Category Archives: Today in Royal History

May 23: Today in Royal History

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Marie of Waldeck-Pyrmont, Princess of Württemberg; Credit – Wikipedia

May 23, 1482 – Death of Mary of York, daughter of King Edward IV of England, at Greenwich Palace in London, England; buried at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England
Wikipedia: Mary of York

May 23, 1857 – Birth of Marie of Waldeck-Pyrmont, Princess of Württemberg, first wife of the future King Wilhelm II of Württemberg, in Arolsen, Principality of Waldeck and Pyrmont, now in Hesse, Germany
Full name: Georgine Henriette Marie
Marie was the sister of Emma who married King Willem III of the Netherlands and Helena who married Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany. In 1877, Marie married Prince Wilhelm of Württemberg, the future  King Wilhelm II of Württemberg, and the couple had two children. On April 24, 1882, Marie gave birth to a stillborn daughter, her third child, and suffered serious complications from childbirth. She died six days later.
Unofficial Royalty: Marie of Waldeck-Pyrmont, Princess of Württemberg

May 23, 1947 – Death of Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood, husband of Mary, Princess Royal, at Harewood House in Leeds, Yorkshire, England; buried at All Saints Church in Harewood, West Yorkshire, England
Henry married Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George V of the United Kingdom at Westminster Abbey in London, England on February 28, 1922. Despite their fifteen-year age difference and despite rumors that the marriage was not happy, their elder son George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood said the marriage was a happy one. He wrote in his memoirs that they “got on well together and had a lot of friends and interests in common.”
Unofficial Royalty: Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood

May 23, 2013 – Death of Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse was head of the House of Hesse, and pretender to the former Grand Ducal throne of Hesse and by Rhine from 1980 until his death, in Frankfurt, Germany; buried in the family cemetery at the former Schloss Friedrichshof (now Schlosshotel Kronberg) in Kronberg im Taunus, Hesse
Unofficial Royalty: Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse

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May 22: Today in Royal History

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Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom; Credit – Wikipedia

May 22, 1409 – Death of Blanche of England, daughter of King Henry IV of England, in Haguenau (now in France), buried at the Church of St Mary, Neustadt, Electorate of the Palatinate, now in Germany
Wikipedia: Blanche of England

May 22, 1667 – Death of Charles, Duke of Kendal, son of King James II of England; buried at Westminster Abbey
Charles was the third son and fifth child of James, Duke of York (later James II) and his first wife Anne Hyde.  He died at St. James’ Palace at the age of ten months.
Wikipedia: Charles, Duke of Kendal

May 22, 1770 – Birth of Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg, daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom, at Buckingham Palace
Elizabeth was considered to be the most attractive of King George III’s daughters. She was known for her humor, intelligence, and artistic ability. Starting out by copying drawings (some are in the Royal Collection), Elizabeth later published lithographs and etchings, mostly of mythological scenes. Some of the interior decorations of the Queen’s House (now Buckingham Palace) were designed and made by Elizabeth. At Frogmore House, she helped design the garden buildings and she painted the flower murals at the Queen’s Cottage at Kew. Elizabeth also was one of George III’s daughters who managed to get married. In 1818, at the age of 48, she married the future Friedrich VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg

May 22, 1782 – Death of Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt, first wife of Carl II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, in Hanover, Electorate of Hanover, now in Lower Saxony, Germany; buried in the New Crypt at the Johanniterkirche in Mirow, Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, now in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Three days after giving birth to the last child of her ten children, Friederike died from complications of childbirth. Her tenth child Auguste Albertine died in infancy. Two years later, her husband married her younger sister Charlotte who also died in childbirth.
Unofficial Royalty: Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt, Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

May 22, 1832 – Death of Maria Karoline of Austria, Crown Princess of Saxony, first wife of the future King Friedrich August II of Saxony, at Schloss Pillnitz in Dresden, Kingdom of Saxony, now in Saxony, Germany; buried in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral
Marie Karoline suffered from epilepsy, often plagued with seizures that more or less left her incapacitated for long periods of time. She became Crown Princess of Saxony in 1830 when her father-in-law relinquished his rights to the throne in favor of his son Friedrich August, who was also proclaimed Prince Co-Regent with his uncle, King Anton. Marie Karoline died at the age of 31 due to complications of epilepsy.
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Karoline of Austria, Crown Princess of Saxony

May 22, 1859 – Death of Ferdinando II, King of the Two Sicilies in Caserta, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, now In Italy, and was buried at the Basilica of Santa Chiara in Naples
In 1759, upon the death of his childless half-brother King Ferdinand VI of Spain, Ferdinando’s father King Carlos IV of Naples and Sicily succeeded him as King Carlos III of Spain. Because of treaties, Carlos could not be the sovereign of all three kingdoms. His eldest son Felipe was excluded from the succession because of intellectual disability and his second son Carlos was the heir apparent to the Spanish throne. That left the third son Ferdinando to become King of Naples and King of Sicily. In 1768, Ferdinando married Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria. As part of the marriage contract, Maria Carolina was to have a place on the council of state after the birth of her first son. From 1777 on, Maria Carolina was the de facto ruler of the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily. Ferdinando was deposed twice: once by the revolutionary Parthenopean Republic for six months in 1799 and again by Napoleon in 1805, before being restored in 1816. In 1820, after riots in Sicily, Ferdinando was forced to sign a constitution and appoint his son Francesco as regent of Sicily. This only lasted until 1821, when Austrian troops friendly to Ferdinando occupied Naples. Ferdinando II, King of the Two Sicilies died on May 22, 1859, aged 49 from a strangulated hernia after hesitating for months to have surgery.
Unofficial Royalty: Ferdinando II, King of the Two Sicilies

May 22, 1871 – Death of Leopold IV Friedrich, Duke of Anhalt in Dessau, Duchy of Anhalt, now in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany; buried in the Marienkirche in Dessau, after the church was destroyed by bombing during World War II, the Duke’s remains were moved to the Berenhorst crypt in the Historical Cemetery in Dessau
Unofficial Royalty: Leopold IV Friedrich, Duke of Anhalt
In 1817, Leopold Friedrich became the reigning Duke of Anhalt-Dessau upon his grandfather’s death. In 1847, he inherited the Duchy of Anhalt-Köthen upon the death of a distant cousin. After nearly six years as the reigning Duke of two separate duchies, they were united in 1853 as the Duchy of Anhalt-Dessau-Köthen. Ten years later, he also inherited the Duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg from another distant cousin. Now, with all of the Anhalt duchies back under one ruler, they were united as the Duchy of Anhalt in 1863.

