April 5: Today in Royal History

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Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine; Credit – Wikipedia

April 5, 1674 – Birth of Elisabeth Sophie of Brandenburg, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen, second wife of Ernst Ludwig I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, in Cölln, Electorate of Brandenburg, now part of Berlin, Brandenburg, Germany
Elisabeth Sophie of Brandenburg was the second wife of Ernst Ludwig I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, her third husband who she married in 1714.  Their marriage was childless. She had previously married her first cousin, Friedrich Casimir Kettler, Duke of Courland (one surviving son) and Christian Ernst, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth (no children). She died at the age of 74.
Unofficial Royalty: Elisabeth Sophie of Brandenburg, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen

April 5, 1684 – Death of Karl Eusebius, Prince of Liechtenstein at Kostelec Castle in Schwarzkosteletz, now Kostelec nad Černými lesy in the Czech Republic. He was buried in the Old Crypt at Chuch of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Vranov, Moravia, now in the Czech Republic
In 1627, when Karl Eusebius was fifteen years old, his father Karl I, the first Prince of Liechtenstein died, and he became the second Prince of Liechtenstein. In 1644, Karl Eusebius married his niece Johanna Beatrix of Dietrichstein and they had nine children. Karl Eusebius I successfully consolidated and rebuilt the territories of the House of Liechtenstein that had been devastated by the Thirty Years’ War. He left his son and successor Hans-Adam I, Prince of Liechtenstein a rich inheritance and an extensive collection of artworks that were both multiplied by his son and other descendants. The current Prince of Liechtenstein, Hans-Adam II, is the richest European monarch. After a reign of 57 years, Karl Eusebius, died at the age of 72, on April 5, 1684.
Unofficial Royalty: Karl Eusebius, Prince of Liechtenstein

April 5, 1697 – Death of King Karl XI of Sweden at Stockholm Palace in Stockholm, Sweden; buried at Riddarholmen Church in Stockholm, Sweden
Karl XI, King of Sweden was the only child of Karl X Gustav, King of Sweden. Karl X died at the age of 37 in 1660, from influenza and pneumonia and his four-year-old son Karl became King of Sweden. Karl XI’s mother Hedwig Eleonora of Holstein-Gottorp served as Regent of Sweden until her son reached his majority. In 1680, Karl married Ulrika Eleonora of Denmark. The couple had seven children but only three survived childhood, including two Swedish monarchs, King Karl XII and Queen Ulrika Eleonora. Karl died on April 5, 1697, aged 41, after suffering severe abdominal pain for some time. An autopsy revealed that he had developed cancer that had spread throughout the abdominal cavity.
Unofficial Royalty: King Karl XI of Sweden

April 5, 1857 – Birth of Alexander of Battenberg, Prince of Bulgaria (reigned 1879 – 1886) in Verona, Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, now in Italy
Full name: Alexander Joseph
Alexander was the son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine and Countess Julia von Hauke. He was the brother of Prince Ludwig (Louis) of Battenberg who married Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, and Prince Henry of Battenberg who married Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom. Alexander often visited Russia where his paternal aunt Marie of Hesse and by Rhine was married to Alexander II, Emperor of All Russia. Bulgaria became a principality of the Ottoman Empire under the terms of the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. Alexander II proposed Alexander for the newly created throne, and he was unanimously elected as Prince of Bulgaria. After a contentious seven-year- reign, often caught between the conflicting goals of the Bulgarian politicians and the Russian Emperor, Alexander fell victim to a military coup and was forced to abdicate. In 1889, Alexander married opera singer Johanna Loisinger, at which point he assumed the title Count von Hartenau, which he used for the remainder of his life. The couple had two children and lived in Graz, Austria where Alexander held a post in the Austrian Army. He died at his home in Graz, Villa Hartenau, on October 23, 1893.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Alexander of Battenberg

April 5, 1863 – Birth of Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England
Full name: Victoria Alberta Elisabeth Mathilde Marie
Victoria was the daughter of Princess Alice, daughter of Queen Victoria, and Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse and by Rhine.  She married Prince Louis of Battenberg and was the maternal grandmother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. By the 1930s, Victoria had become a surrogate mother to her grandson Prince Philip. Her daughter Alice had suffered several breakdowns and spent many years institutionalized. Victoria, along with her two sons, took over the care of the young Philip, overseeing his education and social ventures. In 1948, Victoria served as godparent to her great-grandson Prince Charles.  In the summer of 1950, while staying at Broadlands, the home of her son Lord Mountbatten, Victoria developed bronchitis and suffered a heart attack in August. Sensing the end was near, she insisted on returning home to Kensington Palace. It was here, on the morning of September 24, 1950, that she passed away, surrounded by her three surviving children.
Unofficial Royalty: Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, Marchioness of Milford-Haven

April 5, 1939 – Birth of Crown Prince Leka I of Albania at the Royal Palace in Tirana, Albania
Leka was the only child of  King Zog I of the Albanians who reigned from 1928-1939. Just two days after Leka’s birth, Fascist forces invaded Albania, and the family quickly fled into exile. They settled briefly in France before moving to England where they lived through the end of World War II and eventually moved to Egypt in 1946. During that time, Leka attended the British Boys School and Victoria College in Egypt before graduating from Aiglon College in Switzerland in 1956. In 1975, Leka married Susan Cullen-Ward and the couple had one son who is styled Crown Prince Leka II. Leka I and his family were allowed to return to Albania in 2002. When Leka I died in 2011 at the age of 72,  the government declared a National Day of Mourning, and he was given a state funeral, with full military honors.
Unofficial Royalty: Crown Prince Leka I of Albania

April 5, 1951 – Birth of Princess Ubolratana of Thailand at Mont Suisse Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland
Ubolratana is the daughter of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. She relinquished her rank of princess in 1972 upon her marriage.  Her son Bhumi Jensen was killed in the December 2004 tsunami in Thailand.
Unofficial Royalty: Ubol Ratana of Thailand

April 5, 1954 – Death of Crown Princess Märtha of Norway, born Princess Märtha of Sweden, wife of the future King Olav V of Norway, at the Rikshospitalet in Oslo, Norway; buried at Akershus Castle and Fortress near Oslo, Norway
The granddaughter of both King Oscar II of Sweden and King Frederik VIII of Denmark, Märtha married her first cousin, Crown Prince Olav of Norway. They had two daughters and one son, King Harald V, the current King of Norway. During World War II, Märtha and her children fled Norway when the Germans invaded, traveling to her native Sweden and then to the United States where she developed a close friendship with President Franklin Roosevelt. Märtha and her children were often included in both public and private functions at the White House. After World War II, she suffered from ill health and died in 1954 following a long battle with cancer. Her husband would go on to become King Olav V in 1957 until his death in 1991, when their son King Harald V, became King of Norway.
Unofficial Royalty: Märtha of Sweden, Crown Princess of Norway

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