Edward, Prince of Wales: the first photo of a Briton riding waves

An autographed photo of Edward, Prince of Wales, surfing in Hawaii in 1920 has been unveiled by the Musem of British Surfing.


The royal surf picture was taken by a descendant of the iconic Duke Kahanamoku, who gave Edward - later to become King Edward VIII before abdicating to marry American Wallis Simpson - a few surf lessons.

Edward, Prince of Wales visited the Pacific islands and enjoyed a three-day surf trip with Earl Mountbatten, future Admiral of the Fleet.

The beautiful photo was purchased by the Musem of British Surfing, now open in Devon. This is considered the first photo so far of a Briton standing on a wave.

"He had gone to Hawaii in April 1920 on HMS Renown and was taken out by Duke Kahanamoku on an outrigger canoe. He had a surf lesson and did OK, but absolutely loved it", says Peter Robinson, founder of the museum.

"He later ordered the royal yacht to go back to Hawaii so he could surf for three days. Duke was out of the country when he returned so David Kahanamoku took him out and these pictures were taken then."

Historic reports say Edward loved surfing. He spent two hours surfing every morning and three hours every afternoon during their July stay.