May 22, 1897 – Death of Anne Murray, Duchess of Atholl, Queen Victoria’s Mistress of the Robes 1852–1853, Acting Mistress of the Robes 1892–1895, and Lady of the Bedchamber 1854–1897, in Dunkeld, Scotland; buried alongside her husband in the family’s cemetery beside the ruins of St. Bride’s Church in Old Blair, a village adjacent to Blair Castle
Born Anne Home-Drummond, the daughter of Henry Home-Drummond, a Scottish politician, she married George Murray, 6th Duke of Atholl.
Unofficial Royalty: Anne Murray, Duchess of Atholl

May 22, 2004 – Wedding of King Felipe VI of Spain and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano at the Cathedral Santa María la Real de la Almudena in Madrid, Spain
Letizia was the anchor for the daily evening news program Telediario 2, the most-watched newscast in Spain. It was in November 2002 while covering the Prestige oil tanker disaster, Spain’s largest environmental disaster, that Letizia’s life would change forever. Felipe, Prince of Asturias had flown to the area to offer his support to the communities worst affected by the oil spill. Although the couple had met the year before at a mutual friend’s dinner party, it was during this terrible disaster that they fell in love. Their relationship was kept a closely guarded secret until the engagement was announced on November 1, 2003,
Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of King Felipe VI of Spain and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano

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May 21: Today in Royal History

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Lord Leopold Mountbatten, born Prince Leopold of Battenberg; Credit – Wikipedia

May 21, 1471 – Death (murder? starvation?) of King Henry VI of England in the Tower of London in London, England; buried at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, England
After the final decisive Yorkist victory at the Battle of Tewkesbury on May 4, 1471, where King Henry VI’s son Edward, Prince of Wales was killed, Henry IV was taken to the Tower of London and died on May 21, 1471, probably murdered on orders from King Edward IV.
Unofficial Royalty: Assassination of Henry VI, King of England
Unofficial Royalty: King Henry VI of England

May 21, 1481 – Death of King Christian I of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden at Copenhagen Castle in Copenhagen, Denmark; buried at Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark
Christian I, the first Danish monarch of the House of Oldenburg, that would reign in Denmark for over 400 years, was buried in the Chapel of the Magi, which he had built as a family burial chapel for the House of Oldenburg, at Roskilde Cathedral, the traditional burial site for the Danish royal family in Roskilde, Denmark. While the tombs of King Christian III, King Frederik II, and their queen consorts are in the Chapel of the Magi, the graves of King Christian I and his wife Queen Dorothea are marked with simple stones because the chapel itself was to be considered their memorial monument.
Unofficial Royalty: King Christian I of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden

May 21, 1527 – Birth of King Felipe II of Spain at Palacio de Pimentel in Valladolid, Spain
Besides being King of Spain, Philp (Felipe in Spanish) was also King of Portugal, King of Naples and Sicily, Duke of Milan, Lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands, and jure uxoris (by right of his wife) King of England and Ireland during his marriage to Queen Mary I of England (the second of his four wives) from 1554 until Mary’s death in 1558.  Philip married four times, was a widower four times, and had children with three of his wives. He built The Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial (known as El Escorial) near Madrid, which served as a monastery, basilica, royal palace, burial pantheon, library, museum, university, school, and hospital. Today, it is still the traditional burial site of the Spanish royal family.
Unofficial Royalty: King Felipe II of Spain

May 21, 1662 – Wedding of King Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza at St. Thomas à Becket Church in Portsmouth, England
Catherine of Braganza, the daughter of King João IV of Portugal, had first been suggested as a bride for Charles in 1645 during the reign of Charles’ father and again in 1660 when the monarchy was restored in England. Already there were rumors of Catherine’s inability to have children, but the newly restored King Charles II was eager to have the £300,000 dowry. Catherine’s Roman Catholicism made her an unpopular queen. Despite fathering at least 16 illegitimate children with his mistresses, Charles had no children with Catherine.  It is thought that Catherine did have at least three miscarriages.  Despite having many mistresses, Charles insisted that Catherine be treated with respect, and sided with her over his mistresses when he felt she was not receiving the respect she was due.
Unofficial Royalty: King Charles II of England
Unofficial Royalty: Catherine of Braganza, Queen of England

May 21, 1801 – Birth of Sofia of Sweden, Grand Duchess of Baden, daughter of King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden and wife of Karl Friedrich, Grand Duke of Baden, in Stockholm, Sweden
Full name: Sofia Vilhelmina Katarina Maria Lovisa Charlotta Anna
Sofia married Leopold of Baden, her grandfather’s half-brother. The marriage had been arranged by her great-grandfather, Karl Friedrich, Grand Duke of Baden, to help strengthen Leopold’s right to the throne of Baden. Leopold had been born of Karl Friedrich’s second, and morganatic marriage, and had only recently been elevated to Prince and Margrave of Baden, and formally acknowledged as having succession rights. Sofia and Leopold had eight children, including two Grand Dukes of Baden.
Unofficial Royalty: Sofia of Sweden, Grand Duchess of Baden

May 21, 1806 – Birth of Harriet Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland, Queen Victoria’s Mistress of the Robes 1837–1841, 1846–1852, 1853–1858, and 1859–1861
Born The Honourable Harriet Howard, daughter of George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle, Harriet did not have an affair with Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as depicted in the television series Victoria. The real Harriet was twelve years older than Ernst and her husband George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 2nd Duke of Sutherland did not die until 1861. Harriet and her husband had a successful, loving marriage and had eleven children.
Unofficial Royalty: Harriet Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland

May 21, 1806 – Death of Maria Antonia of Naples and Sicily, Princess of Asturias, first of the four wives of King Ferdinand VII of Spain at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez; buried at the Monastery of San Lorenzo El Real in El Escorial, Spain
Maria Antonia married her first cousin Ferdinand, Prince of Asturias, heir to the Spanish throne. Her two pregnancies in 1804 and 1805 ended in miscarriages. After four years of marriage, Maria Antonia, aged 21, died from tuberculosis.
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Antonia of Naples and Sicily, Princess of Asturias

May 21, 1829 – Death of Peter I, Grand Duke of Oldenburg in Wiesbaden, Duchy of Nassau, now in Hesse, Germany; buried in the Ducal Mausoleum in St. Gertrude’s Cemetery in Oldenburg, Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, now in Lower Saxony, Germany
The Duchy of Oldenburg was elevated to a Grand Duchy at the Congress of Vienna. Peter established a new government for the Grand Duchy, introduced general conscription, and established the Oldenburg Infantry Regiment. Just short of six years after assuming the throne, Peter suffered a stroke and died
Unofficial Royalty: Peter I, Grand Duke of Oldenburg

May 21, 1864 – Birth of Stéphanie of Belgium, Crown Princess of Austria, wife of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, at the Royal Palace of Laeken in Brussels, Belgium
Full name: Stéphanie Clotilde Louise Herminie Marie Charlotte
The wife of the heir to the Austrian throne who died in a suicide pact with his mistress, Stéphanie of Belgium was the daughter of Leopold II, King of the Belgians and Archduchess Marie-Henriette of Austria. Stéphanie’s marriage with Crown Prince Rudolf was happy at first, but shortly after the birth of their only child, a daughter, the relationship began to deteriorate. It is likely that Rudolf infected Stéphanie with a sexually transmitted disease, causing her to be infertile and unable to provide a male heir for the Austrian throne. Both Stéphanie and Rudolf began affairs with other people in the following years and intermittently spoke of divorce.
Unofficial Royalty: Stéphanie of Belgium, Crown Princess of Austria

