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1572 – Henry III of Navarre married Margaret of Valois in Paris. The bride was the daughter of Henry II of France and Catherine de Medici, as well as the sister of the French Kings Francis II, Charles IX, and Henry III. Henry of Navarre was the heir to the French throne and would become Henry IV of France later on. Six days later, the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre occurred.

1606 – Maria Anna of Spain is born in Spain to King Phillip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria. In 1631, she was married to Ferdinand III, titular King of Hungary and future Holy Roman Emperor. Their relationship was a good one, and she served as regent for her husband during his absences. They would have six children, including a future Queen of Spain, and a Holy Roman Emperor. She died at age 39, while in Austria, from complications during the birth of her sixth child, who also died shortly after birth.

1611 – Marie Louise Gonzaga is born in France to a noble family. In 1646, she married Wladyslaw IV of Poland. Within two years, he died leaving her a widow. His brother, John Casimir was elected as the next King of Poland, and Marie was married to him in 1649. She was active politically, much to the scandal of the Polish nobility. She founded the first Polish newspaper and was a patron of the literary salons. Marie died in her adopted homeland, in 1667.

1819 – Russian Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna is born as a daughter of Tsar Nicholas I and Empress Alexandra. She grew up close with her family, including her parents, who doted on their children. She was known to have a strong personality, and was active with the arts. Despite the animosity from her family, she married the German Duke of Leuchtenberg, Maximilian, nephew of Ludwig I of Bavaria. The couple remained in Russia, where she became the President of the Academy of the Arts. Her husband died in 1852, and she remarried morganatically in 1856. She eventually moved to Italy and continued to collect art until her death in 1876.

1830 – The future Franz Joseph of Austria is born in Vienna. He became Emperor in 1848, after the abdication if his uncle, Ferdinand I. He would reign for a tumultuous 68 years, through years of wars with the Italians, the Germans, and increasing nationalism in all the Austro-Hungarian lands. In 1854, he had married the young and beautiful Elisabeth of Bavaria, with whom he was very in love with, but she was not suited for Imperial court life. They had four children, the eldest daughter died in childhood, and their only son, Rudolf, committed suicide in 1889, after killing his mistress. Empress Elisabeth was herself stabbed in 1898 while traveling. In 1914, Franz’s heir, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed in Sarajevo, an event which not only kicked off a succession crisis in Austria-Hungary, but World War I. The Emperor did not survive the war, and died in 1916.

1645 – Eudoxia Streshneva, wife of Tsar Michael I, died in Moscow. She was his second wife, and married him in 1626. She was not active in politics and was overshadowed by her mother in law. In 19 years of marriage, she gave birth to ten children. Michael died in 1645, and Eudoxia followed him just over a month later.

1765 – Holy Roman Emperor Francis I died in Austria at age 56. He was born in the Duchy of Lorraine, but in 1736, after Lorraine had been surrendered to France, he married Maria Theresa of Austria, heir to the Habsburg dominions. In 1745, he was elected as Holy Roman Emperor, however he did not wield much power. Maria Theresa was the true ruler of the Empire. Francis did not outwardly seem to have a problem with his wife being the one in power. They had sixteen children, who included 2 Holy Roman Emperors, a Queen of Naples, and a famous Queen of France, Marie Antoinette.

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