1654 – a 15 year old Louis XIV of France was crowned at Reims. He had been King for about 10 years already, succeeding his father in 1643. He went on to rule until 1715 and was succeeded by his great-grandson, Louis XV. He would be King for 72 years, which is the longest of any European monarch.
1940 – The Norwegian government, along with King Haakon VII and Crown Prince Olav flee the country during Nazi occupation. They would return on this day in 1945.
1840 – Charlotte of Belgium is born to Belgian King Leopold I and Queen Louise. She was the sister to the future Leopold II and first cousin to Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert. In 1857, she married Austrian Archduke Maximilian who, with French intervention, was made Emperor of Mexico. In 1867, Maximilian was overthrown and executed. Charlotte returned to the continent shortly after their coronation, and was suffering bouts of mental illness. She passed away in 1927 in her native Belgium, at age 85.
1969 – In not so dead royalty, Prince Joachim of Denmark was born today to Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik. He is the younger brother to Crown Prince Frederick and is currently sixth in line for the throne.
1329 – A 54 year old Robert I of Scotland, or Robert the Bruce died of illness. He had been crowned in 1306, but Scotland was embroiled in war with Edward I of England, who intended to claim lordship over the Scottish lands. Robert successfully defeated the English during the War of Scottish Independence, culminating with his victory at the Battle of Bannockburn. He would be succeeded by his son, David, who had only been born in 1324. Robert had a daughter, Marjorie, who the later rulers, the Stewart (or Stuart) family is descended from. Robert the Bruce is still a National hero and point of pride for all of Scotland.
1840 – Frederick William III of Prussia died today in Berlin. He had been king since 1797 and was 69 years old. He ruled during the Napoleonic Wars, and had been slow to realize the threat of the French. He didn’t join the coalition against Napoleon until 1806, after he had been humiliatingly defeated. Two of his sons would be king after him, Frederick William IV, and Wilhelm I, who united all of Germany under Prussian rule.
2002 – Lillian, Princess of Rethy died in Belgium at age 85. In 1941, she married King Leopold III while the Belgian royal family was being held captive by the Nazis. The marriage caused quite a scandal across the country, but she proved to be a devoted wife and stepmother. However, after the war, things were not well with the royal family and the Belgian people were unhappy with Leopold’s actions with the Nazis, so he was forced to abdicate in 1951. The couple lived out their days in Belgium, and their three children who were barred from the succession.
Have a great day!