April 8: Today in Royal History

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Albert I, King of the Belgians; Credit – Wikipedia

April 8, 1605 – Birth of King Felipe IV of Spain at  the Royal Palace of Valladolid in Valladolid, Spain
Besides being King of Spain, Felipe was also King of Portugal (from 1621 to 1640) and King of Sardinia, King of Naples, King of Sicily, Duke of Milan, Duke of Lothier, Duke of Brabant, Duke of Limburg, Duke of Luxemburg, Count Palatine of Burgundy, Count of Flanders, Count of Hainaut and Count of Namur from 1621 until his death in 1665. Felipe first married Elisabeth of France. They had eight children but only their youngest child survived to adulthood. Elisabeth died in 1644 after a miscarriage. In 1649, 44-year-old Felipe IV married his son’s former fiancée, his 14-year-old niece Mariana of Austria. They had five children but only two survived childhood. The Spanish House of Habsburg would end with the reign of Felipe IV and Mariana’s physically and mentally disabled son Carlos II, King of Spain. Carlos II’s disabilities were due to the serious inbreeding within the House of Habsburg. After great suffering from dysentery, Felipe IV, King of Spain, aged 60, died on September 17, 1665.
Unofficial Royalty: King Felipe IV of Spain

April 8, 1612 – Death of Anna Katharina of Brandenburg, Queen of Denmark, first wife of King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway, in Copenhagen, Denmark; buried in Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark
Anna Katharina of Brandenburg married King Christian IV of Denmark in 1597 and they had six children. She was praised for her modesty and piety and often accompanied Christian IV on his trips but had no influence on the politics of Denmark. Christian IV had affairs during his marriage and Anna Katharina was certainly aware of them. A little more than a year after the birth of her last child, Anna Katharina died on April 8, 1612, at the age of 36.
Unofficial Royalty: Anna Katharina of Brandenburg, Queen of Denmark and Norway

April 8, 1783 – Death of Karoline Luise of Hesse-Darmstadt, Margravine of Baden, 1st wife of Karl Friedrich, Margrave of Baden-Durlach, later the first Grand Duke of Baden, in Paris, France; buried at St. Michael’s Church in Pforzheim, Grand Duchy of Baden, now in Baden-Württemberg, Germany
In 1751, Karoline Luise married the future Karl Friedrich, the first Grand Duke of Baden and they had four children. Karoline Luise’s numerous collections, including artwork, musical manuscripts, minerals, and other natural history artifacts, later formed the foundation for several museums in Karlsruhe.  After falling down some stairs in 1779, her health began to deteriorate. While in Paris, France with her son, she suffered a stroke and died.
Unofficial Royalty: Karoline Luise of Hesse-Darmstadt, Margravine of Baden

April 8, 1795 – Wedding of George, Prince of Wales (later King George IV) and Caroline of Brunswick at St. James Palace in London, England
This marriage was one of the worst ever royal marriages. Upon first seeing Caroline, George said to his valet, “Harris, I am not well. Pray get me a glass of brandy.” Caroline said George was fat and not as handsome as his portrait. It is doubtful that the couple spent more than a few nights together as husband and wife. Their only child, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was born nine months later. They both found each other equally unattractive and never lived together nor appeared in public together.
Unofficial Royalty: King George IV of the United Kingdom
Unofficial Royalty: Caroline of Brunswick, Queen of the United Kingdom

April 8, 1801 – Birth of Archduchess Maria Karoline of Austria, Crown Princess of Saxony, first wife of the future King Friedrich August II of Saxony, in Vienna, Austria
Full name: Maria Karoline Ferdinande Theresia Josephine Demetria
Maria Karoline was the first wife of the future King Friedrich August II of Saxony. She never served as Queen, as she died before her husband’s accession. She had epilepsy and was often plagued with seizures that left her incapacitated for long periods of time.
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Karoline of Austria, Crown Princess of Saxony

