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April 30, 1553 – Birth of Louise de Lorraine-Vaudémont, Queen of France, wife of King Henri III of France, in Nomeny, France
Shortly after her marriage to King Henri III, Louise suffered a miscarriage with complications and she never had children. However, Louise and Henri did not give up on the idea of having children. They went on many pilgrimages and took thermal cures in the hope of having an heir. Despite Henri’s affairs, Louise and Henri both loved each other and Louise did an admirable job with her duties as Queen of France. Their marriage lasted fourteen years until King Henri III was assassinated. After the assassination, Louise became permanently depressed, always dressed in white, the traditional mourning color of French queens, and was nicknamed the “White Queen.” The walls of her bed-chamber were all black and the décor were all symbols of mourning. On January 29, 1601, Louise died at the Château de Moulins at the age of 47.
Unofficial Royalty: Louise de Lorraine-Vaudémont, Queen of France
April 30, 1587 – Birth of Éléonore de Bourbon-Condé, Princess of Orange, wife of Filips Willem, Prince of Orange, in St-Jean-d’Angély, Saintonge, France
Éléonore was the elder of the two children of Henri I, Prince de Condé and his second wife Charlotte Catherine de La Tremoille. The House of Condé was a French princely house and a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon. The title of Prince of Condé was originally assumed around 1557 by Éléonore’s grandfather Louis de Bourbon, a prominent Huguenot (French Protestant) leader and general, and first cousin of King Henri IV of France. The title was held by his male-line descendants. In 1606, 19-year-old Éléonore married 51-year-old Filips Willem, Prince of Orange, son of Willem I (the Silent), Prince of Orange and his first wife Anna van Egmont. Éléonore and Filips Willem had a happy marriage despite their age difference and the absence of children.
Unofficial Royalty: Éléonore de Bourbon-Condé, Princess of Orange
April 30, 1632 – Death of King Sigismund III Vasa of Sweden at Warsaw, Poland; buried at Wawel Cathedral in Kraków, Poland
Sigismund was the son of Johan III, King of Sweden and his first wife Katarina Jagellonica of Poland. He was not only King of Sweden but also King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania through his mother. Sigismund, who was Catholic, was deposed in 1599 as King of Sweden by his Protestant uncle who reigned as King Karl IX of Sweden and lived the remainder of his life in Poland.
Unofficial Royalty: King Sigismund III Vasa of Sweden
April 30, 1662 – Birth of Queen Mary II of England at St. James’ Palace in London, England
Mary was the elder of the two surviving children (the other was Queen Anne) of King James II of England and his first wife Anne Hyde. Mary married her first cousin Willem III, Prince of Orange who followed Mary and her sister Anne in the line of succession to the English throne. In 1688, Mary’s father King James II was deposed in the Glorious Revolution and Mary and her husband William became the joint sovereigns as King William III and Queen Mary II.
Unofficial Royalty: Queen Mary II of England
April 30, 1837 – Death of Luise Eleonore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen, wife of Georg I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, in Meiningen, Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen, now in Thuringia, Germany; buried in the Ducal Crypt Chapel in the Meiningen municipal cemetery until 1977 when her remains were removed from the chapel, cremated and buried elsewhere in the cemetery
Luise Eleonore and her husband were the parents of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, the wife of King William IV of the United Kingdom. When her husband died and their three-year-old son became the reigning Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, Luise Eleonore became Regent and is credited with steering the duchy through some very difficult times.
Unofficial Royalty: Eleonore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen
April 30, 1857 – Death of Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester, daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom, at Gloucester House in Piccadilly, London, England; buried at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, 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 30, 1881- Birth of Dorothea of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein, wife of Ernst Gunther, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, in Vienna, Austria
Full name: Dorothea Maria Henriette Auguste Louise
Through her mother, Dorothea was a granddaughter of King Leopold II of the Belgians. Dorothea and her husband had no children of their own, but they adopted Princess Marie Luise and Prince Johann Georg of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, the children of Prince Albrecht of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and his first wife, Countess Ortrud of Ysenburg and Büdingen.
