August 28th

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Events:
1619 – Ferdinand II is elected Holy Roman Emperor, succeeding his childless cousin, Matthias. Under his rule, the Thirty Years War would start.

1913 – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands officially opened the Peace Palace in The Hague. The concept of diplomats and philanthropists (including Andrew Carnegie). It is the home of the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague Academy of International Law, and other organizations.

1996 – The divorce of the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Diana, would be final. Diana would die suddenly in a car crash the following year.

Birthdays:
1667 – Louise of Mecklenburg-Gustrow is born in Germany to the Ducal family of Mecklenburg-Gustrow. In 1695, she married the future Frederick IV of Denmark, and they became King and Queen in 1699. Frederick was famously unfaithful, even entering into bigamous marriages. She was dutiful, but never very popular. Louise amassed a large collection of religious books during her time, which was donated after her death, with much praise from the clergy. Her son would become Christian IV, but Louise would die in 1721.

1691 – Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel is born in Germany. Elisabeth was the oldest daughter of Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Princess Christine Louise of Oettingen. In 1708, she married Austrian Archduke Charles in Spain, the future Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. In 1711, they succeeded to the Imperial throne, but Charles went alone, leaving Elisabeth as Governor of Catalonia, where we was said to be a wise and effective ruler. She joined him later, and gave him four children, with only two surviving into adulthood. Her oldest surviving child would be the indomitable future Empress Maria Theresa. Elisabeth would live well into her daughter’s reign, dying in Vienna at age 58.

1694 – Charlotte Christine of Brunswick-Lüneburg is born to the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg. She shared a birthday with her elder sister, Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Charlotte was married in 1711, to Tsarevitch Alexei, the son of Peter the Great of Russia. She was isolated at court, and never fully assimilated into the Russian court. Charlotte gave birth to two children, a daughter named Natalia, then a son, the future Peter II. Her death came just a few days after the birth of Peter. She was only 21 years old.

Deaths:

1481 – Afonso V of Portugal died in Lisbon, at age 49. He was the son of King Edward of Portugal and Eleanor of Aragon. In 1438, He became king at age 6, under the rule of a regency. He spent many years on campaign in North Africa, fighting the Muslims by Papal decree. He would attempt to claim the throne of Castile from Isabella I, but to no avail. Afonso would retire after, abdicating in favour of his son, and spending the rest of his life in a monastery.

1943 – Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria died of heart failure in his home country. He had just met with Adolf Hitler a few days before, and it has been suspected that the German leader poisoned him. Her had been Tsar since the abdication of his father, Ferdinand I, in 1918, after World War I. During World War II, Bulgaria was allied with Germany, but Boris did not cede control to the Nazis. Boris also refused to deport Bulgarian Jews, and helped many escape to other countries.

1972 – Prince William of Gloucester died in a crash at an air show. He was the son of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, a grandson to King George V, and a cousin to Queen Elizabeth II. William was just 30 years old, and unmarried. In 1968, he had been diagnosed with porphyria, a blood disorder, but had continued to attend to royal duties. He was close to his cousin, Charles, Prince of Wales, who would name his eldest son in his honor.

Have a great day!

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August 27th

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Events:
1172 – Henry, son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, is crowned as co-King of England. It was the tradition in France at the time, so there would be no interruption in the succession. However, the young Henry would not survive his father, dying during a rebellion against the elder Henry, actually.

Birthdays:
1487 – Anna of Brandenburg is born in Germany to the Electoral family. At a young age, she was betrothed and later married to the Duke of Schleswig and Holstein, also the future Frederick I of Denmark. She would never become Queen though, dying in Kiel at age 26. However her son would go on to be Christian III of Denmark.

