1649 – Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland is beheaded for high treason against the people. Forces loyal to him had lost what was now referred to as the English Civil War. His family, including his wife and two older sons had already fled to France. He wore two shirts, as it was a chilly morning and it was said that he didn’t want to be seen shivering, and his enemies mistake it for fear.
1661- Two years after his death, and one year after the Restoration of the Monarchy in Britain, Oliver Cromwell, one time Lord Protector was exhumed and ceremonially decapitated and given a traitor’s funeral, for his part in the overthrow and execution of Charles I. The former King’s oldest son, also named Charles, was the new King.
1889 – Crown Prince and Archduke of Austria Rudolf, heir to the thrones of Austria and Hungary, is found dead at the royal residence of Meyerling, with his mistress, in an apparent murder-suicide. He was the only son of Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth. This lead to a succession crisis, with the duty of heir falling on Franz Joseph’s nephew, the doomed Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
1894 – The future Boris III of Bulgaria is born. He became Tsar of Bulgaria in 1918, after his father, Ferdinand I was forced to abdicate after the disaster of World War I. When Hitler came to power in the Thirties, Boris was back and forth on his policies, agreeing with some to regain lost territory, but then refusing others at first, like the deportation of Bulgarian Jews. In fact, no Jews from pre-war Bulgaria were deported, to the chagrin of Hitler. Boris would not see the end of the war though, as he would pass away in 1943.
1962 – In recently dead royals, the future King Abdullah II of Jordan is born in Amman. He would become King in 1999 after the death of his father, King Hussein of Jordan. His son, Hashem bin Al Abdullah was also born today, in 2005.
1968 – And in not so dead royals, Felipe, Prince of Asturias and heir apparent to the crown of Spain is born in Madrid. He is now King Felipe VI, and the only son of the former King, Juan Carlos I and Queen Sophia. Juan Carlos abdicated in June of 2014. He was actually a competitor in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, and he and his sisters are the first Spanish royals to participate in public protests, as they did in 2004.
1730 – Tsar Peter II of Russia, grandson of Peter I, dies suddenly of smallpox at the age of 14. He had come to the crown just three years earlier, and with his death, it ended the direct male line Romanov dynasty. He would be succeeded by his cousin, Anna.
1989 – Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cadiz dies at age 52 in a skiing accident, while visiting the United States. He was of the Spanish House of Bourbon but also had a claim to the defunct French crown as a descendant of the French Bourbons. Another claimant of the French throne, from the House of Orleans, actually sued him over the use of the French royal arms. The case was thrown out in favour of Alfonso.
Have a great day!!