1483 – Richard III accepts the crown of England, after testimony is brought forward that Richard’s elder brother, Edward IV’s marriage to his Queen, was invalid. Edward’s two sons, Edward V and Richard, Duke of York, were living in the Tower, awaiting the boy’s coronation.
1575 – Anne Catherine of Brandenburg is born in Germany to the Margrave of Brandenburg. In 1597, she married Christian IV of Denmark and Norway, making her Queen consort. She didn’t seem to have much political influence, but they had six children, who include Frederick III of Denmark, who introduced the absolute monarchy to the country. Anne died in 1612, at age 36.
1681 – Princess Hedvig Sophia of Sweden is born in Stockholm to Charles XI of Sweden and Ulrika Eleanora. In 1698 she married Frederick, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp. They had one son, Charles Frederick, who became Duke upon his father’s death in 1702. Hedvig was regent for him, however she was also the heir to the Swedish throne, so she resided there. She was close to her brother, the future Karl XII, who refused to believe the news of her sudden death in 1708, at age 27.
1899 – A third daughter is born to Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra, named Maria Nikolaevna. Maria was said to be very pretty, vivacious, and a flirt even from a young age. She developed crushes on soldiers that she encountered at events and gatherings, and was said to want a large family one day. On the outbreak of World War I, she was too young to become a nurse like her mother and older sisters, but with her younger sister Anastasia, they visited and spent time with wounded soldiers. When the family was arrested after the 1917 Revolution, Maria attempted to befriend the workers and soldiers in the house where they stayed, and was admonished by her mother for being too friendly with them. She was killed in 1918, along with the rest of her family. Like her other sister, there were imposters that came forward as the Grand Duchess, but the remains of the entire Romanov family have been found, as of 2007.
2005 – In not so dead royalty, Princess Alexia of the Netherlands is born in The Hague to now King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima. She is currently second in line of succession, behind her elder sister.
1718 – Alexei Petrovich, Tsarevich of Russia died at age 28. He was the eldest son and heir of Peter the Great of Russia and his first wife, Eudoxia Lopukkhina. There was bad blood between his parents, stemming from their divorce, and Alexei held on to resentment against his father. As a teenager, he began serving in the military, where the father/son relationship soured further. He married Princess Charlotte of Brunswick-Luneburg, with whom he would have two children, which included the future Peter II. The elder Peter then began to demand Alexei’s further involvement in state matters and sent for him to join him at the front lines. Alexei fled to Austria instead, and eventually only agreed to return to Russia if his father gave him a pardon. However, Peter found a reason to renounce the pardon, and Alexei was arrested, sentenced to death and tortured. The sentence was never carried out, as the Prince died from being tortured, just two days later.
1830 – George IV of the United Kingdom died at Windsor Castle at age 67. He had only been King officially since 1820, after succeeding his father, George III. He had also served as Prince Regent from 1811, due to his father’s mental illness. He was notorious for his bad relations with his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, whom he had attempted to divorce, although he was ultimately unsuccessful. He did not allow Caroline to attend his coronation though. They had one daughter, Charlotte, who died in 1817, during childbirth. While he was said to be charming, with good manners, he was also lazy, and prone to gluttony. He was not popular at the end of his reign, due to his lifestyle and lack of leadership during the Wars going on in Europe. He was succeeded by his younger brother, William IV.
1922 – Prince Albert I of Monaco died in Paris. He was 73 years old, and had ruled since 1889, after the death of his father, Charles III. He was almost overthrown in 1910, but he acquiesced and gave Monaco a Constitution. He also laid led his country during World War I. Despite Monaco’s official neutrality, Albert heavily assisted the Allies with supplies, hospitals, and troops.
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