May 21, 1889 – Birth of Prince Leopold of Battenberg, after 1917 Lord Leopold Mountbatten, grandson of Queen Victoria, at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England
Full name: Leopold Arthur Louis
Leopold was the son of Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom and Prince Henry of Battenberg.  His mother was a hemophilia carrier and he inherited the disease from her.  Leopold never married and died following emergency surgery.
Unofficial Royalty: Lord Leopold Mountbatten

May 21, 2013 – Death of Count Christian of Rosenborg at Gentofte Hospital in Gentofte, Denmark 
Christian was born Prince Christian of Denmark, younger son of Hereditary Prince Knud. He lost his royal title and style upon marriage to a commoner in 1971. He was the first cousin of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
Unofficial Royalty: Count Christian of Rosenborg

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May 20: Today in Royal History

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Amalia of Oldenburg, Queen of Greece; Credit – Wikipedia

May 20, 1802 – Birth of Emma of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym, Princess of Waldeck and Pyrmont, wife of Georg II, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont, at Schaumburg Castle in the Principality of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym, now in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Through her mother, Emma was a descendant of King George II of Great Britain and Willem IV, Prince of Orange.  In 1845, Emma’s husband died and she served as Regent of the Principality of Waldeck-Pyrmont until her son Georg Viktor reached his majority in 1852. Emma was the grandmother of Princess Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont who became Queen of the Netherlands when she married King Willem III of the Netherlands, and therefore she is an ancestor of the Dutch royal family.
Unofficial Royalty: Emma of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym, Princess of Waldeck and Pyrmont

May 20, 1875 – Death of Amalia of Oldenburg, Queen of Greece, wife of King Otto of Greece, at the Neue Residenz in Bamberg, Kingdom of Bavaria, now in Germany; buried at the Theatine Church in Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Amalia’s husband, born a Prince of Bavaria, had been appointed king of the newly created Kingdom of Greece in 1833. In 1862, after a coup deposed Otto, Amalia and Otto left for the Kingdom of Bavaria where they lived out the rest of their lives.
Unofficial Royalty: Amalia of Oldenburg, Queen of Greece

May 20, 1967 – Birth of Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, son of former King Constantine II of Greece, at Tatoi Palace, north of Athens, Greece
Pavlos is the eldest son of former King Constantine II of Greece and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark. Just seven months after Pavlos’ birth, a coup forced the royal family to flee the country. They settled in Rome for several years before moving to England in 1974. In 1995, Pavlos married Marie-Chantal Miller, the daughter of billionaire entrepreneur Robert Warren Miller. The couple had five children.
Unofficial Royalty: Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece

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May 19: Today in Royal History

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Anne Boleyn, Queen of England; Credit – Wikipedia

May 19, 1359 – Wedding of John of Gaunt, son of King Edward III of England, and his first wife Blanche of Lancaster at Reading Abbey in Berkshire, England
This was an excellent match for both Blanche and John. Blanche was marrying into the royal family and John’s wealth was greatly increased by marrying one of the richest heiresses in England. It is through this marriage that the Duchy of Lancaster eventually became a possession of the British Crown. John is also quite important in royal genealogy. Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and her predecessors since King Henry IV are descended from John of Gaunt. In fact, most European monarchies are descended from John.
Unofficial Royalty: John of Gaunt
Unofficial Royalty: Blanche of Lancaster

May 19, 1359 – Wedding of Margaret of Windsor, daughter of King Edward III of England, and John Hastings, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, at Reading Abbey in Berkshire, England
Wikipedia: Margaret of Windsor
Wikipedia: John Hastings, 2nd Earl of Pembroke

May 19, 1536 – Execution of Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII of England, at the Tower of London in London, England; buried at St. Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London
Henry VIII wanted a male heir. After giving birth to a daughter and then miscarrying a male, Anne’s fate was sealed. Henry was determined to be rid of her, and her fall and execution were engineered by Thomas Cromwell, Henry’s chief minister. Many historians believe that the case charging Anne with adultery with her brother George Boleyn and four other men (Francis Weston, Henry Norris, William Brereton, and Mark Smeaton) was completely fabricated. Anne was found guilty of adultery, incest, and high treason.
Unofficial Royalty: Anne Boleyn, Queen of England

May 19, 1568 – Birth of Leonora Dori Galigaï, favorite of Marie de’ Medici, Queen of France, in Florence, Duchy of Florence, now in Italy
Unofficial Royalty: Leonora Dori Galigaï, favorite of Marie de’ Medici, Queen of France (coming soon)

May 19, 1744 – Birth of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Queen of the United Kingdom, wife of King George III of the United Kingdom, in Mirow, Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, now in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Full name: Charlotte Sophia
George and Charlotte’s marriage was a very happy one and George remained faithful to Charlotte. Between 1762 – 1783, Charlotte gave birth to 15 children, all of who survived childbirth. Only two of the children, who died from smallpox, did not survive childhood. The only disruption in the family’s domestic lives was George’s attacks of illness. We now know that he probably suffered from porphyria and his attacks severely worried Charlotte. Charlotte is the second longest-serving consort in British history. Only her descendant, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, served longer as a consort.
Unofficial Royalty: Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Queen of the United Kingdom

May 19, 1797 – Birth of Maria Isabel of Portugal, Queen of Spain, second of the four wives of King Ferdinand VII of Spain at the Palace of Queluz in Portugal
Full name: Maria Isabel Francisca
Maria Isabel married her maternal uncle Ferdinand VII of Spain, who was 13 years older than her. Ferdinand’s first wife had died childless ten years earlier. The marriage was made with the aim of strengthening relations between Spain and Portugal, and of course, with the goal of providing heirs to the throne. Maria Isabel gave birth to a daughter who only lived for five months.  There were terrible complications when 21-year-old Maria Isabel went into labor with her second child, a daughter who was in breech position and died in utero. Maria Isabel had lost consciousness and appeared to have stopped breathing, so the doctors believed she had died. When they began to cut her open to remove the dead child, she let out a cry of pain, fainted, and bled to death.
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Isabel of Portugal, Queen of Spain

May 19, 1896 – Death of Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria, brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria; buried in the Imperial Crypt at the Capuchin Church in Vienna, Austria
Karl Ludwig was the father of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, whose assassination in 1914 sparked World War I.
Unofficial Royalty: Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria

May 19, 2018 – Wedding of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s personal relationship started in June 2016 when they were introduced by a mutual friend. The engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was announced on November 27, 2017. Meghan was the second American and the first person of mixed-race heritage to marry into the British royal family. The couple has one son and one daughter.
Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle

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May 18: Today in Royal History

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Nicholas II of Russia with his mother; Credit – Wikipedia

May 18, 1152 – Wedding of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine at Bordeaux Cathedral in Bordeaux, Duchy of Aquitaine, now in France
Unofficial Royalty: Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of England
Unofficial Royalty: King Henry II of England
The young Henry, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, and Count of Nantes, was busy fighting the terrible civil war between his mother Matilda and her first cousin King Stephen of England over the throne of England. Henry II was two years old when this civil war started and it was to affect his childhood as England did not see peace for 18 years. Around 1151, Henry was probably secretly planning his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, then still the wife of King Louis VII of France. Eleanor, eleven years older than Henry, was the Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, and marriage to her would greatly increase Henry’s lands. Eleanor had failed to give Louis any sons and Louis had the marriage annulled. 19-year-old Henry married 30-year-old Eleanor eight weeks later.

