"Jolly Britons, advance - here's a health to old France. Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!" Thus Sir John Stanford's anthem honoured the Franco-British Exhibition, in celebration of the four mutually beneficial years between the old enemies since the signing of the Entente Cordiale.
The exhibition was an opportunity for both countries to parade their national and imperial wealth, the 200-acre White City site packed with exhibits from as far afield as India, Africa and Canada. The photograph shows the exhibition hall. Exhibition-goers were also given a preview of the magnificent stadium which played host to the Olympic Games later that year.
Relations with Britain's other continental neighbour, Germany, were growing increasingly fraught. 1908 saw both nations locked in a tit-for-tat escalation of naval arsenals, and tension spilled over into out-and-out confrontation in October when The Daily Telegraph published an interview with Kaiser Wilhelm II in which he admitted that Germany, with Russia and France, had wished to "humiliate England to the dust" during the Boer War.Reuse content