The event was established in 1834, and it was originally known as the Ascot Derby. In the early part of its history it was also open to fillies. The race was renamed in memory of King Edward VII in 1926.
The King Edward VII Stakes is currently held about two weeks after the Epsom Derby, and it usually features horses which were entered for that race. It is contested on the fourth day of the five-day Royal Ascot meeting.