May 18, 1797 – Wedding of Charlotte, Princess Royal, daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom, and King Friedrich I of Württemberg, at the Chapel Royal, St. James Palace in London, England
The living conditions of King George’s six daughters came to be known as “the Nunnery.” None of the daughters were allowed to marry at the age when most princesses would marry. Charlotte was one of the three who eventually did marry. At the age of 31, Charlotte married 49-year-old Friedrich, Hereditary Prince of Württemberg, the future King of Württemberg.  He was a widower with three children. His first wife had been Augusta of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, niece of King George III, and there were some issues with this marriage that concerned King George III. Only after persistent requests and pleadings from Russian and Brunswick royals and British officials did the king consent to the marriage. After Charlotte delivered a stillborn daughter, the marriage remained childless.
Unofficial Royalty: Charlotte, Princess Royal, Queen of Württemberg
Unofficial Royalty: King Friedrich I of Württemberg

May 18, 1797 – Birth of King Friedrich August II of Saxony in Dresden, Electorate of Saxony, now in Saxony, Germany
Full name: Friedrich August Albrecht Maria Clemens Joseph Vincenz Aloys Nepomuk Johann Baptista Nikolaus Raphael Peter Xavier Franz de Paula Venantius Felix
Friedrich August’s reign was relatively uneventful. He typically deferred to his ministers to make any decisions. Friedrich August preferred to spend his time developing his collection of fossils and other items, establishing a vast natural history collection. In this quest, he traveled extensively, including a visit to the United Kingdom in 1844 where he was a guest of Queen Victoria.
Unofficial Royalty: King Friedrich August II of Saxony

May 18, 1829 – Death of Maria Josepha Amalia of Saxony, Queen of Spain, third wife of King Ferdinand VII of Spain, at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez in Spain; buried at the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo El Real in Spain
Full name: Maria Josepha Amalia Beatrix Xaveria Vincentia Aloysia Franziska de Paula Franziska de Chantal Anna Apollonia Johanna Nepomucena Walburga Theresia Ambrosia
Because he had no surviving children from his first two marriages, Ferdinand VII was under much pressure to produce an heir. He married the nearly 16-year-old Maria Josepha Amalia on October 20, 1819. There were rumors that Maria Josepha Amalia’s devout Roman Catholicism caused her to believe that sexual relations between spouses was wrong and that it took Pope Pius VII to convince her that such relations were permissible.  Nevertheless, the marriage remained childless and Maria Josepha Amalia died of a fever at the age of 25.
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Josepha Amalia of Saxony, Queen of Spain

May 18, 1868 – Birth of Nicholas II, Emperor of All Russia at the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo, Russia
Nicholas was raised with his brother George who was three years younger. They were raised in a relatively simple manner considering their status. George and Nicholas slept in cots, woke up at 6:00 AM, took cold baths, and ate simple, plain meals. Their rooms were furnished with simple furniture. Both brothers were fluent in Russian, English, French, German, and Danish. The boys enjoyed shooting and fly fishing with their English tutor.
Unofficial Royalty: Nicholas II, Emperor of All Russia

May 18, 1869 – Birth of Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria in Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria, now in the German state of Bavaria
Full name: Rupprecht Maria Luitpold Ferdinand
Rupprecht was Crown Prince of Bavaria from 1913 until the end of the Bavarian monarchy in 1918. From his father’s death in 1921, he became the pretender to the former Bavarian throne and Head of the House of Wittelsbach. Through his direct descent from King Charles I of England, he also became heir to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland in the Jacobite Succession.
Unofficial Royalty: Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria
Unofficial Royalty: The Jacobite Succession – Pretenders to the British Throne

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May 17: Today in Royal History

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King Alfonso XIII of Spain;  Credit – Wikipedia

May 17, 1727 – Death of Catherine I, Empress of All Russia, at the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo, Russia; buried at Peter and Paul Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Born Marta Helena Skowrońska, Catherine was the daughter of Samuil Skowroński, an ethnic Polish Roman Catholic peasant. She was the second wife of Peter I (the Great), Emperor of All Russia. Catherine and Peter had Catherine and Peter had twelve children, all of whom died in childhood except Anna, who died in childbirth at age 20, and Elizabeth, Empress of All Russia. Catherine became Empress in her own right after Peter’s death in 1725. During her short reign, Catherine was happy to leave the job of governing to her advisers. She was interested only in issues regarding the navy as Peter’s love for the sea had also touched her. Catherine’s health was adversely affected by living a difficult life, giving birth to twelve children, having venereal disease that she contracted from Peter, and her heavy drinking after Peter’s death. 43-year-old Catherine died of tuberculosis in 1727.
Unofficial Royalty: Empress Catherine I of Russia

May 17, 1758 – Birth of Prince Honoré IV of Monaco in Paris, France
In 1777, Honoré IV married the wealthy heiress Louise d’Aumont, Duchess of Mazarin, Duchess of Mayenne, and Duchess of Meilleraye in her own right. The couple had two sons, both sovereign Princes of Monaco. The French Revolution had dire consequences for the Grimaldi family. Honoré IV and other members of his family were imprisoned. Honoré IV, whose chronic ill health had been worsened by imprisonment, would have become Prince of Monaco but Monaco was no longer a sovereign monarchy as France had annexed it. After Honoré IV’s release from prison, Louise and Honoré IV’s marriage became unhappy and the couple divorced. separated. Eventually, the right to rule Monaco was returned to the Grimaldis. By the time Honoré IV became the Sovereign Prince of Monaco in 1814, his physical condition had worsened and he was now paralyzed on one side of his body. Because of his condition, a regency was established to rule in his name. Honoré IV, Prince of Monaco died in Paris, France on February 16, 1819, aged 60.
Unofficial Royalty: Honoré IV, Prince of Monaco

May 17, 1768 – Birth of Caroline of Brunswick, Queen of the United Kingdom, wife of King George IV of the United Kingdom, in Brunswick, Duchy of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, now in Lower Saxony, Germany
Full name: Caroline Amelia Elizabeth
Caroline was chosen as the bride for her first cousin, the future King George IV.  Great Britain was at war with revolutionary France and eager to obtain allies on the European mainland.  This marriage is one of the worst ever royal marriages. Upon first seeing Caroline, George said to his valet, “Harris, I am not well; pray get me a glass of brandy.” Caroline said George was fat and not as handsome as his portrait. It is doubtful that the couple spent more than a few nights together as husband and wife. Their only child, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was born nine months later. Caroline and George both found each other equally unattractive and never lived together nor appeared in public together.
Unofficial Royalty: Caroline of Brunswick, Queen of the United Kingdom

