January 19: Today in Royal History

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  • Post published:January 18, 2024
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Isabella of Austria, Queen of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden; Credit – Wikipedia

January 19, 1526 – Death of Isabella of Austria, Queen of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, wife of Christian II, King of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, in Ghent, County of Flanders, now in Belgium; buried first at St Peter Abbey in Ghent, then in Saint Canute’s Cathedral in Odense, Denmark
The daughter of Philip, Duke of Burgundy and Juana I, Queen of Castile and Aragon, Isabella was born an Archduchess of Austria and an Infanta of Castile and Aragon. Isabella’s brother was the powerful Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor who was also King of Spain. Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of King Henry VIII of England, was her maternal aunt, and Catherine and Henry VIII’s only surviving child, Queen Mary I of England was her first cousin. In 1514, Isabella married Christian II, King of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden who was deposed in 1523 causing them to live the rest of their lives in exile. In 1524, Isabella, Christian, and their children settled in Lier, Spanish Netherlands, now in Belgium. Isabella’s aunt Margaret of Austria, Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands, provided them with a home and financial support. Even with the support, they had a difficult time, with many worries, and a lack of money. In late 1525, Isabella became seriously ill and she died on January 19, 1526, at the age of 24.
Unofficial Royalty: Isabella of Austria, Queen of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden

January 19, 1544 – Birth of François II, King of France and King Consort of Scotland, at the Château de Fontainebleau in France
The eldest of the ten children of Henri II, King of France and Catherine de’ Medici, 14-year-old François married 15-year-old Mary Queen of Scots in 1558.  It was a marriage that could have given the future kings of France the throne of Scotland and also a claim to the throne of England through Mary’s great-grandfather King Henry VII of England. A little more than a year after the wedding, a great tragedy occurred in France. King Henri II died from injuries he received in a joust during a tournament. François succeeded his father but after only a 17-month reign, François II, King of France, aged 16, died in great pain, possibly from mastoiditis, meningitis, or otitis which turned into an abscess.
Unofficial Royalty: King François II of France, King Consort of Scotland

January 19, 1720 – Death of Eleonore Magdalene of Neuburg, Holy Roman Empress, 3rd wife of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria; buried in the Imperial Crypt at the Capuchin Church in Vienna
Eleonore Magdalene of Neuburg was the third of the three wives and also the second cousin of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor who was also King of Hungary, King of Bohemia, Archduke of Austria, King of Croatia, Duke of Teschen, King of the Romans, Archduke of Further Austria, and Prince of Transylvania. Leopold I had no male heir from his first tow wives. Eleanore Magdalene’s mother had 23 pregnancies and 17 live births and the family gained the reputation as a fertile family. Because of this reputation, 36-year-old Leopold chose his 21-year-old second cousin Eleonore Magdalene to be his third wife. Leopold made a good choice because his third wife Eleonore Magdalene had ten children with five surviving childhood including two Holy Roman Emperors. Eleonore Magdalene died on January 19, 1720, aged sixty-five, at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. Following her wishes, Eleonora Magdalene was buried wearing the robe of a nun, in a very simple wooden coffin that bore the inscription “Eleonore Magdalene Theresa, poor sinner”.
Unofficial Royalty: Eleonore Magdalene of Neuburg, Holy Roman Empress

January 19, 1757 – Birth of Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, wife of Franz Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, at Ebersdorf Castle in Saalburg-Ebersdorf, County of  Reuss-Ebersdorf, now in Thuringia, Germany
Full name: Augusta Caroline Sophie
Augusta was the grandmother of both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. In 1777, she married Franz Friedrich Anton, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. The couple had nine children including Prince Albert’s father and Franz Friedrich Anton’s successor Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Queen Victoria’s mother Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and Victoria and Albert’s uncle Leopold, the future first King of the Belgians. Augusta may have been the first person to suggest a marriage between two of her grandchildren. In 1821, in a letter to her daughter Victoria, Duchess of Kent, she suggested the possibility of marriage between Victoria and Albert who were only two years old at the time. Augusta did not live long enough to see her grandchildren Victoria and Albert married. She died at the age of 74, five months after the election of her son Leopold as King of the Belgians.
Unofficial Royalty: Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

