April 29: Today in Royal History

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Prince William, The Prince of Wales and Catherine Middleton; Photo Credit – www.zimbio.com

April 29, 1763 – Birth of Friedrich, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg in Hildburghausen, Duchy of  Saxe-Hildburghausen, now in Thuringia, Germany
Originally Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, Friedrich became Duke of Saxe-Altenburg in 1826. After Friedrich IV, the last Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg died in 1825 without heirs, the Ernestine duchies were reorganized. Gotha passed to Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (becoming the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha), and Altenburg passed to Friedrich. In exchange, the two Dukes ceded Saalfeld and Hildburghausen, respectively, to Bernard II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. In 1785, Friedrich married Charlotte Georgine of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The marriage was happy at first, but soon Friedrich realized that his wife was far more intelligent than he was, and began to ignore her. Despite this, the couple had 12 children.
Unofficial Royalty: Friedrich, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg

April 29, 1818 – Birth of Alexander II, Emperor of All Russia at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia
Alexander II is known as “The Liberator” for emancipating the Russian serfs and was one of five of the twenty Romanov rulers (Ivan VI, Peter III, Paul I, Alexander II, and Nicholas II) to die a violent death. He was assassinated by a bomb on March 13, 1881, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Alexander II was the most reforming emperor since Peter the Great.  Besides his emancipation of the serfs, Alexander II reorganized the judicial system, established local self-government called Zemstvo, instituted universal military service in which sons of the rich and the poor were required to serve, ended some of the privileges of the nobility, and promoted higher education in the universities.
Unofficial Royalty: Alexander II, Emperor of All Russia
Unofficial Royalty: Assassination of Emperor Alexander II of Russia

April 29, 1831- Birth of Friedrich I, Duke of Anhalt in Dessau, Duchy of Anhalt, now in  Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Full name: Leopold Friedrich Franz Nikolaus
Before he became Duke of Anhalt, Friedrich had a military career. He served on the staff of his brother-in-law, Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia, during the Second Schleswig War and also served during the Franco-Prussian War, taking part in the Siege of Toul and battles at Beaumont and Sedan. In January 1871, he was present at the Palace of Versailles for the proclamation of King Wilhelm I of Prussia as the German Emperor. In 1854, Friedrich married Antoinette of Saxe-Altenburg. The couple had six children including two reigning Dukes of Anhalt.
Unofficial Royalty: Friedrich I, Duke of Anhalt

April 29, 1868 – Birth of Alice Keppel, mistress of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, in Woolwich Dockyard, Kent, England
Alice Keppel was the mistress of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom from 1898 until his death in 1910. Through her daughter Sonia, she is the great-grandmother of Queen Camilla, the wife of King Charles III.
Unofficial Royalty: Alice Keppel, mistress of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom

April 29, 1901 – Birth of Emperor Shōwa of Japan (Hirohito) at the Aoyama Palace in Tokyo, Japan
Emperor of Japan for 62 years, Hirohito, now known in Japan by his posthumous name Emperor Shōwa, was born during the reign of his grandfather Emperor Meiji.  After World War II, some believed that Hirohito was chiefly responsible for Japan’s role in the war and others said that he was just a powerless puppet under the influence of Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō who was eventually executed for war crimes. The view promoted by both the Japanese Imperial Palace and the American occupation forces immediately after World War II portrayed Emperor Hirohito as a powerless figurehead behaving strictly according to protocol. However, since his death in 1989, a debate began to surface over the extent of his involvement and his culpability in World War II. In 1924, Hirohito married Princess Nagako Kuni. They had two sons and seven daughters including Hirohito’s successor Emperor Akihito. Hirohito was very interested in marine biology and the Imperial Palace contained a laboratory where he worked. He published several scientific papers on the subject and was considered one of the most respected jellyfish experts in the world.
Unofficial Royalty: Emperor Shōwa of Japan

April 29, 1911 – Death of Georg, Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe in Bückeburg, Principality of Schaumberg-Lippe, now in Lower Saxony, Germany; buried in the Mausoleum in the park of Schloss Bückeburg
In 1882,  Georg married Marie Anna of Saxe-Altenburg. The couple had nine children including Adolf II, the last Prince of Schaumberg-Lippe. Four years before Georg’s death, on the occasion of his 25th wedding anniversary, Wilhelm II, German Emperor and King of Prussia presented Schaumberg Castle, the Schaumberg-Lippe ancestral home, in Rinteln, Kingdom of Prussia, now in the German state of Lower Saxony, to Georg and his wife Maria Anna. The castle had become the property of the Prussian royal family when the Principality of Schaumberg-Lippe sided with the Austrians, the losers in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. The gift was also meant to be in recognition of Georg’s support of Prussia in the dispute over the succession to the Principality of Lippe throne.
Unofficial Royalty: Georg, Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe

April 29, 1944 – Birth of Princess Benedikte of Denmark, daughter of King Frederik IX of Denmark, sister of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, at the Frederick VIII Palace in Amalienborg complex in Copenhagen, Denmark
Full name: Benedikte Astrid Ingeborg Ingrid
Princess Benedikte remains a very active member of the Danish Royal House. She is the patron of several organizations in Denmark and appears at most State and official functions, as well as representing her sister at various events.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Benedikte of Denmark

April 29, 2005 – Birth of Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti of Thailand, son of King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand, at the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand
Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti of Thailand is the heir presumptive to the throne of Thailand. His status is uncertain because of his parents’ divorce.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti of Thailand

April 29, 2007 – Birth of Infanta Sofia of Spain, daughter of King Felipe VI of Spain, at the Ruber International Clinic in Madrid, Spain
Full name: Sofía de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Ortiz
Sofia is the younger of the two daughters of King Felipe VI of Spain and his wife Queen Letizia (born Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano). She was named after her paternal grandmother Queen Sofía of Spain (born Princess Sophia of Greece) and also was given the additional name of de Todos los Santos (of All the Saints), a Bourbon tradition.
Unofficial Royalty: Infanta Sofia of Spain

April 29, 2011 – Wedding of Prince William, The Prince of Wales and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London, England
In 2001, Prince William and Catherine Middleton first met each other while they were both students at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland. During their first year, they both lived at St. Salvator’s Hall, a residence hall at the university. For their final two years, they shared housing in the town. They started dating in 2003 and remained together for eight years except for a brief separation in 2007. The couple became engaged in October 2010 while on a private vacation in Kenya. The official engagement announcement came from Clarence House on November 16, 2010: “The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton.”
Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of Prince William, The Prince of Wales and Catherine Middleton

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