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April 23, 1016 – Death of Æthelred II (the Unready), King of the English, in London, England; buried at (old) St. Paul’s Cathedral (destroyed in the Great Fire of London)
Æthelred II (the Unready), King of the English was from the Anglo-Saxon House of Wessex. He was a great-great-grandson of King Alfred the Great and the father of two kings, Edmund Ironside and Edward the Confessor. His nickname in Old English was unræd which means “no counsel” and describes the poor quality of advice which Æthelred received throughout his reign. Æthelred is number eight on the top ten list of longest-reigning British monarchs.
Unofficial Royalty: Æthelred II, King of the English
April 23, 1151 – Death of Adeliza of Louvain, Queen of England, second wife of King Henry I of England, at Afflighem in Flanders, now in Belgium; buried at the Abbey of Afflighem in Afflighem
Because Henry I’s only son died in the White Ship disaster, it was necessary for him to marry again after the death of his first wife. His second wife Adeliza and the wives of King Henry VIII of England probably had a similar amount of pressure put on them to produce a male heir. However, Adeliza’s marriage to King Henry I was childless. After Henry I’s death, Adeliza married William d’Aubigny, 1st Earl of Lincoln and 1st Earl of Arundel and the couple had seven children. Among Adeliza and William’s descendants are the well-known Howard family and the Dukes of Norfolk. In 1150, Adeliza left her family and retired to Affligem Abbey in Flemish Brabant (now in Belgium) near where she grew up. She died at Affligem Abbey on April 23, 1151, at the age of 48, and was buried at the abbey.
Unofficial Royalty: Adeliza of Louvain, Queen of England
April 23, 1307 – Death of Joan of Acre, daughter of King Edward I of England, at Clare Castle in Clare, Suffolk, England; buried at Clare Priory in Clare, Suffolk, England
Joan was the daughter of King Edward I of England and his first wife Eleanor of Castile. She was born in Acre, Palestine while her parents were taking part in the Crusades. In 1290, Joan married Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford, 7th Earl of Gloucester, and probably the most powerful English baron. Gilbert was twenty-nine years older than Joan and had been previously married to Alice de Lusignan, the half-niece of King Henry III, but the marriage was annulled in 1285. Joan and Gilbert had four children. The couple’s marriage lasted only five years as Gilbert died in 1295, aged 52. Joan fell in love with Ralph de Monthermer, a squire in the service of the de Clare family. After Joan persuaded her father to knight Ralph, they secretly married in 1297. When Joan’s father found out about the marriage, Ralph was arrested but King Edward I relented and released Ralph from prison. Ralph managed to win the favor of his father-in-law and kept it until the end of King Edward I’s reign. Joan and Ralph had four children. Joan died on April 23, 1307, at Clare Castle in Clare, Suffolk, England at the age of 35. The cause of Joan’s death is unknown, but possibly she died during childbirth, a common cause of death at the time.
Unofficial Royalty: Joan of Acre, Countess of Hertford and Gloucester
April 23, 1464 – Birth of Jeanne of France, Queen of France, Saint Joan of Valois in Nogent-le-Roi, County of Dreux, now in France
Jeanne was the daughter of King Louis XI of France and the first of the three wives of King Louis XII of France. After Jeanne and Louis XII’s marriage was annulled, Jeanne founded the monastic Order of the Sisters of the Annunciation of Mary and was canonized as a saint in 1950.
Unofficial Royalty: Jeanne of France, Queen of France, Saint Joan of Valois
April 23, 1625 – Death of Maurits, Prince of Orange, at The Hague, the Netherlands; buried at Nieuwe Kerk in Delft, the Netherlands
Maurits was the only surviving son and the fourth of the five children of Willem I (the Silent), Prince of Orange and his second wife Anna of Saxony. In 1618, Maurits succeeded his childless half-brother Filip Willem. Maurits never married but he did have a number of illegitimate children.
Unofficial Royalty: Maurits, Prince of Orange
April 23, 1676 – Birth of King Fredrik I of Sweden at Kassel, Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel, now in Hesse, Germany
Fredrik I was King of Sweden from 1720 until his death in 1751. However, he was also Prince Consort of Sweden from 1718 to 1720 and Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel from 1730 until his death. Fredrik’s second wife Ulrika Eleonora, Queen of Sweden, in her own right, succeeded her unmarried brother Karl XII, King of Sweden in 1718 and reigned for two years before abdicating in favor of her husband Friedrich of Hesse-Kassel who reigned as Fredrik I, King of Sweden. At the beginning of his 31-year-reign, Fredrik was an active monarch. However, after the nobility had regained some power during the wars with Russia, Fredrik was not so much powerless as uninterested in the affairs of state. Ulrika and her husband had no children. Fredrik I, King of Sweden survived his wife by ten years. After suffering several strokes, he died on March 25, 1751, aged 74.