1669 – Anne Marie d’Orleans is born in France to Phillippe, Duke of Orleans, and his wife Princess Henriette of England. Phillippe was the younger brother of French King Louis XIV, and Henriette was the daughter of Charles I of England and Scotland. In 1684, she was married to the Duke of Savoy, Victor Amadeus I, who was the future King of Sardinia. They would have 6 children, the first coming just before Anne’s 16th birthday, and which nearly killed her. Her eldest daughter would go to be Dauphine of France, and give birth to Louis XV, another daughter would become Queen consort of Spain, and her son Charles, would become King of Sardinia. She was 59 when she died in 1728.
Its interesting to note, as well, that through her relations to the Stuarts of Britain, she inherited the Jacobite claim to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland after the death of Cardinal Henry Stuart.

1887 – George, Crown Prince of Serbia is born as the eldest son of King Peter I and Zorka of Montenegro. He would never succeed though, as he kicked a servant to death in 1909, and renounced his right to throne afterwards. His brother would later become King Alexander I of Yugoslavia and George would serve in the military during the Balkan and First World Wars. Later he was locked in an asylum by his brother, and not freed until World War II. He lived into old age, in the city of Belgrade.

Deaths:
1968 – Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark died in London. Born in 1906, her father was Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, younger son of George I of Greece, and her mother was Russian Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna. When she was 11 years old, her family was exiled, and she would live across Europe as a girl. In 1934, she married into the British Royal family, by her nuptials to Prince George, Duke of Kent. They actually had two ceremonies; one at Westminster Abbey, according to Anglican rites, the other according to Greek Orthodox tradition. The latter was conducted privately. They would have three children, before the Duke was killed in 1942. She remained an active member of the British royal family until her death.

August 26th

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Events:

1346 – The Battle of Crecy takes place as part of the Hundred Years War between France and England. The battle was a major one in the early times of the war, and an important victory for England, who heavily used their famous longbows.

Birthdays:

1469 – Ferdinand II of Naples is born in Italy to king Alfonso II of Naples and Ippolita Maria Sforza. He became king in 1495, when his father abdicated. The French army soon invaded, and Ferdinand would be overthrown. He would be restored the following year, but die shortly after reclaiming his throne.

1819 – Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is born in Germany to the Ducal family. In 1840, he married his young first cousin, Queen Victoria of Great Britain. They would have nine children, and he would be a major influence on Victoria, who was completely devoted and dependent on him. Given the title Prince Consort, he undertook many public causes and was a devoted father to his children. His early death at age 42 plunged Victoria in mourning, from which she would never fully emerge from.

1826 – Princess Alexandra of Bavaria is born as a younger daughter of Ludwig I of Bavaria and Theresa of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Alexandra never had children, or married. Instead she devoted her life to religious and literary pursuits. She would publish several books of poetry and produce plays. Her life was overshadowed by eccentricities and possible mental illness, however.

1944 – In not-so-dead royalty, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester is born in England as the son of Prince Henry and Princess Alice. He was the youngest grandchild of King George V and Queen Mary, and is a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II. He undertakes many royal duties and patronages.

Deaths:

1850 – French King Louis Phillippe I died in British exile. He was a member of the Orleans branch of the French royal family, and was declared king in 1830, after the overthrow of Charles X. Initially popular, his policies eventually led to his downfall and forced abdication in 1848.

August 25th

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No major events.

Birthdays:
1530 – Ivan Vasilyevich is born in Russia to Grand Prince of Moscow Vasili III and Elena Glinskya. When Ivan was just 3 years old, he succeeded his father as Grand Prince of Moscow, after Vasili’s sudden death. In 1547, he was crowned as Tsar of all the Russia’s as Ivan IV. Throughout his reign, he was able to successfully navigate political changes in his nation, however, his economic policies were disastrous for Russia. It would be his harsh nature and quick temper that helped give him the nickname “Ivan the Terrible”. At one point in 1581, his temper got the best of him, and he hit his son, also named Ivan, over the head with a staff, killing the young man. This left his younger son, Feodor, as his heir. Ivan had also been married eight times, and through his children with his first wife, Anastasia Romanovna, the Romanov family would come to rule Russia.

