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December 30, 1460 – Death of Richard, 3rd Duke of York at the Battle of Wakefield during the Wars of the Roses; initially buried at Pontefract Castle in Pontefract, Yorkshire, England, in 1476, during the reign of Richard’s son King Edward IV, his remains were reinterred at the Church of Saint Mary and All Saints in Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire, England
Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York was a claimant to the English throne, the leader of the Yorkist faction during the Wars of the Roses, and the father of King Edward IV of England and King Richard III of England.
Unofficial Royalty: Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York
December 30, 1880 – Death of Marie of Hesse-Kassel, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of Grand Duke Georg of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, in Neustrelitz, Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, now in Střelice Stoda, Czech Republic; buried in the New Crypt at the Johanniterkirche in Mirow, Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, now in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
In 1817, Marie married Grand Duke Georg of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. They had four children including Friedrich Wilhelm, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz who married Queen Victoria’s husband Princess Augusta of Cambridge. A talented painter, Marie often painted copies of famous paintings. Many were used as altarpieces in churches in the grand duchy, including the town churches in Schönberg and Neustrelitz, both of which still exist. Marie died at the age of 67.
Unofficial Royalty: Marie of Hesse-Kassel, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
December 30, 1913 – Death of Sofia of Nassau, Queen of Sweden, wife of King Oscar II of Sweden, at the Royal Palace of Stockholm; buried at Riddarholmen Church in Stockholm, Sweden
In 1857, Sofia married the future King Oscar II of Sweden and the couple had four sons. Queen Sofia was instrumental in establishing organized nursing schools in Sweden. A follower of Florence Nightingale, she learned much from a visit to the United Kingdom in 1881 and began her project upon returning to Sweden. In 1882, she arranged formal classes for nurses at the Sabbatsberg hospital. Two years later, she opened the Sophiahemmet University College, and in 1889 it became the Sophiahemmet, a combined school for nurses and hospitals. When Queen Sofia died in 1913 at the age of 77, she was the longest-serving Queen Consort of Sweden, until surpassed in 2011 by Queen Silvia, wife of King Carl XVI Gustaf, and is the last to hold the title of Dowager Queen. Queen Sofia is the ancestor of the current sovereigns of Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, and Sweden.
Unofficial Royalty: Sofia of Nassau, Queen of Sweden
December 30, 1949 – Death of Leopold IV, Prince of Lippe in Detmold, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany; buried at Christ Church in Detmold
During Leopold IV’s reign, there was much economic and cultural advancement. The major building projects provided much-needed employment for the people of Lippe. Christ Church in Detmold was built in 1908 to accommodate the growing Protestant community which had outgrown the small Church of the Redeemer. It is the burial site of Leopold IV, his two wives, and most of their children. Leopold was the last reigning Prince of Lippe, abdicating on November 12, 1918. He negotiated a treaty with the new government that allowed his family to remain in Lippe. Leopold died at the age of 78.
Unofficial Royalty: Leopold IV, Prince of Lippe
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