Unofficial Royalty: King Fredrik I of Sweden
April 23, 1751 – Death of Prince Jacques I of Monaco at Hôtel Matignon in Paris, France
Born Jacques François Leonor Goyon de Matignon from a wealthy French noble family, Jacques was the husband of Louise-Hippolyte, Sovereign Princess of Monaco and was briefly the Sovereign Prince of Monaco. Louise-Hippolyte and Jacques had nine children but only four survived to adulthood. The former Jacques I, Prince of Monaco, died, aged 61, on April 23, 1751, at his Paris home, the Hôtel de Matignon. He was buried at the Église Saint-Laurent, the burial site of Jacques’ birth family, in Torigni-sur-Vire in France, but his remains were lost during the French Revolution.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Jacques I of Monaco
April 23, 1828 – Birth of King Albert of Saxony in Dresden, Kingdom of Saxony, now in Saxony, Germany
Full name: Friedrich August Albert Anton Ferdinand Joseph Karl Maria Baptist Nepomuk Wilhelm Xaver Georg Fidelis
In 1853, Albert married Princess Carola of Vasa, the daughter of Gustaf, Prince of Vasa (formerly The Crown Prince of Sweden). When Albert’s father King Johann of Saxony died in 1873, he succeeded him as King of Saxony. For the most part, his reign was quiet and uneventful, as he focused primarily on military affairs and did not involve himself much in politics. Perhaps his greatest contribution was the establishment of the Albertstadt, a suburb in Dresden. In the late 1890s, he was appointed to serve as an arbitrator in the dispute over succession in the Principality of Lippe. Albert’s marriage was childless and he was succeeded by his younger brother Georg.
Unofficial Royalty: King Albert of Saxony
April 23, 1922 – Death of Lord Leopold Mountbatten, grandson of Queen Victoria, at Kensington Palace in London, England; buried at the Royal Burial Grounds at Frogmore near Windsor Castle in Windsor, England
Leopold was the son of Princess Beatrice, daughter of Queen Victoria, and Prince Henry of Battenberg. His mother was a hemophilia carrier and he inherited the disease from her. Leopold never married. On April 22, 1922, Leopold had hip surgery at Kensington Palace. He appeared to be making a normal recovery but had a relapse, and died on April 23, 1922, at the age of 32.
Unofficial Royalty: Lord Leopold Mountbatten
Unofficial Royalty: Hemophilia in Queen Victoria’s Descendants
April 23, 1923 – Death of Luise of Prussia, Grand Duchess of Baden, daughter of Wilhelm I, German Emperor, wife of Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden, in Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg, Germany; buried in the Grand Ducal Chapel in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Luise was the daughter of Wilhelm I, King of Prussia and Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. She had one older brother Friedrich III, German Emperor and King of Prussia. In 1856, Luise married the future Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden. The couple had three children including Friedrich II, Grand Duke of Baden and Victoria who married King Gustav V of Sweden. Luise became involved in charitable causes in Baden, particularly those which helped and promoted women. Luise’s husband died in 1907. Luise along with her daughter Queen Victoria of Sweden, who was visiting, fled to Zwingenberg Palace in Zwingenberg, now in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The new Baden government then granted Luise permission to stay at Langenstein Castle, owned by the Swedish Count Douglas, who was related to the Baden Grand Ducal family through marriage. The Baden government ordered that Luise and her family be protected, primarily because her daughter was Queen of Sweden, and they did not want to cause any sort of diplomatic problems. In 1919, Luise was given permission to return to Neues Schloss (New Castle) in Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg, Germany where she died at the age of 85.
Unofficial Royalty: Luise of Prussia, Grand Duchess of Baden
April 23, 2018 – Birth of Prince Louis of Wales, son of Prince William, The Prince of Wales, at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, England
Full name: Louis Arthur Charles
Prince Louis is the second son of the two sons and the youngest of the three children of Prince William, The Prince of Wales. The Succession to The Crown Act 2013, which formally went into effect on March 26, 2015, put in place absolute primogeniture, which means for those born after October 28, 2011, the eldest child born becomes the heir to his or her parent, regardless of gender. This means that Prince Louis is now fourth in the line of succession after his father The Prince of Wales, his elder brother Prince George of Wales, and his elder sister Princess Charlotte of Wales. With the birth of Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte became the first princess not to be overtaken in the line of succession by her younger brother.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Louis of Cambridge
April 23, 2019 – Death of Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg; buried in the Ducal Crypt at the Cathedral Notre-Dame of Luxembourg in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Grand Duke Jean was the eldest of six children of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg and Prince Félix of Bourbon-Parma. During World War II, Jean joined the Irish Guards of the British Army on the advice of King George VI of the United Kingdom. After some preliminary training, Jean completed his military education at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant and later was promoted to lieutenant. Jean landed near Bayeux, Normandy five days after D-Day. He took part in the Battle for Caen and the liberation of Brussels. On September 10, 1944, he took part in the liberation of Luxembourg before participating in the invasion of Germany. In 1953, Jean married Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium, daughter of Léopold III, King of the Belgians and the couple had five children. In 1964, Jean’s mother Grand Duchess Charlotte abdicated and he became Grand Duke. Grand Duke Jean then reigned until 2000, when he abdicated in favor of his eldest son Henri. Jean died on April 23, 2019, at the age of 98, after being hospitalized with a pulmonary condition.
Unofficial Royalty: Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg
Unofficial Royalty: Funeral of Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg
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