Unofficial Royalty: Dorothea of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein
April 30, 1882 – Death of Marie of Waldeck-Pyrmont, Princess of Württemberg, first wife of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg, at Ludwigsburg Palace in Ludwigsburg, Kingdom of Württemberg, now in Baden-Württemberg, Germany; buried at the Old Cemetery on the grounds of Ludwigsburg Palace
Marie was the sister of Emma who married King Willem III of the Netherlands and Helena who married Queen Victoria’s son Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany. On April 24, 1882, Marie gave birth to her third child, a stillborn daughter, suffered serious complications, and died six days later.
Unofficial Royalty: Marie of Waldeck-Pyrmont, Princess of Württemberg
April 30, 1909 – Birth of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands
April 30, 1980 – Abdication of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands; her daughter Beatrix becomes queen
Full name: Juliana Emma Louise Wilhelmina
Juliana was the only child of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and her husband Prince Hendrik of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. After a reign of nearly 58 years, Queen Wilhelmina abdicated in favor of her daughter and Juliana became Queen of the Netherlands. Juliana was a much more relaxed monarch than her mother had been and this lessened the distance between the royal family and the Dutch people. She often appeared in public dressed like any ordinary Dutch woman, and preferred to be addressed as “Mevrouw” (Dutch for “Mrs.”) rather than her formal “Majesty”. Juliana’s love of bicycling for exercise gave rise to the royal family’s nickname, “the cycling family.”
Unofficial Royalty: Queen Juliana of the Netherlands
April 30, 1946 – Birth of King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden at Haga Palace in Solna, Sweden
Full name: Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus
Carl Gustaf is a descendant of Queen Victoria through both of his parents. His paternal grandmother was Princess Margaret of Connaught, daughter of Queen Victoria’s son Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught. His maternal grandfather was Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the posthumous son of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, Queen Victoria’s youngest son. On April 26, 2018, King Carl XVI Gustaf became the longest-reigning monarch in Swedish history surpassing King Magnus IV who reigned for 44 years and 222 days from July 8, 1319 – to February 15, 1364.
Unofficial Royalty: King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden
April 30, 1991 – Death of Ghislaine Dommanget, Princess of Monaco, wife of Prince Louis II of Monaco; buried at the Cimetiere de Passy in Paris, France
Ghislaine was an actress, working at the famed Comédie-Française in Paris, before meeting Prince Louis II. She had been married twice before. Members of the royal family questioned her motives, and viewed her as an opportunist and golddigger. Prince Louis died less than three years after their marriage later and was succeeded by his grandson, Prince Rainier III. In his will, Louis had left half of his estate to Ghislaine, but this was contested by Rainier and his sister Antoinette, and the will was overturned. Ghislaine lived the rest of her life in Paris but developed a close relationship with Prince Rainier III’s wife Princess Grace.
Unofficial Royalty: Ghislaine Marie Francoise Dommanget, Princess of Monaco
April 30, 2013 – Abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands; her son Willem-Alexander becomes King
Following in the footsteps of her mother Queen Juliana and grandmother Queen Wilhelmina, Queen Beatrix also abdicated in favor of her heir. Her official title after her abdication is Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld.
Unofficial Royalty: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
Unofficial Royalty: King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
April 30, 2019 – Emperor Akihito of Japan abdicates in favor of his son Naruhito
In 2016, Emperor Akihito gave a televised speech emphasizing his advanced age and declining health which was interpreted as a desire to abdicate. In 2017, the National Diet, the Japanese legislature, passed a bill allowing Akihito to abdicate. On December 1, 2017, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that Emperor Akihito would abdicate on April 30, 2019, in favor of his elder son Crown Prince Naruhito. The last abdication occurred 200 years ago when Emperor Kōkaku abdicated in 1817.
Unofficial Royalty: Emperor Akihito of Japan
Unofficial Royalty: Emperor Naruhito of Japan
Unofficial Royalty: Ceremonies: Abdication of Emperor Akihito and Accession and Enthronement of Emperor Naruhito
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