1707 – Louis I of Spain is born in Madrid as the son of King Phillip V and Maria Luisa of Savoy. In 1722, Louis was forced to marry the French Princess Louise Elisabeth d’Orleans. The marriage was unhappy, there would be no children, and Louise was said to be so unhappy, she would refuse to see her husband. His father abdicated in 1724, but Louis’ reign would be short lived, as he died of smallpox just 7 months later. Phillip, his father, returned to the throne.

1786 – The future Ludwig I of Bavaria is born to Maximillian I Joseph and Augusta Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt. He succeeded his father in 1825 and ruled until his abdication in 1848. In 1810, he married Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, and the following celebration was the first Oktoberfest. His policies got more and more repressive as time went on, until revolution struck and forced him to abdicate. His remaining years were spent on cultural projects and buildings, during the reign of his son, Maximilian II.

1845 – Ludwig II of Bavaria is born in Munich. He was the eldest son of Maximilian II of Bavaria and Marie of Prussia. He became King at age 18, after his father died suddenly in 1864. His youth and dashing good looks made him very popular. Ludwig was a great patron of the arts, including composer Richard Wagner. He also began construction on palaces throughout Bavaria, including the famed Neuschwanstein Castle, which he paid for out of his own pocket. However in 1886, he was deposed by his ministers, who had him declared insane by doctors who never examined him. The day after he was moved, he was found dead in waist deep water, with no water in his lungs. He was 40 years old at his death, childless, and succeeded by his actually insane brother, Otto, with their uncle as regent.

Deaths:
1270 – King Louis IX of France died in Africa while fighting on the Eighth Crusade. He was the son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, and became King in 1226. Louis was later canonized by the Catholic church and he is he only French king to be Sainted. Because of his veneration, he is pictured as the quintessential Christian monarch, and many cities, including the American city of Saint Louis, Missouri.

1482 – Margaret of Anjou dies in France at age 52. She would be married to Henry VI of England in 1445. The would have one son, called Edward of Westminster. Margaret also became one of the principal figures in the War of the Roses, when she acted as regent for her husband during his bouts of mental instability. She helped to lead the Lancastrian forces before her husband’s overthrow, and after his restoration in 1470. However, after the defeat of the Lancasters in 1471. She was captured and later ransomed back to France. She was vilified throughout most of history and even referred to as a “She-wolf of France” by Shakespeare in the plays about her husband.

1699 – Christian V of Denmark died in Copenhagen.He was the son of Frederick III and Queen Sophie Amalie and the father of the future Frederick IV. He was quite popular with the common people for allowing them into state service. Christian is considered to be one of the more poorly educated Danish kings, a title which he seemed to be okay with. He lists his primary interests in his memoirs as “hunting, love-making, war and maritime affairs”.

1942 – Prince George, Duke of Kent is killed in battle during World War II. He was the son of King George V and Queen Mary. He was the younger brother to Edward VIII and George VI, and thus the paternal uncle to Queen Elizabeth II. He was given the title Duke of Kent in 1934, and it would pass to his son, Prince Edward, at his death.

August 24th

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Events:

1200 – King John of England marries his second wife, the teenaged Isabella of Angouleme. The marriage would last until John’s death, and produce several children, including the future Henry III.

1561 – William the Silent, Prince of Orange and Stadtholder of the Netherlands marries his second wife, Anna of Saxony. The married would only last nine years, until William died. The marriage was unhappy, but they managed to have five children.

Birthdays:

1113- Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou is born in France. At age 15, he was married to Matilda, former Holy Roman Empress, and daughter of King Henry I of England. She was 11 years his senior, and the marriage was unhappy. Geoffrey fought for his wife’s cause during The Anarchy, a civil war in which she pressed her claim to rule England. He died suddenly at age 38, but his son, Henry, would go on to be King Henry II of England.

