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Birthdays:
1595 – Wladyslaw IV Vasa is born today in Krakow, Poland. He was the son of Sigismund III Vasa and Anne of Austria. In 1632, he was elected to the throne of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Twenty years before, in 1610, he was elected by the Seven Boyars to be Tsar of Russia, but was never able to claim the throne, despite technically being Tsar for three years. He would also attempt to claim the Swedish throne, but was also unsuccessful. He was religiously tolerant and carried out reforms throughout the country. He was a great patron of the arts and was able to defend Poland in several skirmishes with Russia, Sweden, and the Ottoman Empire.

1640 – The future Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold I is born in Vienna today, as the second son of Ferdinand III and Maria Anna of Spain. He became King of Bohemia and Hungary in 1655 and 1656, after the death of his brother, Ferdinand IV and then succeeded his father as King of Croatia and Emperor. He sent most of his reign warring with the Turks, and involved in the War of Spanish Succession, the Nine years War, and the Dutch Revolts. The Wars would outlast Leopold, who died in 1705, and would not be successes for Austria. Two of his sons would become Emperors, as Joseph I and Charles VI.

1661 – Feodor III of Russia is born in Moscow. Feodor succeeded his father, Alexis, in 1676 at age 15. He was said to be quite intelligent, but was severely physically disabled. He would marry twice, but was unable to produce a surviving child. Feodor died suddenly at age 20.

1672 – The future Peter I of Russia is born in Moscow. He became co-Tsar in 1682 with his elder half-brother, the sick and mentally ill, Ivan V, under a regency of their sister, Sophia. Peter became Tsar on his own in 1696. Known for his intimidating height, his main goal was to modernize Russia, and he took an extensive tour of Europe, going as far as England to meet with William III. He spent all of his reign reforming everything from the calendar to the church. He also founded the city of St. Petersburg. Peter the Great would be succeeded at his death, by his second wife, Catherine I, whom was crowned as co-ruler before Peter’s death at age 52.

1930 – Princess Ragnild of Norway was born in Oslo to King Olav V and Martha of Sweden. King Harald V was her younger brother and supplanted her place in the succession. She married a commoner, Erling Lorentzen, but retained her titles and held patronages. She ended up living in Brazil with her husband and her three children.

1983 – In not so dead royal birthdays, Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark was born today in 1983 in London. She is the youngest child of the deposed Constantine II of Greece and Anne-Marie of Denmark. Theodora was born ten years after her father’s overthrow. Being a descendant of Sophia of Hanover she is currently 350th in the line of British succession. She is currently living in Los Angeles, California and working as an actress.

Deaths:
1923 – In London, Princess Helena of the United Kingdom, died at age 77. She was a daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and was living under the reign of her nephew, George V. She was married to a Danish Prince, Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, and they lived in Britain through out their 50+ year marriage. She was one of the most active members of the royal family, who promoted the causes of Nursing, and was a founding member of the Red Cross.

Have an awesome day!

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