1429 – Joan of Arc arrives at Orleans with additional French forces to relieve the Siege on the city. The English had been laying siege to the city since October. The forces with Joan would end the siege in just over a week.
1672 – French forces under Louis XIV invade the Netherlands during the Franco-Dutch War.
2011 – Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, 2nd in line to the British Throne behind his father, Prince Charles, weds Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey.
1818 – The future Alexander II, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias is born in Moscow. He would become Emperor in 1855, after the death of his father, Nicholas I. He was a very liberal reformer for the time, and is known for officially freeing the serfs in 1861, just six years into his reign. This earned him the nickname “Alexander the Liberator”. He also instituted reforms in local governments, the military, and judicial procedures. There would be three attempted assassinations directed at him in 1866, 1879, and 1880. Finally in 1881, an assassin would be successful in killing the Emperor. He would be succeeded by his son, the more autocratic minded Alexander III.
1868 – Alice Keppel was born today in Scotland. She was famous for becoming the mistress of Edward VII in the late 1890’s until his death in 1910. She was said to be hysterical and inconsolable at Edward’s death. With the end of the Edwardian period, she was not welcome at the court of Edward’s successor, George V. A little trivia about Alice. Through her daughter Sonia, she is the great-grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
1901 – Emperor Hirohito is born into the Japanese Royal family in Tokyo. He became Emperor in 1926 after the death of his father. Japan was already a world military and economic power, but he sought to expand those powers. He was Emperor during World War II, and even though he was aware of atrocities committed by Japan, he was not prosecuted or even charged with war crimes. He remained in power and became the symbol of reconstruction afterwards. At the end of his reign, in 1989, Japan was a leading world power again. His son, Akihito is the current Emperor.
1944 – Princess Benedikte of Denmark is born in Copenhagen as a younger daughter to Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid. She is the younger sister of the current Queen, Margarethe II. She married a minor German prince, but her father stated that in order to keep their succession rights, her children would need to be raised in Denmark. They were not, and thus they and their children are not eligible for the crown. She undertakes many duties on behalf of her sister.
No major deaths.
Have a good one!