April 4: Today in Royal History

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Queen Maria II of Portugal;  Credit – Wikipedia

April 4, 1406 – Death of Robert III, King of Scots at Rothesay Castle in Scotland; buried at Paisley Abbey in Renfrewshire, Scotland
In 1367, Robert (known as John Stewart, Earl of Carrick before he became King of Scots) married Anabella Drummond and the couple had seven children. In 1390, he succeeded his father Robert II, King of Scots who was the first king of the House of Stewart. Two years before he became king, Robert III was kicked by a horse and became an invalid.  Because of his disability, he delegated most of his power to his brother Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. As time went by, Robert III’s disabilities worsened and he fell into a state of depression. Fearing for the safety of his only surviving son, the future James I, King of Scots, Robert III decided to send him to France. However, the ship 12-year-old James was sailing on was captured by English pirates who delivered James to King Henry IV of England. Robert III died soon after hearing of his son’s captivity.
Unofficial Royalty: Robert III, King of Scots

April 4, 1588 – Death of King Frederik II of Denmark and Norway at Antvorskov Castle in Denmark; buried at Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark
Frederik’s father Christian III, King of Denmark and Norway died in 1559, and 24-year-old Frederik succeeded him. During his reign, finances were improved, agriculture and trade were promoted, and the privileges the German Hanseatic League had with Denmark were limited or abolished. Friedrich revolutionized shipping by establishing the modern lighthouse system. He also promoted the sciences, especially astronomy, and was a patron of pioneering Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. In 1572, Frederik married Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow and had seven children. Through their daughter Anna who married James VI, King of Scots, later also James I, King of England, they are ancestors of the British Royal Family. Frederik II, aged 53, on April 4, 1588. His death was sudden and unexpected and some modern historians speculate that his health deteriorated very rapidly as a result of lung cancer.
Unofficial Royalty: King Frederik II of Denmark and Norway

April 4, 1819 – Birth of Queen Maria II of Portugal at São Cristóvão Palace, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Full name: Maria da Glória Joana Carlota Leopoldina da Cruz Francisca Xavier de Paula Isidora Micaela Gabriela Rafaela Gonzaga
Queen Maria II of Portugal first became Queen at just seven years old. Deposed two years later, she returned to the throne at age 15 and reigned until her death. In 1835, Maria II married Auguste de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg but he died just two months later. A year later, she married Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a first cousin of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The couple had eleven children. Maria II faced problems in giving birth with prolonged and extremely difficult labors. By the time she was 25-years-old, Maria was obese and the births became even more complicated. The combination of many successive pregnancies, her obesity which eventually caused her heart problems, and the prolonged, difficult labors led doctors to warn Maria about the serious risks she would face in future pregnancies. Maria replied, “If I die, I die at my post.”  Maria II at the age of 34 after giving birth to a stillborn son.
Unofficial Royalty: Queen Maria II of Portugal

April 4, 1930 – Death of Queen Victoria of Sweden, born Victoria of Baden, wife of King Gustav V of Sweden, at her home Villa Svezia in Rome, Italy; buried at Riddarholmen Church in Stockholm, Sweden
In 1881, Victoria married the future King Gustaf V of Sweden. The couple had three children including King Gustaf VI Adolf who married Princess Margaret of Connaught and Lady Louise Mountbatten. When her husband became king, Victoria took part in all the court festivities and responsibilities of her new role. She traveled extensively with her husband and entertained visiting royalty from around Europe. She spent much of her time working with several charities, including taking the helm of Sophiahammet after the death of her mother-in-law Queen Sofia. During World War I, Queen Victoria’s German roots often led to unpopularity amongst the Swedes. From her youth, Victoria had always suffered from ill health and found the winters in Sweden too harsh. Beginning in 1882, she spent every winter away in a warmer climate. Her later years were spent primarily in southern Europe and eventually, she purchased the Villa Svezia in Rome, Italy. It was there she died of a heart attack surrounded by her husband King Gustaf V, her son Prince Wilhelm, and her devoted maid and companion Agnes Bergman.
Unofficial Royalty: Victoria of Baden, Queen of Sweden

April 4, 1953 – Death of King Carol II of Romania in Estoril, Portugal; first buried in the Royal Pantheon of the House of Braganza at the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon, Portugal; in 2003 his remains were transferred to the Curtea de Argeş Monastery in Argeş, Romania
Carol II was a great-grandson of Queen Victoria through his mother Princess Marie of Edinburgh. In 1918, Carol made an unsanctioned marriage to Joanna “Zizi” Lambrino. The marriage was annulled seven months later but the couple continued to live together, and the following year, in January 1920, they had a son. In 1921, Carol married his second cousin, Princess Helen of Greece and they had one son, the future King Michael (Mihai) of Romania. Within a few years, Carol began an affair with Magda Lupescu, and in 1925 he renounced his rights to the throne. In 1927, Carol’s father King Ferdinand died, and six-year-old Michael became King of Romania. Carol and Helen divorced in 1928. In June 1930, Carol negotiated with the Prime Minister for his return to the throne. His earlier renunciation was voided, and he was restored as King of Romania, replacing his son Michael. His rocky reign last ten years until he was forced to abdicate in 1940, in favor of his son Michael. Carol and Magda moved to Brazil in 1944, where they married in 1947. They soon moved to Estoril, Portugal, where Carol would live in exile until he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 59.
Unofficial Royalty: King Carol II of Romania

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