Ranch Veranda, 1923, Courtesy of Toronto Public Library|
Twenty-two years later while still under Edward's ownership, similar simple furnishings were still used in the veranda when this next photo was taken in September 1941.
|Veranda at EP Ranch, Pekisko, Alberta, Sep 1941. Glenbow Archives|
Likewise, the bedroom was sparse with the personality of a hospital room when Edward first bought the ranch, as shown in this next photo.
|E.P. Ranch Bedroom, 1923, Courtesy of Toronto Public Library|
Although Edward filled his ranch bedroom with more furniture, it isn't what one would expect as the personal chamber of the heir to the British throne.
|Bedroom at E.P. Ranch, Pekisko, Alberta, 1941. Courtesy of Toronto Public Library|
|View of living room in EP Ranch, Pekisko, Alberta, 1923. Glenbow Archives|
Edward returned in 1924 and 1927, and then not until 1941 when this next photo of the same side of the room was taken. By that time, the room was referred to as the new wing to avoid confusion with the original two rooms before renovations, although not much had changed in the way of furnishings.
|New wing, EP Ranch, Pekisko, Alberta, 1941. Glenbow Archives|
On the right is the new fieldstone fireplace created with stones collected from the EP Ranch fields. It is interesting to note that when the EP Ranch celebrated it's 100th anniversary in 2019 with an open house, the living room was called the reception room and still contained most of the same furniture, right down to the light stands on either side of the fieldstone fireplace.
|Fieldstone Fireplace, EP Ranch, Pekisko, Alberta, 1941. Glenbow Archives|
The light stands were made from German shell casings. They were Edward's stamp on the place and reminded him of serving in the Great War. Also note the letters 'E' and 'P' carved into the stones, another of Edward's personal touches, although probably not by his own hand.
|Corner Office in Dining room, EP Ranch, Pekisko, Alberta, 1941. Glenbow Archives|
|Dining room, EP Ranch, Pekisko, Alberta, 1923. Glenbow Archives|
|New Barn, EP Ranch, 1923. Courtesy of Toronto Public Library|