1328 – Philip VI of France is crowned king at Reims. He was the eldest male line grandson of Philip III and put forth as king after the death of Charles IV, due to France’s observance of Salic Law, which forbade the throne to pass to a female, or through a female line. There were claimants more closely related to the late Charles IV, such as Edward III of England (Charles’ nephew through his sister, Isabella) however, they were through a female line. Edward supported Philip at first, but after some disputes, Edward claimed the throne in 1337 and began the Hundred Years War. Philip was the first Valois King of France.
1660 – The English Restoration officially takes place, bringing Charles II back from Europe as King. Today was also his birthday.
1627 – Anne Marie Louise d’Orleans is born today in Paris. She was the daughter of Gaston, Duke of Orleans, and thus a niece of Louis XIII. Her mother died five days after her birth, leaving Anne Marie as Duchess of Montpensier, as well as other territories and a vast fortune. She would spend time back and forth from court, depending her father’s acceptance and later her own. She would attempt to marry a courtier of lower rank, but the marriage was disallowed by King Louis XIV, to the point of her fiancée being arrested and imprisoned. They would never marry. Her fortune and estates would be left to her cousin, Phillippe at her death.
1630 – The future Charles II is born in London. The son of the ill-fated Charles I, the younger Charles was sent abroad at age 16 when the English Civil War went further south for his father. He was living on Continental Europe in 1649 when his father was beheaded. However in 1660, after the fall of the Protectorate, Charles was restored to the throne and was determined to “never go on his travels again.” He married Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza, whom he had no children with, despite his numerous illegitimate children. Charles died in 1685, leaving the throne to his brother, James.
1773 – Princess Sophie of Gloucester is born in England. She is a great granddaughter of George II and niece to George III. She never married or had children, and lived out her days in the English countryside.
1259 – Christian I of Denmark died of sudden causes. The rumor was that he was poisoned by communion wine from a Bishop he had mistreated. He was key is using the Danehof, or medieval parliament to help consolidate power. He had also spent a good part of his seven year reign fighting the Norwegians and Swedes.
1379 – Henry II of Castile and Leon died at age 45 after thirteen years on the throne. He was an illegitimate son of Alfonso XI of Castile, and the first King from the House of Trastamara. He would join into the Hundred Years War against England and Portugal. He is famous for his fighting with John of Gaunt, who was married to Constance of Castile, who was a rival claimant to the throne.
1814 – Josephine de Beauharnais died of pneumonia at age 50. Josephine was the first wife of Napoleon I and was Empress of France. The marriage was dissolved after the no children were produced. Josephine agreed to the divorce, “for the interest of France.” Though Napoleon remarried, he insisted that Josephine still be called Empress, and that his new wife was “just a womb”. She lived out her days at Chateau de Malmaison, where she kept a world renowned garden. Her name would be one of Napoleon’s last words.
1873 – Two year old Prince Friedrich of Hesse and by Rhine died after a fall. The boy was the son of Louis IV, Hessian Grand Duke, and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, daughter of Queen Victoria, and a haemophiliac. Frittie, as he was called was the brother of doomed Russian Empress Alexandra, who was also a carrier for the haemophilia gene.
Have a great day!