January 7: Today in Royal History

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  • Post published:January 6, 2024
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Princess Charlotte of Wales; Credit – Wikipedia

January 7, 1355 – Birth of Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, son of King Edward III of England, at Woodstock Palace in Oxfordshire, England
1376, Thomas married Eleanor de Bohun, the elder of the two surviving daughters of Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford and Lady Joan Fitzalan. The couple had five children. When Thomas’ father King Edward III died he was succeeded by his young grandson King Richard II, the only surviving child of Thomas’ eldest sibling Edward, Prince of Wales (the Black Prince) who had predeceased his father. In 1386, Parliament blamed Richard’s advisers for the military failures and accused them of misusing funds. Parliament authorized a commission of nobles known as the Lords Appellant to take over the management of the kingdom and act as Richard’s regents. Thomas was one of the Lords Appellant. Richard II was able to rebuild his power gradually until 1397 when he reasserted his authority and did away with the Lords Appellant. Thomas conspired with others to depose Richard II, but he was betrayed, arrested for treason, and imprisoned. After he confessed, Thomas died on September 8, 1397, at the age of 42, probably murdered, presumably on the orders of King Richard II.
Unofficial Royalty: Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester

January 7, 1536 – Death of Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII of England, at Kimbolton Castle in England; buried at Peterborough Abbey now Peterborough Cathedral in England
After Catherine’s marriage to King Henry VIII was declared null and void in 1533, she was banished from the court and Henry refused her the right to any title but “Dowager Princess of Wales” in recognition of her position as the widow of his brother Arthur, Prince of Wales. Catherine was forbidden to see her daughter Mary. She suffered these indignities with patience and told her women not to curse the new queen Anne Boleyn. Catherine spent most of her time doing needlework and praying. By 1535, with no hope of ever seeing her daughter Mary, Catherine’s health deteriorated and she was taken to Kimbolton Castle. She knew by December 1535 that she would not live much longer. Catherine put her will in order, wrote to her nephew Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor asking him to protect Mary, and wrote her final letter to King Henry VIII. Catherine died on January 7, 1536, at the age of 50. Her daughter Mary was not allowed to attend her funeral.
Unofficial Royalty: Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England

Marie de Hautefort was a close confidante and favorite of King Louis XIII of France. She was also a close friend and prominent member of the household of his wife Queen Anne, the former Anne of Austria. It was through her grandmother’s position as a lady-in-waiting to Louis XIII’s mother and wife that Marie first met King Louis XIII.  Marie had an on-again, off-again relationship with Louis XIII and his wife Anne, shortly before and then after the death of Louis XIII.  She left the French court permanently in 1644 and married Charles de Schomberg, Duke d’Halluin, a military leader. After her husband’s death, Marie then returned permanently to Paris and resumed contact with the Dowager Queen Anne. The two continued to correspond until Queen Anne’s death in 1666.
Unofficial Royalty: Marie de Hautefort

January 7, 1743 – Death of Anne Sophie Reventlow, Queen of Denmark, mistress, bigamous wife, and then legal wife of King Frederik IV of Denmark and Norway, at Clausholm Castle in Jutland, Denmark; buried in the Trolle Chapel in Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark
After having two previous mistresses, making a bigamous marriage to one, and wanting to make a bigamous marriage to the other, Frederik IV fell in love with 19-year-old Anna Sophie after meeting her at a masked ball. He abducted Anna Sophie from her parents’ home and bigamously married her as Frederik’s wife Queen Louise was still alive. After Queen Louise’s death, Frederik IV and Anna Sophie were married in a second formal wedding conducted with great ceremony. Although the marriage was still scandalous, it was not declared morganatic and Anna Sophie was crowned as Queen of Denmark and Norway. Anna Sophie and King Frederik IV had six children who all died in infancy. After the death of King Frederik VI, his son and successor King Christian VI did not follow the instruction in his father’s will to guarantee Anna Sophie’s rights as Queen Dowager. Christian VI’s opinion was that Anna Sophie had taken advantage of his father and that she had caused his family pain and suffering during the years of her open adultery. Christian VI granted Anna Sophie an allowance but confiscated all her property, and banished her to Clausholm Castle, her family home. She was allowed to be styled Queen Anna Sophie but not Queen Anna Sophie of Denmark and Norway or Queen Dowager. Anna Sophie spent the remainder of her life under house arrest at Clausholm Castle and was never granted permission to leave. When Anna Sophie died at the age of 49, Christian VI allowed her to be buried at Roskilde Cathedral, but in the Trolle Chapel which is on the opposite side of the cathedral, far away from his parents’ tombs in the chancel of the cathedral.
Unofficial Royalty: Anne Sophie Reventlow, Queen of Denmark

January 7, 1768 – Birth of Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain, King of Naples in Corte on the island of Corsica, now in France
Joseph Bonaparte, the older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, was King of Naples from 1806 – 1808 and King of Spain from 1808 – 1813 through the machinations of his brother. After the fall of Napoleon, Joseph spent his exile living in Switzerland, the United States (seventeen years total spent in New York City, Philadelphia, and New Jersey, where he had an estate, Point Breeze, in Bordentown, New Jersey, on the Delaware River), London, and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany where he died and is buried.
Unofficial Royalty: Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain, King of Naples

