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April 7, 1498 – Death of King Charles VIII of France at Château d’Amboise in France; buried at Saint-Denis Basilica near Paris, France
Charles VIII was the only surviving son of King Louis XI of France. In 1492, Charles married Anne, Duchess of Brittany in her own right. They had seven children but none survived. On April 7, 1498, Charles and his wife planned to watch a game of jeu de paume (real tennis). As they were walking to the tennis court at the Château d’Amboise, Charles violently hit his head on a stone lintel of a low door. He stumbled but did not lose consciousness and proceeded to the tennis court where he watched the game. At around two o’clock in the afternoon, Charles suddenly collapsed, fell into a coma, and died nine hours later at the age of 27. Modern medical experts suspect that Charles died from a head trauma that led to a stroke with a subdural hematoma and neurological damage.
Unofficial Royalty: King Charles VIII of France
April 7, 1816 – Death of Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este, Empress of Austria, third wife of Emperor Franz I of Austria, at the Palazzo Canossa in Verona, Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, now in Italy; buried at the Imperial Crypt in Vienna, Austria
Maria Ludovika was the third of the four wives of Franz I, Emperor of Austria but their marriage was childless. During the years of the Napoleonic conflicts, Maria Ludovika was ill with tuberculosis. After the defeat of Napoleon, she visited her former home in Modena, now liberated, and other Italian cities with her husband. Maria Ludovika was now very ill and weak and told her mother that she wanted to die. In March 1816, she was in Verona, too ill to continue her travels. Her physician who was traveling with her called in numerous famous doctors but to no avail. 28-year-old Maria Ludovika died with her husband at her bedside.
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este, Empress of Austria
April 7, 1818 – Wedding of Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom, and Landgrave Friedrich VI of Hesse-Homburg, at the Private Chapel, Buckingham Palace in London, England
Elizabeth was the third daughter and seventh child of King George III of the United Kingdom. She was one of three of the six over-protected daughters of George III to marry. Elizabeth married late in life at age 48 to Hereditary Prince Friedrich of Hesse-Homburg. Her husband succeeded his father as Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg in 1820. When her husband died in 1829, Elizabeth wrote: “No woman was ever more happy than I was for eleven years and they will often be lived over again in the memory of the heart.”
Unofficial Royalty: Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg
Unofficial Royalty: Friedrich VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg
April 7, 1845 – Death of Julie Clary, wife of King Joseph Bonaparte of Spain and Naples, in Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany, now in Italy; buried at the Basilica Santa Croce in Florence
Marie Julie Clary was the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother Joseph Bonaparte who was King of Naples from 1806 – 1808, and King of Spain from 1808 – 1813. Julie and Joseph had two daughters. In 1808, King Carlos IV of Spain and his son King Fernando VII were summoned to a meeting with Napoleon where they forced them both to abdicate their rights to the Spanish throne. Napoleon declared the Bourbon dynasty of Spain deposed and installed his brother Joseph as King of Spain. Julie never lived in or even traveled to Spain, preferring to live in France. In 1813, Due to the defeats in the Peninsular War, Napoleon was forced to reinstate Ferdinand VII as King of Spain. Joseph went into exile in Switzerland and Julie remained in France. Joseph eventually went to the United States where he lived for seventeen years before returning to Europe. In 1840, Joseph joined Julie in Florence, where she had settled. Julie accepted him back despite his adultery In the United States which resulted in two American daughters. In 1844, Joseph died in Florence. Julie survived him by eight months dying in Florence on April 7, 1845, aged seventy-three.
Unofficial Royalty: Julie Clary, Queen of Spain and Naples
April 7, 1853 – Birth of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, son of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, at Buckingham Palace in London, England
Full name: Leopold George Duncan Albert
Prince Leopold was the eighth of the nine children and the fourth and youngest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Leopold was described as delicate from a very early age. It soon became apparent that he suffered from the genetic disease hemophilia. He was the first of the nine hemophiliacs among Queen Victoria’s descendants. In 1882, Leopold married Princess Helena of Waldeck-Pyrmont. The couple had a son and a daughter. Leopold and Helena are the great-grandparents of Carl XVI Gustaf, the current King of Sweden. Unfortunately, Leopold and Helena’s marriage was short-lived. In early 1884, Leopold’s doctors recommended that he spend the winter in Cannes, France, which he had done before. At the time, Helena was expecting her second child. On March 27, 1884, Leopold slipped and fell on the staircase at Villa Nevada, the private home where he was staying in Cannes. He injured his knee and hit his head, and died early in the morning of March 28, 1884, apparently of a cerebral hemorrhage, the injuries having been exacerbated by his hemophilia. He was 31 years old.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany
Unofficial Royalty: Hemophilia in Queen Victoria’s Descendants
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