1198 – Alexander II of Scotland is born to William I Ermengarde de Beaumont. In 1214, he succeeded his father as King of Scots, after spending time in the English court, even being knighted by King John. He even married John’s daughter, Joan of England. However, he would spend part of his reign at war with his brother in law, Henry III of England. Sadly Joan died early, and they had no children. Alexander remarried in 1239, and with his second wife, Marie de Coucy, they would have the future Alexander III. He died in 1249, at age 50, while in the Hebrides, trying to reclaim them from Norway.

1758 – Duchess Sophia Frederica of Schwerin-Mecklenburg is born in Germany. In 1774, she married Danish Hereditary Prince Frederick. They were not unhappy, and mostly friendly to each other, but carried on affairs. Sophia and Frederick had five children to survive, including the future King Christian VIII. She died in 1794, at the age of 36.

1772 – William I of the Netherlands was born in The Hague. His parents were William V, Prince of Orange, and last Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, and Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia. As a young man, he served in the Dutch military against the First French Republic. However, in 1795, they were defeated, and his family was overthrown and forced to flee. Later, he returned to the continent and fought against the French again, during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1815, after the defeat and overthrow of the Bonaparte family, who briefly ruled the Netherlands, he was installed as King of the Netherlands. His rule was eventful, and saw the Belgian revolution and many constitutional changes, and the conservative William abdicated in 1840, three years before his death.

1865 – The future Ferdinand I of Romania is born in Sigmarigen, Germany. In 1886, after his father renounced his claim, Ferdinand became heir to his uncle, Carol I of Romania. He was not forced to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy from Catholicism, but was required by Parliament to raise his children in the state religion. He was excommunicated for this, but later re-admitted to the church. In 1893, he married the indomitable Marie of Edinburgh, also known as Marie of Romania. In 1914, he became King, and ruled through the whole of World War I, fighting against the German House of Hohenzollern, who Ferdinand was related to, to great offense of Wilhelm II of Germany. He passed away in 1927, leaving the Romanian throne to his young grandson, Michael I, the last king of Romania.

No major deaths.

August 23rd

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Events:
2007 – The remains of a boy and girl were found near Yekaterinburg, Russia. DNA testing later confirmed that the remains were of Alexei Romanov, Tsarevitch of Russia, and one of his sisters, probably Maria or Anastasia. The remains of Alexei’s parents, Nicholas II and Alexandra, as well as his other 3 sisters had already been found.

Birthdays:
1754 – The future King Louis XVI of France is born at the Palace of Versailles. He became Dauphin after the death of his father, and King after the death of his grandfather, Louis XV, when he was just 19. He ruled through a time of great upheaval in France, which culminated with his arrest and overthrow in 1792, as part of the French Revolution. While Dauphin, he married Austrian Archduchess Maria Antonia, know now as Marie Antoinette. Of their four children, only their oldest daughter would survive into adulthood, and both Louis and Marie were executed in 1793.

1836 – Archduchess Marie Henriette of Austria is born in Hungary, as a granddaughter of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II. In 1853, she married Prince Leopold of Belgium, the future Leopold II. The marriage was a political move, as Belgium was trying to bolster the legitimacy and popularity of its monarchy, by aligning itself with a well-established family, like the Habsburgs. However the marriage was unhappy, and despite their four children, they lived apart for many years. In 1865, they became King and Queen of Belgium. Her daughters would perform court duties in her absence, and Marie died away from Brussels in 1902, at age 66.

Deaths:
1387 – King Olaf II of Denmark and IV of Norway died at age 16. Through him, Denmark and Norway had become united as one kingdom and would remain that way until 1814. He had been King of Denmark since age 5, after the death of his grandfather, and King of Norway since 1380, after the death of his father. Olaf’s mother, Margaret, had served as his regent, and would take over rule of both nations after his death.

Have a good one!

