An autographed photo of Edward, Prince of Wales, surfing in Hawaii in 1920 has been unveiled by the Museum of British Surfing.
Prince Edward – later to become King Edward VIII before abdicating to marry American Wallis Simpson.
This is considered the first photo so far of a Briton standing on a wave.
via Surfer Today
On his first official trip to Waikiki in April he was taken out in an outrigger canoe, then later in the day was coaxed into standing up on a surfboard to ride the waves for the first time by the great Olympian and father of modern surfing Duke Kahanamoku.
However, the future King Edward VIII was so stoked on surfing that he ordered the royal ship HMS Renown to return for 3 days in September just to surf! On this secret surf trip he hooked up with Duke’s brother David Kahanamoku, and along with his great friend Lord Louis Mountbatten, they went surfing every day. The photos were signed by the Edward and Louis as a thank you to their hosts.
Mountbatten was taught to surf by Prince Kalakaua Kawananakoa, the only son of Prince David Kawananakoa who had surfed in Bridlington on England’s east coast in 1890. One of the photos in the gallery below shows the foursome taking a break from surfing and resting on their surfboard.
HMS Renown was even late leaving… because the prince was still out in the surf! As you can see he got quite good in a short time – and remember the surfboard he was riding was a finless, solid wooden plank of native Hawaiian koa weighing around 100 pounds.
Acclaimed crime writer Agatha Christie spent her teenage years on the south coast of England around Torquay where sea bathing was a common practice in the early 1900s – but in 1922 she would become one of Britain’s earliest “stand-up” surfers.