© Unofficial Royalty 2024
January 6, 1156 – Birth of Matilda of England, Duchess of Saxony and Bavaria, daughter of King Henry II of England, at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England
Matilda married Heinrich the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Duke of Bavaria, one of the most powerful princes of his time and one of the most important allies of his cousin Friedrich I (Barbarossa), Holy Roman Emperor. Through their youngest child, Wilhelm of Winchester, Lord of Lüneburg, they are ancestors of the House of Hanover. Matilda died at Brunswick at the age of 33, about a week before the death of her father King Henry II of England. She was buried at the still incomplete Brunswick Cathedral where her husband Heinrich was also buried upon his death in 1195.
Unofficial Royalty: Matilda of England, Duchess of Saxony and Bavaria
January 6, 1367 – Birth of King Richard II of England in the Archbishop’s Palace in Bordeaux, then in the English-held Duchy of Aquitaine, now in France
Richard was the son of Edward, Prince of Wales (known as the Black Prince), eldest son and heir of King Edward III of England, and Joan of Kent, 4th Countess of Kent in her own right. Joan was a grandchild of King Edward I of England. Because his father predeceased his own father King Edward I, 10-year-old Richard succeeded his grandfather. Richard married twice to Anne of Bohemia, daughter of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, and to Isabella of Valois, daughter of King Charles VI of France. Both marriages were childless. In 1399, Richard was deposed by his first cousin Henry of Bolingbroke who then reigned as Henry IV, King of England. Held in captivity at Pontefract Castle in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England, Richard is thought to have starved to death and died on or around February 14, 1400.
Unofficial Royalty: King Richard II of England
January 6, 1655 – Birth of Eleonore Magdalene of Neuburg, Holy Roman Empress, 3rd wife of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, in the Palatinate-Neuburg, now in the German state of Bavaria
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.
Unofficial Royalty: Eleonore Magdalene of Neuburg, Holy Roman Empress
January 6, 1858 – Birth of Luise of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, Princess of Waldeck and Pyrmont, second wife of Georg Viktor, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont, at Schloss Luisenlund in Kiel, Duchy of Schleswig, now in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Luise was the second wife of Georg Viktor, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont. Luise and Georg Viktor had one son, Prince Wolrad, who was killed in action during World War I.
Unofficial Royalty: Luise of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, Princess of Waldeck and Pyrmont
January 6, 1875 – Birth of Princess Elsa of Liechtenstein, born Elisabeth von Gutmann in Vienna, Austria, wife of Prince Franz I of Liechtenstein
Elsa’s father was a Jewish businessman who had founded the largest coal company in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Elsa was raised in the Jewish religion but in January 1899, she converted to Roman Catholicism in preparation for her marriage to the Hungarian Baron Géza Erős of Bethlenfalva who died in 1908. In 1914, Elsa met Prince Franz of Liechtenstein at a gala for the Relief Fund for Soldiers. The couple wanted to marry but Franz’s brother Johann II, Prince of Liechtenstein refused to give his consent to the marriage. Elsa and Franz secretly married in 1919, and that same year, Pope Benedict XV received the couple at the Vatican. Johann II died in 1929, and as he was unmarried with no children, his brother succeeded to the throne as Franz I, Prince of Liechtenstein. The couple created the Franz and Elsa Foundation for Liechtenstein Children in 1930, which helped impoverished Liechtenstein children receive an education. The foundation is still in existence today.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Elsa of Liechtenstein
January 6, 1900 – Birth of Marie of Romania, Queen of Yugoslavia, daughter of King Ferdinand of Romania and wife of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, in Gotha, Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, now in Thuringia, Germany
Marie was the daughter of King Ferdinand of Romania and Princess Marie of Edinburgh, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. In 1922, she married King Alexander I of Yugoslavia (at the time King of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes). The couple had three sons. Marie’s husband King Alexander was assassinated in 1934. The couple’s eldest son Peter became King of Yugoslavia at the age of 11, and a regency was established, led by King Alexander’s cousin, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia. In 1941, the family was forced into exile following the Axis invasion, and Queen Marie settled at a cottage in the countryside of England, where she remained for the rest of her life. In 1947, the Communist government of Yugoslavia formally revoked her Yugoslavian citizenship and confiscated all of her property and assets. Marie who was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, lived a rather quiet life in England, pursuing her interests in painting and sculpting.
Unofficial Royalty: Marie of Romania, Queen of Yugoslavia
January 6, 1935 – Birth of Margarita Sakskoburggotska, sometimes styled Tsaritsa Margarita, wife of former Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria, born Margarita Gomez-Acebo y Cejuela, in Madrid, Spain
Margarita grew up in a wealthy Spanish family. Her father was a lawyer involved with commercial and banking companies. In 1936, at the start of the Spanish Civil War, Margarita’s parents and her maternal grandmother were arrested by Spanish Republicans and were executed. In 1962, Margarita married the former Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria. After their marriage, the couple resided in Madrid, Spain where all five of their children were born. Simeon reigned as Tsar of Bulgaria reigned 1943 – 1946 as a child. He was exiled from Bulgaria as a child, and never formally renounced his claim to the throne, but his wife and children have never received titles from Bulgaria. Outside of Bulgaria, Margarita is sometimes styled Tsaritsa Margarita of Bulgaria, and while in Bulgaria she is usually styled Margarita Sakskoburggotska. After the fall of the communist regime in Bulgaria, Margarita and her family were able to return to Bulgaria. Simeon announced that he intended to form a new political party. In the upcoming elections, the campaign was successful and Simeon served as Prime Minister of Bulgaria until 2005. He remained head of the party until stepping down in 2009. The couple currently resides in what was Simeon’s boyhood home, Vrana Palace, near Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
Unofficial Royalty: Margarita Sakskoburggotska, wife of former Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria
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