January 19, 1925 – Death of Maria Sophie in Bavaria, Queen of the Two Sicilies in Munich, Bavaria, Germany;  initially buried at the Church of the Holy Spirit of the Neapolitans in Rome, Italy, in 1984, her remains were transferred to the Basilica of Santa Chiara in Naples, Italy
Maria Sophie was a younger sister of the more well-known Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria (Sisi) who married Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria, and was assassinated in 1898. Marie Sophie’s husband lost his throne during the unification of Italy. The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was annexed to the new Kingdom of Italy in 1861, ending the reign of Francesco II, King of the Two Sicilies. After the loss of the throne of the Two Sicilies, Francesco and Maria Sophia lived in Rome as guests of Pope Pius IX. In 1870, the annexation of the Papal States to Italy, including Rome, forced Francesco and Maria Sophie to find refuge over the years in Austria, France, and Bavaria. In 1894, Maria Sophia’s husband died. After her husband’s death, Maria Sophie lived for a time in Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria, now in the German state of Bavaria. She also spent time in Paris, France where she lived in a house that her husband had purchased. After World War I, Maria Sophia returned to her birthplace of Bavaria, Germany, living in Munich. It is there that she died on January 19, 1925, at the age of 83.
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Sophie of Bavaria, Queen of the Two Sicilies

January 19, 1927 – Death of Charlotte of Belgium, Empress Carlota of Mexico, wife of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, at the Castle of Bouchout in Meise, Belgium; buried at the Royal Crypt in the Church of Our Lady in Laeken, Brussels, Belgium
Charlotte was a first cousin of both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  Her father was their Uncle Leopold, the first King of the Belgians.  In 1857, Charlotte married Archduke Maximilian of Austria, brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Four years later, Charlotte’s husband accepted the offer of becoming Emperor of Mexico. The liberal forces led by Benito Juárez, the former president who had been deposed by the French, refused to recognize his rule. There was continuous warfare between the French troops and the forces of Juárez who wanted a republic. Maximilian was condemned to death by a court of war and on June 19, 1867, he was executed by a firing squad. After her return to Belgium, Charlotte developed mental illness and was declared insane. Charlotte spent the rest of her life at Bouchout Castle in Meise, Belgium where her brother King Leopold II oversaw her care. Over the years, her mental illness seemed to lessen and Charlotte developed a passion for collecting objects that had belonged to her husband. She died from pneumonia at the age of 86.
Unofficial Royalty: Charlotte of Belgium, Empress Carlota of Mexico

January 19, 1937 – Birth of Princess Birgitta of Sweden, Princess of Hohenzollern, at the Haga Palace in Solna, Sweden
Full name: Birgitta Ingeborg Alice
Birgitta is the daughter of Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and the second of the four elder sisters of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. In 1961, she married Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern and they had three children. Because she married a man of princely status, Birgitta retained her royal style and title as Princess of Sweden and is the only one of her sisters to remain an official member of the Swedish Royal House. Birgitta and her husband separated in 1990 but remained married.  Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern died, aged 83, in  2016, following a brief illness.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Birgitta of Sweden

January 19, 1943 – Birth of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, daughter of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, at Ottawa Civic Hospital in Ottawa, Canada
Full name: Margriet Francisca
Princess Margriet of the Netherlands is the third of the four daughters of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld. She is a younger sister of the former Queen Beatrix and an aunt of the current King Willem-Alexander. In 1967, she married Pieter van Vollenhoven and they had four sons. It was decided at the time of their marriage that any children would hold the title of Prince/Princess of Orange-Nassau, with the surname van Vollenhoven, and the style of Highness. Princess Margriet holds a prominent role in the Dutch Royal Family. Unlike her sisters Irene and Christina, she retained her place in the Dutch Royal House. In addition to many official duties, she often represents the royal family at royal events around the world and is usually in attendance at formal events, such as incoming state visits.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Margriet of the Netherlands

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