1509 – The new king of England, Henry VIII, marries his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Catherine was the wife of his deceased brother, Arthur, who died some years before. The marriage would last until 1533, when Henry had it annulled, so he could marry Anne Boleyn.
1917 – Alexander I of Greece assumes the throne after the forced abdication of his father, Constantine I, by the Triple Entente powers of Britain, France, and Russia.
1456 – A girl named Anne was born into the powerful Neville family of England. She was born into a world of turmoil, namely, the Wars of the Roses, which her father, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, was a key player. In 1470, she was married to Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, who was the son of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou. The marriage only lasted a year, when Edward was killed in battle. In 1472, she married Richard of Gloucester, and became Queen consort in 1483, when Richard was named king after the death of his brother, Edward IV died, and his nephews, the Princes in the Tower were declared illegitimate. Their only child died in 1484, and Anne herself died in 1485, at age 28.
1726 – Maria Theresa Rafaela of Spain is born in Madrid to King Phillip V and Elizabeth Farnese. In 1744 she was married by proxy to the Dauphin of France, Louis, son of Louis XV. In early 1745, she arrived in France, and the official marriage took place at Versailles. Her wedding was a diplomatic alliance which was supposed to cool tensions between France and Spain. Sadly when she was only 20 years old, she died just three days after giving birth to a girl, who would not see her second birthday.
1928 – In not so dead royalty, Queen Fabiola of Belgium is born today in Spain to an aristocratic family. In 1960, she married Baudouin, King of the Belgians. They had no surviving children, and her husband died in 1993, to be succeeded by his brother, Albert II. She is still active in social issues and said to be fluent in six languages.
1934 – Also in not so dead royals, Prince consort of Denmark, Henrik, is born in France. In 1967, he married the future Margrethe II of Denmark, and is the father of the heir presumptive, Crown Prince Frederik.
1968 – More not so dead royals; Alois, Hereditary Prince of Lichtenstein was born today in Zurich. He is the eldest son of Prince Hans-Adam II and is the current heir presumptive and regent for his father.
1183 – Henry the Young King, eldest son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, died in France while rebelling against his father. He was 28 years old and died of dysentery. He had been crowned as joint king with his father in 1170, as was the French tradition at the time. He wanted more power and political involvement in the Angevin Empire, but his father would have none of it. This was Henry’s second rebellion against the elder Henry.
1488 – King James III of Scotland dies at the Battle of Sauchieburn. He had been king since 1460 and was highly unpopular due to his indecisiveness and his alliance with England. In 1482, the king had to defend himself against a group of English-backed nobles and was ousted from power for a short time. He was only 36 at his death, and was succeeded by his son, James IV.
1557 – John III of Portugal dies in Lisbon at age 55 of apoplexy. His parents were Manuel I of Portugal and Maria of Aragon, making him a grandson of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. He continued to extend Portugal’s reach around the world, and under him, Portugal was the first country to make contact with China and Japan. He became king in 1521 and at his death in 1557 the Portuguese Empire spanned over 1 billion acres.
1727 – George I of the United Kingdom died of a stroke while on a trip to his native Hanover, in Germany. He had been King since 1698. He succeeded to the British throne as he was a descendant of Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James VI and I. He was Protestant as well, as Catholics were now barred from the throne. He was not popular in Britain, as he was seen as an outsider. It was believed for sometime the he never bothered to learn English, but it was found later that he did read and write in English at least. And despite being an absolute monarch in Hanover, he worked well with Parliament and his ministers.
1879 – William, Prince of Orange, died in France at age 38 of a combination of exhaustion and typhus. He was the eldest son of William III of the Netherlands and Queen Sophie. He was living in Paris in a self-imposed exile after a falling out with his parents over his choice in a bride. His younger brother would also predecease their father, leaving his half-sister, Wilhelmina as the heir to the throne.
1903 – Alexander I of Serbia was assassinated alongside his wife, Draga in their palace in Belgrade. He was just 26 years old and had been king since 1889. In 1898, he threw out the constitution his father implemented in 1888, in favor of a more conservative one. His popularity had waned greatly since he had married Draga, a commoner and a widow. Also in his dealings with the Senate, and his arbitrary suspensions of the constitution in order to change laws as he saw fit, led to his assassination.
Have a great day!