May 17, 1802 – Death of Sophie Antonia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, wife of Ernst Friedrich, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld,  in Coburg, Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, now in Bavaria, Germany
Sophia Antonia was the wife of Ernst Friedrich, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and the great-grandmother of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. She had connections to a number of royal families. She was the paternal aunt of Ivan VI, Emperor of All Russia, first cousin of Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria, and Queen of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia, and first cousin of Peter II, Emperor of All Russia. Because she was related to many royal families, Sophie Antonia was considered as a bride for a number of princes. However, she was not considered attractive which resulted in the failure of many marriage negotiations. In 1749, she married Ernst Friedrich, the future Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. The couple had seven children but only three survived childhood
Unofficial Royalty: Sophie Antonia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

May 17, 1886 – Birth of King Alfonso XIII of Spain in Madrid, Spain
Full Name: Alfonso Leon Fernando Maria Jaime Isidro Pascual Antonio
Alfonso is noteworthy because he became the King of Spain at birth. His father died while his mother was pregnant. In 1906, Alfonso married Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (Ena), the daughter of Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s youngest child.  He had decided to marry Ena despite the risk that she was a hemophilia carrier. Victoria Eugenie’s brother Leopold suffered from the disease. Alfonso and Ena’s marriage was strained from the birth of their first son, Alfonso. Shortly after his birth, it was discovered that he was suffering from hemophilia. Of their children, only their oldest and youngest son had the disease. Despite knowing the possible risk before they married, Alfonso blamed Ena for bringing the disease into the royal family and distanced himself from her. He had several mistresses and fathered at least 6 illegitimate children. In 1931, elections were held, resulting in the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic. Alfonso and his family fled Spain, settling in France and then Italy. Soon after going into exile, Alfonso and Ena went their separate ways. He remained in Rome, while Ena settled in Switzerland. On January 15, 1941, feeling that his life was coming to an end, Alfonso formally abdicated in favor of his third son, Juan, Count of Barcelona (the father of the future King Juan Carlos I of Spain). His two older sons had both renounced their claims to the throne in the early 1930s. Just weeks later, on February 28, 1941, King Alfonso XIII died at the Grand Hotel in Rome, Italy at the age of 54.
Unofficial Royalty: King Alfonso XIII of Spain

May 17, 1889 – Death of Marie of Prussia, Queen of Bavaria, wife of King Maximilian II of Bavaria, at Hohenschwangau Castle in Hohenschwangau, Kingdom of Bavaria, now in Bavaria, Germany; buried at the Theatinerkirche in Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria, now in Bavaria, Germany
In 1842, Marie married the future King Maximilian II of Bavaria. The couple had two sons, King Ludwig II and King Otto. Both of Marie’s sons were thought to have suffered from mental illness that severely hampered their abilities to rule Bavaria. After her husband’s death in 1864, Marie lived in relative seclusion, splitting her time between her country home in Elbigenalp and Hohenschwangau Castle in Füssen, Kingdom of Bavaria, now in the German state of Bavaria. In 1883, her elder son, King Ludwig II, was deemed incompetent, and Marie’s brother-in-law, Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, was appointed Prince Regent. Days later, King Ludwig II and his doctor were found dead in a lake, and Marie’s younger son became King Otto I, also under the Regency of Prince Luitpold. Marie died at Hohenschwangau Castle on May 17, 1889, aged 64.
Unofficial Royalty: Marie of Prussia, Queen of Bavaria

May 17, 1891 – Birth of Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife, Princess Arthur of Connaught at East Sheen Lodge in Richmond, London, England
Full name: Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise
Alexandra was the eldest surviving child of Princess Louise, Princess Royal and Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife and a grandchild of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. She married her first cousin once removed, Prince Arthur of Connaught, the only son of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught. After her father’s death, Alexandra became the Duchess of Fife in her own right.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife, Princess Arthur of Connaught

May 17, 1951 – Death of Empress Teimei of Japan (born Lady Sadako Kujō), wife of Emperor Taishō of Japan, at Omiya Palace in Tokyo, Japan; buried at the Musashi Imperial Graveyard in Tokyo, Japan
The future Emperor Taishō, had cerebral meningitis when he was three weeks old and this affected his health and his mental capacity, including a speech disorder and difficulty walking, for the rest of his life. Due to his health issues, he was often unable to continue his studies and he was a poor student in areas requiring higher-level thinking. Because of Taishō’s diminished mental capacity, his father Emperor Meiji wanted an intelligent, articulate, and dignified wife for his son, and he found those qualities in Lady Sadako Kujō.
Unofficial Royalty: Empress Teimei of Japan

May 17, 1971 – Birth of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, wife of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, born Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Máxima met her future husband in Spain, during the Seville Spring Fair. At first, she was unaware of his royal status, having simply introduced himself as ‘Alexander’. When he eventually told her who he was, she thought he was joking. They met again a few weeks later in New York and their romance blossomed. The couple married on February 2, 2002. Máxima and Willem-Alexander have three daughters. Willem-Alexander’s mother Queen Beatrix abdicated on the morning of April 30, 2013, and Willem-Alexander became the new King of the Netherlands and Máxima became Queen. Queen Máxima holds numerous public posts and represents the Royal House at official occasions of all kinds. She is a member of the Council of State which provides the government and Parliament with advice on legislation and governance and is also the country’s highest administrative court.
Unofficial Royalty: Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, Queen of the Netherlands

This article is the intellectual property of Unofficial Royalty and is NOT TO BE COPIED, EDITED, OR POSTED IN ANY FORM ON ANOTHER WEBSITE under any circumstances. It is permissible to use a link that directs to Unofficial Royalty.

May 16: Today in Royal History

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Louise of Baden, Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna of Russia; Credit – Wikipedia

May 16, 1696 – Death of Mariana of Austria, Queen of Spain, second wife of her maternal uncle, King Felipe IV of Spain, in Madrid, Spain; buried at the Monastery of San Lorenzo El Real in El Escorial, Spain
Wikipedia: Mariana of Austria, Queen of Spain (Unofficial Royalty article coming soon)

May 16, 1721-2 – Death of Lady Anne FitzRoy, acknowledged by King Charles II of England as his child by Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland; buried at Linsted, Kent, England
Wikipedia: Lady Anne FitzRoy

