1541 – French king Francis I gives a commission to explore and settle the lands called “New France” (modern day Canada) for the spread of the Catholic faith.
1559 – In Westminster Abbey, Elizabeth I of England is crowned as Queen regnant. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, who was excuted when Elizabeth was still a toddler. She was a supersitious woman, and had consulted her astrologers who determined that if she was crowned today, her reign would be long and prosperous.
1991 – Elizabeth II signs letters patent, under her authority as Queen of Australia, to allow the country of Australia to begin giving its own Victoria cross medals. The medal is the highest award for Australians in “recognition to persons who in the presence of the enemy, perform acts of the most conspicuous gallantry, or daring or pre-eminent acts of valour or self-sacrifice or display extreme devotion to duty.” There have only been 4 awarded so far.
1432 – The future Afonso V of Portugal is born in Sintra, Portugal as the son to King Edward of Portugal and Queen Eleanor. He would become King at age and would rule under a regency until 1448. He would also be known as “Afonso the African” because of his wars and conquests there.
1882 – Princess Margaret of Connaught is born to Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, son of Queen Victoria. In 1905 she would marry Swedish Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf and give him 5 children before her sudden death at age 38, while pregnant with their 6th child. According to her will, she was not buried in a church, but rather in the graveyard Haga. Her nickname “Daisy” derived from the French/one of the German words for the flower sounding similar to her name.
1902 – King Saud of Saudi Arabia is born to King Abd al-Aziz in Kuwait. He would become King in 1953, but was an ineffective ruler and would be removed from power in 1964. He would die five years later, living in exile in Greece.
1945 – A not-so-dead royal birthday today, Princess Michael of Kent, or Marie Christine, is born in Karlsbad, Sudetenland, back then part of Germany, now part of the Czech Republic. She would marry Prince Michael of Kent, first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II in 1978. She does not carry out any official duties and because she is a Roman Catholic, her husband gave up his place in the line of succession to marry her.
1982 – Prince Alexander and Prince Philip of Yugoslavia were born today to the exiled Yugoslavian royal family, living in the US. Alexander is currently living in California, and Phillip in England. They are 108th and 109th in line to the crown of the United Kingdom as well.
1781 – Mariana Victoria of Spain died in Portugal. She was born in Spain as a daughter of Phillip V and Elisabeth Farnese. Briefly she was engaged to Louis XV of France, but the marriage never came to be. Instead, she was married to Joseph I of Portugal, and served as Queen consort of Portugal from 1750, until 1777. Her daughter would rule next, as Maria I, with Mariana serving as Regent.