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April 20, 1808 – Birth of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, in Paris, France
Born: Charles-Louis Napoléon Bonaparte
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, later Napoleon III of the French, was the son of Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland (younger brother of Emperor Napoleon I) and Hortense de Beauharnais, the daughter of Emperor Napoleon I’s first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais and her first husband Alexandre de Beauharnais who was beheaded during the French Revolution. Elected to the presidency of the French Second Republic in 1848, Louis-Napoléon seized power by force in 1851, when he could not constitutionally be reelected, and later proclaimed himself Emperor of the French. After being turned down by Princess Carola of Vasa (daughter of the deposed Swedish King Gustaf IV Adolf), and Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (a niece of Queen Victoria), Napoleon III married Eugénie de Montijo, Countess of Teba and Marquise of Ardales in 1853. The couple had one son, Napoléon, Prince Imperial who died unmarried in 1879 while fighting in the Anglo-Zulu War. In July 1870, France entered the Franco-Prussian War. Without significant allied support, and with unprepared and limited forces, the French army was quickly defeated. Napoleon III was captured at the Battle of Sedan and quickly surrendered. As word reached Paris, the Third Republic was declared on September 4, 1870, ending, for the last time, the French monarchy. Louis-Napoléon and his family went into exile in England. After falling ill in the summer of 1872, and undergoing two operations, he died at the age of 64.
Unofficial Royalty: Napoleon III, Emperor of France
April 20, 1836 – Death of Prince Johann I Josef of Liechtenstein in Vienna, Austria; buried at Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Brno, now in the Czech Republic
Because he had an elder brother and was not expected to succeed to the throne of Liechtenstein, Johann Josef chose a military career in the Imperial Army of the Holy Roman Empire, of which Liechtenstein was a constituent state. In 1792, Johann Josef married Landgravine Josefa of Fürstenberg-Weitra, and the couple had fourteen children. Upon the death of his childless brother Alois I, Prince of Liechtenstein in 1805, Johan Josef became the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein. As Prince of Liechtenstein, Johann Josef carried out progressive reforms, and in 1818, however, he approved a new constitution that limited the power of the monarch. He established modern practices in agriculture and forestry and reorganized the government administration to meet modern needs. On April 20, 1836, Johann I Josef, Prince of Liechtenstein, aged 75, died at Liechtenstein Palace in Vienna, Austria.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Johann I Josef of Liechtenstein
April 20, 1839 – Birth of King Carol I of Romania at Sigmaringen Castle in Sigmaringen, Principality of Hohenzollern, now in the German state of Baden-Württemberg
Born: Prince Karl Eitel Friedrich Zephyrinus Ludwig of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, he was elected by the Romanian government to become the new Ruling Prince in 1866 after Ruling Prince Alexander Ioan Cuza was forced to abdicate. He took on the more Romanian spelling of his name – Carol. In 1881, the Romanian parliament declared Romania a Kingdom, and he became King Carol I. He married Princess Elisabeth of Wied and they had one daughter who died in childhood from scarlet fever. After a reign of 48 years, Carol I died at the age of 75 and was succeeded by his nephew, King Ferdinand I, the second son of his elder brother Leopold.
Unofficial Royalty: King Carol I of Romania
April 20, 1884 – Birth of Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, at Eastwell Park in Kent, England
Full name: Beatrice Leopoldine Victoria
Beatrice was the daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke of Edinburgh and Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia. She married Infante Alfonso d’Orleans-Bourbon of Spain, the first cousin of Alfonso XIII, King of Spain who had married Beatrice’s first cousin Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg. After the Spanish monarchy was overthrown, the country was thrown into the Spanish Civil War. Beatrice’s second son Alonso was killed in action during the Spanish Civil War, and the family lost their properties. Initially exiled to England, Beatrice and Alfonso eventually returned to Spain in 1937 and settled at a new estate El Botánico in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, where they would live for the rest of their lives.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duchess of Galliera
April 20, 1929 – Death of Prince Heinrich of Prussia, son of Friedrich III, German Emperor, grandson of Queen Victoria, at Herrenhaus Hemmelmark in Eckernförde, Germany; buried at Herrenhaus Hemmelmark
Prince Heinrich was the son of Victoria, Princess Royal and Friedrich III, German Emperor, and Queen Victoria’s grandson. He married his first cousin Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine, daughter of Princess Alice of the United Kingdom. At the age of 15, Heinrich started his career in the German Imperial Navy. In 1909, he was promoted to Grand Admiral (Großadmiral), the highest rank in the German Imperial Navy. At the beginning of World War I, Heinrich was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Baltic Fleet. He was charged with preventing the Russian Navy from attacking the German coast and was successful. At the end of World War I, and with the abdication of his brother Wilhelm as German Emperor and King of Prussia, Heinrich left the navy. Prince Heinrich died of throat cancer at the age of 66, at his home Hemmelmark, an estate in Eckernförde in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. on April 20, 1929. He was buried in a Russian-style chapel surrounded by trees, built on a field at Hemmelmark.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Heinrich of Prussia
April 20, 1947 – Death of King Christian X of Denmark at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark; buried at Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark
Through his paternal aunts and uncles, Christian X was related to many European royals. Among his first cousins was Nicholas II, Emperor of All Russia, King Constantine I of Greece, King George V of the United Kingdom, and Maud of Wales, Queen of Norway who married his brother Carl who became King Haakon VII of Norway. In 1898, Christian married Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The couple had two sons including Frederik IX, King of Denmark. In 1940, during World War II, Germany occupied Denmark. Unlike King Haakon VII of Norway (Christian’s brother, born Prince Carl of Denmark) and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, both of whom went into exile during the German occupation of their countries, King Christian remained in Denmark. He is remembered for his daily horse ride without a guard through the streets of Copenhagen during the Nazi occupation of Denmark, a symbol of Danish sovereignty. After a fall from his horse in October 1942, Christian was more or less an invalid for the rest of his life. King Christian X died at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen on April 20, 1947, aged 76.
Unofficial Royalty: King Christian X of Denmark
April 20, 1960 – Death of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia, daughter of Alexander III, Emperor of All Russia, at Wilderness House, a grace and favor house, on the grounds of Hampton Court Palace in England; buried at the Cimetière de Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in France
Xenia was the daughter of Alexander III, Emperor of All Russia and the sister of Nicholas II, Emperor of All Russia. In 1894, Xenia married Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, known as Sandro, the son of Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevich of Russia who was a son of Nicholas I, Emperor of All Russia, and they had one daughter and six sons. Xenia was one of the fortunate Romanovs who survived the Russian Revolution. She left Russia for good aboard the British battleship HMS Marlborough with her mother Empress Maria Feodorovna (born Dagmar of Denmark), her five youngest sons, her daughter Irina and Irinia’s husband Prince Felix Yusupov. Xenia settled in England where she was granted management letters for the properties of her brother Nicholas in England which gave her an income of 500 pounds sterling per year. By 1925, Xenia’s financial situation was desperate and her first cousin King George V allowed her the use of Frogmore Cottage, a grace and favor house, in Windsor Great Park. In March 1937, King George VI, Xenia’s first cousin once removed, granted her the use of Wilderness House, a grace and favor house, on the grounds of Hampton Court Palace where she died on April 20, 1960, at the age of 85.
Unofficial Royalty: Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia
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