May 16, 1826 – Death of Louise of Baden, Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna of Russia, wife of Alexander I, Emperor of All Russia, at Belev, Russia; buried at Peter and Paul Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Name after marriage: Elizabeth Alexeievna
Louise was the daughter of Karl Ludwig, Hereditary Prince of Baden and Amelia Frederica of Hesse-Darmstadt. Louise, herself an empress, had seven siblings which included two queens, a grand duchess, a duchess, and a grand duke. Collectively, Louise’s siblings are ancestors of a number of royal families. In 1793, Louise married the future Alexander I, Emperor of All Russia. Both Elizabeth Alexeievna and her husband had affairs and their marriage produced no surviving children. Both Elizabeth Alexeievna and her husband had affairs and their marriage produced no surviving children. By 1825, Elizabeth Alexeievna’s health was suffering due to lung problems and the doctors recommended getting away from the harsh climate of St. Petersburg.  Alexander and  Elizabeth Alexeievna relocated to the city of Taganrog, Russia, by the Sea of Azov. On December 1, 1825, Alexander died from typhus in Elizabeth Alexeievna’s arms in their home in Taganrog.  Elizabeth Alexeievna survived him by five months.   While traveling back to St. Petersburg for her husband’s funeral, she felt so sick that had to stop at Belev in Tula Province, Russia.  On the morning of May 16, 1826, Elizabeth Alexeievna’s maid went to check on her and found her dead in her bed of heart failure at the age of 47.
Unofficial Royalty: Louise of Baden, Elizabeth Alexeievna, Empress of All Russia

May 16, 1969 – Birth of Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein, son of Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein, in St. Gallen, Switzerland
Full name: Maximilian Nikolaus Maria
Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein is the second son of the three sons and the second of the four children of Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein. In 2000, Maximilian married Angela Gisella Brown and the couple had one son. Since 2006, Maximilian has served as CEO of the LGT Group, the largest family-owned private wealth management firm in Europe. The LGT Group is part of the Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein

This article is the intellectual property of Unofficial Royalty and is NOT TO BE COPIED, EDITED, OR POSTED IN ANY FORM ON ANOTHER WEBSITE under any circumstances. It is permissible to use a link that directs to Unofficial Royalty.

May 15: Today in Royal History

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Maria Luisa of Spain, Holy Roman Empress, Grand Duchess of Tuscany; Credit – Wikipedia

May 15, 1792 – Death of Maria Luisa of Spain, wife of Pietro Leopoldo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany also Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor at Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria; buried at the Imperial Crypt in Vienna, Austria
In 1764, Maria Luisa married the future Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor/Pietro Leopoldo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany who was the son of Empress Maria Theresa, in her own right Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary, Queen of Croatia, and Queen of Bohemia, and Francis Stephen, Holy Roman Emperor, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Duke of Lorraine. Maria Luisa and Leopold had sixteen children. Leopold was elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1790 after the death of his childless brother Joseph. Maria Luisa became Holy Roman Empress, Queen of Hungary, and Queen of Bohemia. Because his elder brother Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor had no children, Leopold became the founder of the main line of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. Less than three months after the sudden death of her husband, Maria Luisa also died suddenly, aged 46, on May 15, 1792, at Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria.
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Luisa of Spain, Holy Roman Empress, Grand Duchess of Tuscany

May 15, 1845 – Death of Georg II, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont in Arolsen, Principality of Waldeck and Pyrmont, now in Hesse, Germany
Upon the death of his father in 1813, Georg succeeded him as Prince of Waldeck-Pyrmont. In 1823, Georg married Emma of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym and they had five children. Through their son Georg Viktor, Prince of Waldeck-Pyrmont, they were the grandparents of Emma who married King Willem III of the Netherlands and Helena who married Prince Leopold, Queen Victoria’s hemophiliac, youngest son. After Georg II died at the age of 55, he was succeeded by his fourteen-year-old son Georg Viktor. His wife Emma, served as Regent for her son until 1852.
Unofficial Royalty: Georg II, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont

May 15, 1957 – Birth of Prince Jean and Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg at Betzdorf Castle in Betzdorf, Luxembourg, children of Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg and Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium
Full names: Jean Felix Marie Guillaume and Margaretha Antonia Marie Félicité
Jean and Margaretha are the younger siblings of Henri, the current Grand Duke of Luxembourg. In 1987, Jean married Hélène Vestur. They had four children but their marriage ended in divorce in 2004. In 2009, Jean married Diane de Guerre. Margaretha married Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein, son of Franz Josef II of Liechtenstein in 1982. Their marriage would be the last (so far) between two reigning royal houses in Europe. Margaretha and Niklaus had four children.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Jean of Luxembourg
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg, Princess of Liechtenstein

May 15, 1981 – Birth of Zara Tindall, daughter of Anne, Princess Royal, born Zara Phillips at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, England
Full name: Zara Anne Elizabeth
Zara is the younger of the two children of Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, and her first husband Mark Phillips, and the grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II. Like her brother Peter, she holds no royal titles or styles but is still considered a member of the British Royal Family. An accomplished equestrian from a young age, Zara won team and individual medals at world competitions. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Zara was part of the silver medal-winning equestrian team event, receiving her medal from her mother. In 2011, Zara married English rugby player Mike Tindall. Zara and Mike have two daughters and one son.
Unofficial Royalty: Zara Phillips Tindall

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May 14: Today in Royal History

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Marguerite de Valois, Queen of France; Credit – Wikipedia

May 14, 1553 – Birth of Marguerite de Valois, Queen of France, daughter of King Henri II of France and Catherine de’ Medici, first wife of King Henri IV of France, at Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye in France
Marguerite was the daughter of King Henri II of France and Catherine de’ Medici. In 1572, Marguerite married King Henri III of Navarre, later King Henri IV of France, the first king of the House of Bourbon. Just days after the wedding, the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, in which thousands of French Protestant Huguenots were killed, took place. Marguerite is alleged to have hidden several prominent Huguenots, as well as her new husband, to keep them safe from certain death. When her brother, King Henri III, died without an heir, the throne passed to Marguerite’s husband, who was the senior agnatic heir of King Louis IX of France. Henri IV needed a male heir, and his marriage to Marguerite had produced no children. He began negotiations with Marguerite to have their marriage annulled. After several years, the marriage was formally dissolved at the end of 1599. Marguerite retained her title as Queen of France. She  died on March 27, 1615, aged 61.
Unofficial Royalty: Marguerite de Valois, Queen of France

May 14, 1610 – Assassination of King Henri IV of France by Francois Ravillac, a fanatical monk, on the Rue de Ferronnerie in Paris, France; buried at the Basilica of St. Denis in Saint-Denis, now a northern suburb of Paris, France
King Henri IV of France was the first French king of the House of Bourbon. He was the son of Queen Jeanne III of Navarre and Antoine de Bourbon, Duke de Vendôme. Although he was baptized in the Catholic Church, Henri was raised as a Protestant. Upon his mother’s death in 1572, Henri took the throne as King Henri III of Navarre. Two months later, he married Marguerite of Valois, the daughter of King Henri II of France. In 1584, Henri became the heir-presumptive to the French throne, as the last heir to King Henri III of France had died. Henri was the most senior agnatic descendant of King Louis IX, and therefore the rightful heir. When King Henri III of France was assassinated in 1589, King Henri III of Navarre, as the heir-presumptive, became King Henri IV of France. In a loveless and childless marriage, and knowing that he needed an heir, Henri began negotiations to end his first marriage to Marguerite of Valois. In 1600, Henri married Marie de’ Medici and the couple had six children. In 1610, Henri IV was stabbed to death while his carriage was traveling through Paris.
Unofficial Royalty: Assassination of King Henri IV of France
Unofficial Royalty: King Henri IV of France