April 8, 1818 – Birth of King Christian IX of Denmark at Gottorp Castle in Schleswig, Duchy of Schleswig, now in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Born: Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Not born destined to be a king, King Christian IX was the father of King Frederick VIII of Denmark, King George I of Greece, Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom, and Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia. He was as much the “grandfather of Europe” as Queen Victoria was the “grandmother”. His grandchildren sat upon the thrones of Denmark, the United Kingdom, Russia, Greece, and Norway. He is the ancestor of six of the ten current European monarchs: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (and her husband Prince Philip), Queen Margrethe of Denmark, King Harald of Norway, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Philippe, King of the Belgians, and King Felipe VI of Spain. The late former King Michael of Romania and the former King Constantine of Greece are also among his many descendants.
Unofficial Royalty: King Christian IX of Denmark
Unofficial Royalty: Children, Grandchildren, Great-Grandchildren and Notable Descendants of King Christian IX of Denmark

April 8, 1824 – Birth of Sophie of the Netherlands, Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, daughter of King Willem II of the Netherlands and wife of Karl Alexander, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, at Lange Voorhout Palace in The Hague in the Netherlands
Full name: Wilhelmine Marie Sophie Luise
In 1842, Sophie married Grand Duke Karl Alexander of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and the couple had four children. With her own significant wealth, she founded numerous schools and hospitals throughout the grand duchy. Sophie was the sister of King Willem III of the Netherlands. When her brother died in 1890, the Dutch throne passed to his ten-year-old only surviving child Queen Wilhelmina, and Sophie was first in line to inherit the Dutch throne until her death in 1897. She was very close to her niece Wilhelmina and her sister-in-law Queen Emma and made regular visits to the Netherlands to see them. After the death of her son in 1894, Sophie’s health began to deteriorate. She died on March 23, 1897, aged 73.
Unofficial Royalty: Sophie of the Netherlands, Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

April 8, 1875 – Birth of Albert I, King of the Belgians at the Palais de la Régence in Brussels, Belgium
Full name: Albert Léopold Clément Marie Meinrad
In 1900, Albert married Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria. They had three children including Leopold III, King of the Belgians and  Marie-José who married King Umberto II of Italy. Albert, who had become heir-presumptive upon his father’s death in 1905, succeeded his uncle as King Albert I of the Belgians in 1909. Albert was an avid mountain climber. Sadly, this would bring about his early death. On February 17, 1934, while climbing alone on the Roche de Vieux Bon Dieu at Marche-les-Dames, in the Ardennes region of Belgium, King Albert I fell to his death.
Unofficial Royalty: Albert I, King of the Belgians

April 8, 1938 – Death of George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, son of Prince Ludwig (Louis) of Battenberg (later 1st Marquess of Milford Haven) and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, in London, England; buried in Bray Cemetery in Bray, Berkshire, England
Born Prince George of Battenberg, he was instrumental in the upbringing of his nephew Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh after Philip’s mother suffered a breakdown and his father was more or less separated from the family. George became Philip’s primary guardian, serving as a surrogate father and arranging for, and financing, Philip’s education. George died from bone marrow cancer at the age of 45.
Unofficial Royalty: George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven

April 8, 1970 – Death of Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma, Prince of Luxembourg, husband of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, at Fischbach Castle in Fischbach, Luxembourg; buried at the Cathedral Notre-Dame in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Felix was the son of Robert I, Duke of Parma and his second wife, Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal, and a brother of Zita who married Karl I, the last Emperor of Austria. In 1919, Felix married his first cousin Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg and the couple had six children. Felix spent his married life supporting his wife and helping to bring more prominence to the small Grand Duchy. In 1964, Charlotte decided to abdicate, and their son Jean became the new Grand Duke. Felix and Charlotte spent their remaining years at Fischbach Castle, devoted to their grandchildren and extended family. Prince Félix died on April 8, 1970, aged 77.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma, Prince of Luxembourg

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