August 22nd

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Events:
1485 – The Battle of Bosworth Field takes place in England, as one of the last battles of the Wars of the Roses. Henry Tudor, a Lancastrian claimant the throne, landed earlier in the month, and met the forces fighting for King Richard III, who took the crown 2 years earlier. Henry was descended from Edward III, but through an illegitimate line. However the battle would go in favor for the Lancastrians, and Richard was killed in battle. Henry was given the crown Richard wore during battle after the fighting, and crowned in London in October. He would also then marry Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, and niece to Richard III, uniting the Lancasters and Yorks under the House of Tudor.

1642 – Charles I raised the Royal standard above the town of Nottingham in England. This was essentially his call-to-arms against the Parliamentarians, who had already taken London. His wife and children had already been sent to France. Charles would be defeated in the English Civil War, and the monarchy replaced with the Protectorate. Charles was executed in 1649.

Births:
1854 – The future Milan I of Serbia is born as a member of the noble House of Obrenovic. At age 14, he succeeded his uncle as Sovereign Prince of Serbia with a regency. He became of age in 1872, and showed himself to be a capable and fair ruler. In 1882, he was declared as the first king of Serbia until his sudden abdication in favor of his young son, Alexander, in 1889. Milan renounced his titles and citizenship, but as the political situation with Russia grew tense over the years, he was reinstated as a member of the royal family and returned as an advisor and military leader under his son. He died suddenly in 1901, after he resigned his posts, following his son’s marriage.

Deaths:
1188 – Ferdinand II of Leon dies in Spain at about age 50. His father, Alfonso VII was king of Castile and Leon, so at his death, Ferdinand received rule of Leon, and his brother became Sancho III of Castile. His reign was marred with wars with other Spanish nations and the Muslims of Southern Spain. He would be married three times, with the first ending in annulment, and the second in her death. Only one of his six children would live into adulthood.

1350 – Phillip VI of France died after 22 years of rule. He was of the House of Valois, and a cousin to King Charles IV, who died childless in 1328. France observed Salic law, so Charles’ nephew, Edward III of England could not technically inherit the throne. However, Edward invaded anyway, starting what we know as the Hundred Years War. All in all, his reign was marred with crises. Phillip would be succeeded by his son, John II, or John the Good.

1358 – Isabella of France, passed away in England while in her early 60’s. She was the only surviving daughter of Phillip IV of France and Joan I of Navarre. At about age 12, she was married to the new English King, Edward II. They would have four children, including the future Edward III. The marriage was happy, but Edward’s reign was married by disputes with his barons, and he and Isabella were eventually estranged. In 1326, she led an invasion of England, that ultimately deposed her husband in favor of her son. She acted as unofficial regent for four years, until Edward took rule himself. She lived as an advisor and grandmother until her death.

1485 – Richard III died during the Battle of Bosworth Field. The details are discussed above in Events.

August 21st

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Events:
1810 – Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, Marshal of France and renowned military leader is elected to be Crown Prince of Sweden, to succeed the childless Charles XIII. He is the founder of the current reigning House of Bernadotte in Sweden.

Birthdays:
1165 – Phillip Augustus is born in France as the son of Louis VII of France. In 1179, he was crowned as co-ruler with his father, and then became King in his own right in 1180. He was Phillip II, King of France, and the first to use that title, as his predecessors are called King of the Franks. He went on the Third Crusade with Richard the Lionheart and Frederick Barbarossa, and after Richard’s death, he successfully dismantled the Angevin Empire of France, now led by King John of England. He was popular with the commons, for taking power from the nobles, and is known as one of the more successful medieval monarchs.

1643- Afonso IV of Portugal is born as a younger son of John IV and Luisa of Medina-Sidonia. An illness as a toddler left his mentally unstable and partially paralyzed. He succeeded his father at age 13, with his mother acting as regent for six years. Despite his mental instability Portugal scored some major military victories under him, but in 1668, his brother Peter was appointed Prince Regent and ruled on Afonso’s behalf until his death in 1683.

