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April 25, 1284 – Birth of King Edward II of England at Caernarvon Castle in Wales
Edward was the first English Prince of Wales. The tradition of conferring the title Prince of Wales on the heir apparent of the monarch is usually considered to have begun in 1301 when King Edward I of England invested his son Edward of Caernarfon with the title at a Parliament held in Lincoln. Since then, the title has been granted (with a few exceptions) to the heir apparent of the English or British monarch. Edward II succeeded his father King Edward I in 1307. The granting of favors to Edward II’s favorites greatly displeased the English nobility. His wife Isabella of France and her lover Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March decided to depose Edward II resulting in his forced abdication. Edward II and Isabella’s son was crowned King Edward III, and Isabella and Mortimer served as regents for the teenage king. King Edward II was sent to Berkeley Castle where castle records indicate he was well treated. The circumstances of what happened to him are uncertain. One theory is that he died at Berkeley Castle on September 21, 1327, murdered on the orders of Isabella and Mortimer. When King Edward III reached the age of 18, he conducted a coup d’état against Mortimer and Isabella resulting in the execution of Mortimer and the confinement of his mother at Castle Rising in Norfolk.
Unofficial Royalty: King Edward II of England
April 25, 1566 – Death of Diane de Poitiers, mistress of King Henri II of France, at the Château d’Anet near Dreux, Eure-et-Loir, France; buried in the funeral chapel on the grounds of the Château d’Anet
Diane de Poitiers was the royal mistress of King Henri II of France from around 1534 until the King’s death in 1559. During that time, she was considered by most to be the most powerful and influential woman in France, far surpassing the King’s wife Catherine de’ Medici.
Unofficial Royalty: Diane de Poitiers, mistress of King Henri II of France
April 25, 1775 – Birth of Carlota Joaquina of Spain, Queen of Portugal, wife of King João VI of Portugal, at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez in Spain
Full name: Carlota Joaquina Teresa Cayetana
The daughter of Carlos IV, King of Spain, Carlota Joaquina married the future João VI, King of Portugal in 1785. The couple had nine children including two Kings of Portugal and one Queen Consort of Spain. In 1816, Carlota Joaquina’s husband became King of Portugal. In 1824, Carlota Joaquina plotted with her son Miguel to overthrow her husband and place Miguel on the throne. The plot was discovered and King João VI reprimanded his son Miguel, deposed him from command of the army, and exiled him. Later in the year, another rebellion organized by Carlota Joaquina was discovered and she was placed under house arrest in the Palace of Queluz. In 1826, João VI died and it was suspected that he was poisoned. In 2000, a team of researchers exhumed the ceramic pot that contained João VI’s heart. An analysis of his heart detected enough arsenic to kill two people, confirming suspicions that João VI had been murdered. For the rest of her life, Carlota Joaquina remained confined in the Palace of Queluz, where she died alone and abandoned by her children on January 7, 1830, at the age of 56
Unofficial Royalty: Carlota Joaquina of Spain, Queen of Portugal
April 25, 1776 – Birth of Princess Mary, daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom, at Buckingham Palace in London, England
Princess Mary was one of three of the six daughters of King George III who eventually married. At the age of 48, she married her paternal first cousin, Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, the son of King George III’s brother, Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh. Mary was a great favorite with all the members of the royal family, particularly with her niece Queen Victoria. She died at age 81, the longest-lived and the last survivor of her parents’ fifteen children. Mary also has the distinction of being the only child of King George III to be photographed, – a photo with her niece Queen Victoria and two of Victoria’s children, Princess Alice and the Prince of Wales (future Edward VII) – which can be seen in the article linked below.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester
April 25, 1805 – Death of Anna Petrovna Lopukhina, mistress of Paul I, Emperor of All Russia, in Turin, First French Empire, now in Italy; buried in the St. Lazarus Church at the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg, Russia
Anna was the mistress of Paul I, Emperor of All Russia for several years before his assassination in 1801. Anna had married Prince Pavel Gavrilovich Gagarin. After the death of Emperor Paul, the benefits that Pavel would reap from being married to Paul’s official mistress were now gone, and Pavel and Anna’s marriage deteriorated. Both Pavel and Anna had affairs. Anna’s affair was with Prince Boris Antonovich Chetvertinsky. On February 5, 1805, Anna gave birth to Boris Antonovich’s daughter. Six weeks later Anna, aged 27, died from tuberculosis. Her infant daughter died a few weeks later.
Unofficial Royalty: Anna Petrovna Lopukhina, mistress of Paul I, Emperor of All Russia
April 25, 1806 – Birth of Wilhelm, Duke of Brunswick in Brunswick, Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, now in Lower Saxony, Germany
Full name: Wilhelm August Ludwig Maximilian Friedrich
Wilhelm was the second Duke of Brunswick, reigning from 1830 until 1884. Under Wilhelm’s regency, the Duchy of Brunswick was granted a new constitution that extended significant fundamental rights to the people. He quickly became much more popular than his brother had ever been. He let his government do much of the ruling, leaving his ministers to handle most of the government business, and spending much of his time at his estates. Wilhelm never married but he had a number of illegitimate children.
Unofficial Royalty: Wilhelm, Duke of Brunswick
April 25, 1843 – Birth of Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, daughter of Queen Victoria, at Buckingham Palace in London, England
Full name: Alice Maud Mary
Alice was known as the family caregiver having nursed both her maternal grandmother and her father through their last days and then supported her widowed mother in her intense grief. Seven months after her father’s death, Alice married the future Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine in a somber marriage ceremony. Alice was a hemophilia carrier. Her hemophiliac son Friedrich (Frittie) died after a fall. Two of Alice’s daughters were hemophilia carriers – Irene who transmitted the disease to two of her sons, and Alix, who married Nicholas II, Emperor of All Russia, and transmitted hemophilia to her only son. Alice and her husband are the great-grandparents of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Sadly, Alice died, aged 35, on December 14, 1878, the 17th anniversary of her father’s death, of diphtheria after nursing her family through the disease. Her youngest child May had died from the disease a month earlier.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine
April 25, 1897 – Birth of Mary, Princess Royal, daughter of King George V of the United Kingdom, at Marlborough House in London, England
Full name: Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary
Mary was the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary and the paternal aunt of Queen Elizabeth II. In 1922, Mary married the future Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood and the couple had two sons. Mary continued to carry out engagements during the reigns of her brother King George VI and her niece Queen Elizabeth II. After her husband’s death in 1947, Mary lived at Harewood House with her elder son George, the 7th Earl of Harewood, and his family. On March 28, 1965, Mary went for a walk on the grounds of Harewood House with her elder son George and two of her grandsons. She stumbled and fell and her son helped her to a seat while his sons ran back to the house to get help. Before help arrived, Mary died peacefully in her son’s arms from a heart attack at the age of 67.
Unofficial Royalty: Mary, Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood
April 25, 1941 – Birth of Princess Muna al-Hussein of Jordan, second wife of King Hussein I of Jordan and mother of King Abdullah II of Jordan, born Antoinette Avril Gardiner in Chelmondiston, Suffolk, England
It was in Jordan, while Antoinette was working as a secretary on the production of the film Lawrence of Arabia that she met her future husband, King Hussein I of Jordan. Antoinette converted to Islam and took the name Muna-al Hussein. The couple married in 1961 and had four children including King Abdullah II of Jordan. Unlike King Hussein’s other wives, she was never created Queen of Jordan. In 1971, King Hussein and Princess Muna divorced but she retained her titles.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Muna al-Hussein
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