May 14, 1643 – Death of King Louis XIII of France in Paris; buried at the Basilica of St. Denis in Saint-Denis, now a northern suburb of Paris, France
Louis XIII became King of France at the age of eight upon the assassination of his father King Henri IV of France. His mother Marie de’ Medici was appointed Regent. In 1615, Louis married Anne of Austria. They had two sons King Louis XIV and Philippe I, Duke of Orléans. Although best associated with later generations of French monarchs, the Palace of Versailles has its origins with Louis XIII. Having gone on several hunting trips in the area, King Louis XIII ordered the construction of a hunting lodge in 1624. Several years later, he acquired the surrounding land and began to enlarge the building. It was under his son’s reign that the small hunting lodge was transformed into a grand palace, and became the seat of the French monarchy. After several weeks of intense illness, King Louis XIII died in Paris on May 14, 1643. Ironically, it was 33 years earlier on the same day that his own father had died. Just like his father, Louis left behind a very young son – not yet five years old – to succeed him on the French throne.
Unofficial Royalty: King Louis XIII of France

May 14, 1666 – Birth of Vittorio Amedeo II, King of Sardinia in Turin, Duchy of Savoy, now in Italy
Vittorio Amedeo II reigned as King of Sardinia from 1720 – 1730 but he had also reigned as King of Sicily from 1713 – 1720, and was Duke of Savoy from the death of his father in 1675 until his abdication in 1730. He married Anne Marie d’Orléans, the daughter of King Louis XIV of France’s only sibling Philippe, Duke of Orléans and his first wife Henrietta of England. They had six children. In 1730, two years after the death of his wife, Vittorio Amedeo privately and morganatically married Anna Canalis di Cumiana had been his mistress when she was a lady-in-waiting to Vittoria Amedeo’s mother. When Vittorio Amedeo announced his marriage to the court, he also abdicated and retired from the royal court. His son succeeded him as Carlo Emanuele III, King of Sardinia. On February 5, 1732, Vittorio Amedeo suffered a stroke, and his health drastically deteriorated. He asked to move to the Castle of Moncalieri near Turin and was transported there on a litter guarded by a company of soldiers. He died there at the age of 66.
Unofficial Royalty: Vittorio Amedeo II, King of Sardinia

May 14, 1710 – Birth of King Adolf Fredrik of Sweden, born Prince Adolf Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp, at Gottorp Castle in Gottorp, Duchy of Schleswig now the city of Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
The first Swedish king of the House of Holstein-Gottorp, Adolf Frederik was born Prince Adolf Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp. In 1743, after the Russo-Swedish War which ended in Sweden’s defeat, negotiations were held with Empress Elizabeth of Russia. She agreed to restore part of Finland to Sweden if her heir’s uncle Adolf Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp was made heir to the childless King Frederik I of Sweden. Empress Elizabeth’s heir was Karl Peter Ulrich, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (the ill-fated future Peter III, Emperor of All Russia), the only child of Elizabeth’s deceased sister. Thereafter, Adolf Friedrich was known by the Swedish version of his name, Adolf Frederik. In 1744, Adolf Frederik married Louisa Ulrika of Prussia and the couple had four children including two Kings of Sweden. Upon the death of King Frederik I of Sweden in 1751, Adolf Frederik succeeded to the Swedish throne. During his twenty-year reign, Adolf Fredrik had no real power. The Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) held the power. Adolf Fredrik tried to change this twice, unsuccessfully. At the age of 60, King Adolf Fredrik died on February 12, 1771, after eating an extremely large meal and then suffering a stroke. In Sweden, he is remembered as “the king who ate himself to death.”
Unofficial Royalty: King Adolf Fredrik of Sweden

May 14, 1759 – Birth of Prince Alois I of Liechtenstein in Vienna, Austria
Full name: Aloys Josef Johannes Nepomuk Melchior
Upon the death of his father Franz Josef I, Prince of Liechtenstein in 1781, 22-year-old Alois became the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein. In 1783, Alois married 15-year-old Karoline von Manderscheid-Blankenheim. Although the couple had no children, Karoline had two illegitimate children with her long-time lover Franz von Langendonck, a captain in the Imperial Austrian Army. Alois did much to improve the administration and management of his estates. He introduced modern methods of production on his estates, experimented with breeding, and imported numerous useful and ornamental plants for economic reasons and botanical interest. Alois was passionate about books and continued to expand the princely library by purchasing extensive collections. Alois I died on March 24, 1805, aged 45.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Alois I of Liechtenstein

May 14, 1778 – Birth of Prince Honoré V of Monaco in Paris
Wikipedia: Prince Honoré V of Monaco (Unofficial Royalty article coming soon)

May 14, 1818 – Death of Charlotte Georgine of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Duchess of Saxe-Hildburghausen, wife of the future Friedrich, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, in Hildburghausen, Duchy of Saxe-Hildburghausen, now in Thuringia, Germany; initially buried in the Hildburghausen Castle Church in the Duchy of Saxe-Hildburghausen, now in Thuringia, Germany, her remains were moved to the Hildburghausen Stadtfriedhof in 1819, the first burial in the new cemetery
Charlotte was the eldest child of Carl II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Princess Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt. Her paternal aunt was Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of King George III of the United Kingdom. In 1785, Charlotte married Friedrich, then the Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The marriage was unhappy from the beginning, and Friedrich mostly ignored his wife who was far more intelligent than he was. Despite this, the couple had twelve children. Despite her husband’s disinterest, Charlotte became much loved by the people of Saxe-Hildburghausen. She gave very generously to causes and charities which helped the poor and funded numerous programs that provided education and training to the less fortunate.
Unofficial Royalty: Charlotte Georgine of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Duchess of Saxe-Hildburghausen

May 14, 1854 – Birth of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia, wife of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia, born Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin at Schloss Ludwigslust in the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, now in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Full name: Marie Alexandrine Elisabeth Eleonore
In 1874, Maria married Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia, the second surviving son of Alexander II, Emperor of All Russia. The couple had five children. On February 17, 1909, 61-year-old Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich died suddenly after suffering a major cerebral hemorrhage. Maria was one of the Romanovs who escaped Russia after the Russian Revolution. However, she was hesitant to leave because she still hoped that her own eldest son Kirill would one day be Emperor of All Russia. On February 13, 1920, Maria Pavlovna, her son Andrei, his mistress the famous ballerina Matilde Kschessinska, and her son Vladimir boarded an Italian ship in the direction of Venice, Italy. They made their way from Venice to Switzerland and then to France, where Maria Pavlovna’s health failed and she died six months later. Maria Pavlovna had a passion for jewelry and her collection was renowned. She was one of the few members of the Romanov family who managed to get her jewelry out of Russia. British art dealer and diplomatic courier Albert Stopford, a family friend, rescued the jewelry from her Vladimir Palace safe and smuggled the jewels out of Russia to England. After Maria Pavlovna’s death, the jewelry was sold by her children to support their lives in exile.
Unofficial Royalty: Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia

May 14, 1859 – Birth of Queen Natalija of Serbia, wife of King Milan I of Serbia, born Natalija Keschko in Florence, then in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, now in Italy
In 1875, Natalija married her second cousin Milan Obrenović IV, Prince of Serbia. In 1882, the Principality of Serbia was elevated to the Kingdom of Serbia and so Milan and Natalija became the first King and Queen of Serbia. The marriage was unsuccessful but Natalija and Milan had two sons but only the eldest survive. After the horrendous assassination of her son Alexander I, King of Serbia and his wife in 1903, Natalija was the only member of the Obrenović dynasty. She donated the Obrenović inheritance to the University of Belgrade and churches and monasteries in Serbia. Natalija became a nun and died at the age of 81 at the Monastery of Saint-Denis near Paris, France.
Unofficial Royalty: Natalija Keschko, Queen of Serbia

May 14, 1912 – Death of King Frederik VIII of Denmark on a park bench in Hamburg, Kingdom of Prussia, now in Germany; buried at Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark
Frederik VIII and his wife Louise of Sweden are the ancestors of several royal families besides the Danish royal family. Their son Carl was elected King of Norway and reigned as King Haakon VII. Their daughter Ingeborg was the mother of Märtha who married her first cousin King Haakon VII of Norway. However, Märtha died before her husband became king. Ingeborg was also the mother of Astrid, the first wife of Leopold III, King of the Belgians.  Astrid’s daughter Josephine-Charlotte married Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg. Returning to Copenhagen after a trip to Nice, France, Frederik made a stopover in Hamburg, Kingdom of Prussia, now in Germany on May 13, 1912. He registered at the Hamburger Hof Hotel using the pseudonym Count Kronborg. On the following evening, May 14, 1912, Frederik left the hotel alone for an evening stroll. When he was not found in his hotel room the next morning, a discreet search revealed that the body of a well-dressed unknown gentleman had been found on a park bench. The body, which had been moved to the city morgue a little before midnight, was that of the 68-year-old King Frederik who had died of a heart attack.
Unofficial Royalty: King Frederik VIII of Denmark

May 14, 1922 – Death of Lady Mary Victoria Hamilton, first wife of Prince Albert I of Monaco, in Budapest, Hungary; buried with her second husband in his family mausoleum on the grounds of the Festetics Palace in Keszthely, Hungary
Besides having an American mother, Prince Albert II of Monaco has a Scottish great-grandmother, and not on his mother’s side, but on his father’s side. Lady Mary Victoria Hamilton was the daughter of William Alexander Anthony Archibald Hamilton, 11th Duke of Hamilton and Princess Marie Amelie of Baden. French Emperor Napoléon III suggested a match between the future Prince Albert I of Monaco and Lady Mary Victoria. The couple married in 1869 but the marriage was unsuccessful. Mary Victoria did not like her husband and did not like Monaco and the Mediterranean, which was so unlike her native Scotland. 19-year-old, pregnant Mary Victoria left Monaco with her mother and headed to her mother’s family home in the Grand Duchy of Baden. It was in Baden that Mary Victoria gave birth to the future Prince Louis II of Monaco in 1870. Mary Victoria and Albert never reconciled. Their marriage was annulled by the Roman Catholic Church in 1880 and civilly dissolved the same year by Prince Charles III of Monaco. Their son Prince Louis was raised in Baden by his maternal grandmother and did not see his father until he was 11-years-old. Mary Victoria married a second time in 1880 to Count Tassilo Festetics de Tolna, a Hungarian noble, and the couple had four children. Mary Victoria’s second marriage was a happy one and lasted over 40 years until the death of her second husband.
Unofficial Royalty: Lady Mary Victoria Hamilton, Princess of Monaco

May 14, 1953 – Birth of King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Norodom Sihamoni is the current King of Cambodia. Citing his poor health, Sihamoni’s father, King Sihanouk, announced his abdication in October 2004. Unlike most monarchies, the succession to the Cambodian throne is not hereditary. The monarch is elected for life by the Royal Council of the Throne, made up of members of the royal family, government officials, and religious figures. Upon his father’s abdication, Sihamoni was unanimously elected as the next King of Cambodia on October 14, 2004. He is unmarried and has no children.
Unofficial Royalty: King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia

May 14, 1959 – Death of Maria Antonia of Portugal, Duchess of Parma, 2nd wife of Roberto I, Duke of Parma, at Berg Castle, Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg; buried at the Puchheim Castle Church in Attnang-Puchheim, Austria
Maria Antonia youngest of the seven children of the deposed Miguel I, King of Portugal. In 1884, she married Roberto I, titular Duke of Parma, as his second wife. Maria Antonia and Roberto had twelve children including Zita who married Karl I, the last Emperor of Austria and Felix who married Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg. Maria Antonia’s husband died in 1907. After World War I, when her son-in-law Karl I, Emperor of Austria lost his throne and had to go into exile, Maria Antonia accompanied her daughter Zita, Karl, and their large family. After World War II ended, Maria Antonia lived the rest of her life at Berg Castle in Colmar-Berg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Her niece, the daughter of her sister Maria Ana, was Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, the wife of Maria Antonia’s son Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma. In 1952, Maria Antonia celebrated her 90th birthday at Berg Castle. She survived her husband Roberto by 52 years, dying on May 14, 1959, aged 96, at Berg Castle in Colmar-Berg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Antonia of Portugal, Duchess of Parma

May 14, 1962 – Wedding of King Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sofia of Greece in a Roman Catholic ceremony at the Cathedral of St. Denis in Athens, Greece and then in a Greek Orthodox ceremony at the Metropolitan Orthodox Cathedral of the Virgin Mary also in Athens
As Juan Carlos and Sophia were of different faiths, special consent was needed from both churches for the marriage to take place. A Greek Orthodox ceremony was required for the couple to be married in Greece, but the Spanish would likely not accept a future royal couple that had not been married according to Roman Catholic rites. After some discussion, an agreement was made to marry the couple in dual Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox ceremonies. The Catholic service would be held at the Cathedral of St. Denis in Athens, Greece, while the Orthodox ceremony would take place at the Metropolitan Orthodox Cathedral of the Virgin Mary in Athens.
Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of Juan Carlos of Spain and Sofia of Greece

May 14, 2004 – Wedding of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson at Copenhagen Cathedral (The Church of Our Lady) in Copenhagen, Denmark
Frederik and Mary met on September 16, 2000, during the Olympic Games in Sydney. A friend of Mary’s was meeting Bruno Gómez-Acebo (a nephew of King Juan Carlos) for dinner at the Slip Inn in Sydney and invited Mary and another friend to join them. Bruno also brought a few friends, including Prince Nikolaos of Greece and his cousin Crown Prince Frederik. Quickly the two became very interested in each other. Over the next year, Frederik made many private trips to Australia to see Mary, and in 2001, she left Australia and moved first to Paris and then to Denmark. The engagement of Crown Prince Frederik and Miss Mary Donaldson was formally announced on October 8, 2003, following a meeting of the Council of State, at which Queen Margrethe II had given her formal consent to the marriage.
Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson

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