1765 – The future William IV of the United Kingdom is born in Britain. He would become King in 1830, after the death of his elder brother, George IV. Like the other British Hanoverian kings, he was also ruler of the German province of Hanover, which he never visited as King. He had spent time in his youth in the Royal Navy, and later was active in the House of Lords. He enacted several reforms during his short reign, including restrictions on child labor, the abolition of slavery in the majority of the colonies, and gave Hanover a constitution. Although he had several illegitimate children, he had none with his wife, Queen Adelaide, when he passed. So the Crown of Britain went to his niece, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, now Queen Victoria. Hanover observed Salic law, so his brother, Ernest Augustus, became King there.

1858 – Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf is born as the only son of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth. Despite being groomed from an early age to be Emperor, he was quite different politically from his father. He married Princess Stephanie of Belgium and had a daughter. However he was unfaithful. In 1889, he was found dead from an apparent murder-suicide, next to a mistress of his. His mother wore black for mourning for the rest of her life.

Deaths:
1157 – Alfonso VII of Leon and Castile died at age 52. He was the son of Urraca of Castile and Raymond of Burgundy, and in 1111, as a child, he was named King of Galicia by his mother. In 1126, she died, leaving Alfonso as King of Leon and Castile. He called himself Emperor of All Spain. He also participated in the Reconquista of lower Spain, attempting to expel the Muslims. Before his death, he split his lands between his two elder sons, and his daughters would go on to be Queens of France, Navarre, and Aragon.

August 19th

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Events:
1561 – Mary, Queen of Scots lands back in Scotland after living in France since childhood. She had been widowed earlier in the year by Francis II of France.

1745 – Charles Edward Stuart, or “Bonnie Prince Charlie” raises his standard in Glenfinnan, Scotland. This is considered the start of the second Jacobite Rebellion to restore the Catholic Stuarts to the thrones of Great Britain instead of the Protestant Hanovers.

1772 – Swedish king Gustav III enacts a new constitution in a coup d’état that takes power from the Riksdag and gives to the King.

Birthdays:
1342 – Catherine of Bohemia is born in Prague to Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and Blanche of Valois. In 1356, she entered into a political marriage to the Duke of Austria, Rudolf IV. He left her a widow after a nine year childless marriage. The following year, she was married to Otto V, Duke of Bavaria, and was later caught in territorial disputes when her father invaded her husbands Brandenburg lands. She died in Austria in 1395.

1596 – Elizabeth Stuart is born in Scotland to King James VI and Anne of Denmark. She stayed in Scotland for a while after her father became King of England as well, and actually during the Gunpowder Plot, it was said that she was to be set up as an alternative Catholic monarch to her fathers and brothers. In 1613, she was married to Frederick V, Count Palatine of the Rhine. Three years later, Frederick was elected to be King of Bohemia, only to be overthrown a few months later, earning Elizabeth the nickname, “The Winter Queen.” In 1621, she ended up in The Hague, where she would be widowed in 1632. Elizabeth continued to try and parent her remaining children as possible. Her youngest daughter, Sophia, would be the mother of the future George I of Great Britain. In 1661, she returned to Britain, living out her days in the court of her nephew, Charles II.

Deaths:
1186 – Geoffrey, Duke of Brittany died at age 27 in Paris. There are two accounts of his death, one saying he was trampled to death in a tournament, the other saying he died after a sudden illness. Geoffrey was the son of Henry II of England, and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He had participated in his brother Henry’s rebellion against their father, and had been close to Phillip II of France. His son and heir, Arthur, would later come into conflict with Geoffrey’s younger brother, John.

1493 – Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III died in Austria at age 77. A son of the Habsburg family, he was born in 1415. He became Archduke of Austria in 1424, King of Germany and the Romans in 1440, and finally Holy Roman Emperor in 1452. He was the first Habsburg Emperor, and the last Emperor to be crowned in Rome. For the last ten years, his son, Maximilian I, ruled jointly with him as co-ruler.