1532 – Henry VIII creates Anne Boleyn Marquess of Pembroke, in her own right, in anticipation of their marriage, which happened the following year.
1651 – Natalya Naryshkina is born into a minor noble family. However, in early 1671, she was catapulted to the front of Russian politics when she wed Tsar Alexis I. She would bear him three children, including the future Emperor Peter the Great. The Tsarina remained active in politics until 1676, when she was widowed. She lived at the court of her stepson, Feodor III, until his death 1682, and her son, Peter, was put forth as the ten-year-old Tsar. Natalya was put forth as regent, but was replaced by her stepdaughter, Sofia Alekseyevna, and sent away from court, while her son was named co-Tsar with his brother Ivan. When Peter assumed control of his government 1689, she returned to his court until her death in 1694.
1711 – William IV, Prince of Orange, and first hereditary stadtholder of the Netherlands. His father died just 6 six weeks before he was born, so he ruled under a regency until 1731. William married Princess Anne, the daughter of King George II of Britain. Popular with the people, he ended the indirect taxation, which made a small amount of people very rich. Dying early, at age 40, he was succeeded by his son, William V.
1878 – Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is born in Germany, as the daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and his wife, Russian Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna. She was a grandchild of both Queen Victoria of Great Britain, and Alexander II of Russia. “Sandra” spent her childhood in Britain and Malta, where her father was stationed, but moved to Germany permanently when her father succeeded to the Ducal throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. In 1896, she was married to Prince Ernst of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and they would later have five children. After her father’s death in 1900, she served as regent briefly for her cousin, Charles Edward, the underage Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Prior to World War II, she was a supporter of the Nazi party, but she died at age 63 in 1942, without seeing the end of the war.
1715 – The indomitable “Sun King” of France, Louis XIV died at age 76. Born in 1638, he was the son of Louis XIII, whom he succeeded in 1643. His reign of 72 years is the longest in French history. Louis oversaw the building of the Palace at Versailles, and turned it into the center of his court and government. He firmly believed in the Divine Right of Kings, and ruled as an absolute ruler, after consolidating power when reaching majority. France was also a leading military power in Europe during his reign. He had 6 children by his first wife, Maria Theresa of Spain, and may have married again after Maria’s death, to Francoise d’Aubigne, although the marriage was never announced or made public. His son and grandson, both named Louis, had predeceased the King, leaving as heir the five-year-old Louis XV as king.
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