1581 – Queen Elizabeth I of England knights Francis Drake on the deck of his ship, the Golden Hind. Drake had recently returned from his circumnavigation of the globe.
1660 – King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland issues the Declaration of Breda, which pardons crimes committed during the Civil War and Protectorate for anyone who recognizes him as King. It also allows property owners to keep any property acquired during that time, promises religious toleration for all, and payment of what’s owed to those who fought in the army.
1814 – French Emperor Napoleon I was confronted by the Generals of the Army who demanded he abdicate after Paris was captured during the War of the Sixth Coalition. The official order of abdication would be signed on April 11th.
1866 – Dmitry Karakozov attempts to shoot Russian Tsar Alexander II. He said he hated the Tsar and blamed him for the suffering of poor people. Alexander was a popular Tsar for his liberal reforms, and Karakozov was executed later that year.
1819 – The future Maria II of Portugal is born in Brazil. Even though Brazil was part of Portugal at the time, she is still the only European monarch to not be born in Europe. Her father had declared himself Emperor of an independent Brazil, and abdicated in favor of his daughter. She was betrothed to her uncle, Miguel, but two years into the young queens reign she would be deposed by that same uncle. Six years later, she was restored to the throne. She would later die in Lisbon at age 34 after the birth of her 11th child, a Prince who also died.
1284 – Alfonso X of Castile and Leon dies at age 62 in Seville, Spain. He was the son of Ferdinand III of Castile, and had ruled since 1252. A faction of electors tried to raise Alfonso to the title of Holy Roman Emperor, but he was unable to claim the throne. The last part of his reign was scarred with civil war against his younger son, Sancho, after his elder son died. Alfonso attempted to exclude Sancho from the succession in favor of Ferdinand’s children. Alfonso would die after being defeated in the war, and Sancho would succeed him.
1305 – Joan I, Queen regnant of Navarre, and Queen consort of France died at age 32, allegedly after childbirth. She was regarded as not being particularly beautiful, but as being bold and courageous. She was married to Phillip IV of France, and they had three sons, who all became Kings of France and Navarre, and one daughter, Isabella, who became Queen of England when she married Edward II.
1588 – A 53 year old Frederick II of Denmark dies of pneumonia. He was war like at the beginning of his reign, but after the unsuccessful Swedish Seven Years War, he attempted to keep the peace with other nations. He attempted neutrality, but did support the Protestant fighters on the continent. A town and school in Norway, both named for him, still stand today. His son, Christian IV would succeed him.
1953 – King Carol II of Romania died in Portugal at age 59. He had renounced his right to the throne in 1925 in favor of his son, Michael I. However in 1930, he returned to Romania and claimed the throne from his son, going back on his renunciation. By 1938, he had dismantled the parliamentary system of Romania, with most power falling to him and his Prime Minister. In 1940 he would be forced to abdicate in favor of Michael again. He would die in exile and his remains would not be allowed into Romania until 2003.
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