January 7, 1796 – Birth of Princess Charlotte of Wales, the only child of King George IV of the United Kingdom, at Carlton House in  London, England
Full name: Charlotte Augusta
Had Princess Charlotte of Wales survived her grandfather King George III and her father King George IV, she would have become Queen of the United Kingdom. During her lifetime, Charlotte was second in the line of succession to the British throne after her father. In 1816, Charlotte married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld (after 1826, Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the uncle of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the future Leopold I, King of the Belgians). Sadly, Charlotte died in childbirth after delivering a stillborn son in 1817. Charlotte was mourned by the British people in a manner similar to the mourning of Diana, Princess of Wales. Her pregnancy and delivery had been grossly mismanaged and the doctor in charge, Sir Richard Croft, later died by suicide.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Charlotte of Wales
Unofficial Royalty: Death of Princess Charlotte of Wales in childbirth and its impact on the succession to the British throne

January 7, 1830 – Death of Carlota Joaquina of Spain, Queen of Portugal, wife of King João VI of Portugal, at Queluz Palace in Lisbon, Portugal, buried at the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon, Portugal
The daughter of Carlos IV, King of Spain, Carlota Joaquina married the future João VI, King of Portugal in 1785. The couple had nine children including two Kings of Portugal and one Queen Consort of Spain. In 1816, Carlota Joaquina’s husband became King of Portugal. In 1824, Carlota Joaquina plotted with her son Miguel to overthrow her husband and place Miguel on the throne. The plot was discovered and King João VI reprimanded his son Miguel, deposed him from command of the army, and exiled him.  Later in the year, another rebellion organized by Carlota Joaquina was discovered and she was placed under house arrest in the Palace of Queluz. In 1826, João VI died and it was suspected that he was poisoned. In 2000, a team of researchers exhumed the ceramic pot that contained João VI’s heart. An analysis of his heart detected enough arsenic to kill two people, confirming suspicions that João VI had been murdered. For the rest of her life, Carlota Joaquina remained confined in the Palace of Queluz, where she died alone and abandoned by her children on January 7, 1830, at the age of 56
Unofficial Royalty: Carlota Joaquina  of Spain, Queen of Portugal

January 7, 1845 – Birth of Ludwig III, King of Bavaria, in Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria, now in Bavaria, Germany
Full name: Ludwig Luitpold Josef Maria Aloys Alfried
Ludwig was the eldest son of Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, son of  King Ludwig I of Bavaria. In 1868, Ludwig married Archduchess Maria Theresia of Austria-Este and the couple had thirteen children. In 1886, Ludwig’s father Prince Luitpold became Prince Regent after his nephew King Ludwig II of Bavaria was declared mentally incompetent. Just days later, King Ludwig II died mysteriously and was succeeded by his brother King Otto. However, Otto was also mentally ill, and the regency continued. Upon his father’s death in 1912, Ludwig succeeded him as Prince Regent for his cousin King Otto. Less than a year later, the Bavarian Parliament passed legislation allowing the Regent to assume the throne himself, provided that the regency was for reasons of incapacity, had lasted more than ten years, and there was no prospect of the Sovereign being able to reign. With overwhelming support from the parliament, Ludwig deposed his cousin and assumed the Bavarian throne as King Ludwig III. On November 13, 1918, he would be the first monarch in the German Empire to be deposed, bringing an end to 738 years of rule by the Wittelsbach dynasty.
Unofficial Royalty: King Ludwig III of Bavaria

January 7, 1890 – Death of Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, German Empress and Queen of Prussia, wife of Wilhelm I, German Emperor and King of Prussia, at the Altes Palais in Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, now in Brandenburg, Germany; buried in the mausoleum of Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin
Augusta was the daughter of Karl Friedrich, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia,  and also the granddaughter of Paul I, Emperor of All Russia. In 1828, she married the future Wilhelm I, German Emperor and King of Prussia. The couple had two children including Wilhelm’s (brief) successor Friedrich III, German Emperor and King of Prussia who married Victoria, Princess Royal, Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter. In 1861, Wilhelm became King of Prussia. Augusta was much more interested in politics than many of her predecessors and did not hesitate to voice her opinion. She despised Otto von Bismarck, statesman, diplomat, and the mastermind behind the unification of Germany in 1871, and the feeling was mutual. In 1871, Wilhelm was named the first German Emperor (Kaiser), with Augusta as his Empress (Kaiserin). Augusta founded the National Women’s Association and numerous hospitals and schools throughout Prussia to help those in need. Augusta’s husband died on March 9, 1888, and was succeeded by their son, Friedrich III. Friedrich was terminally ill with throat cancer, died just 99 days later, and was succeeded by his eldest son Wilhelm II, who became the last German Emperor and King of Prussia. Despite having been in ill health for nearly 10 years, Augusta continued to participate in official duties. Shortly after a New Year’s reception in 1890,  she died at the age of 78.
Unofficial Royalty: Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, German Empress, Queen of Prussia

January 7, 1937 – Wedding of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld; civil ceremony in The Hague Town Hall in the Netherlands, religious ceremony at  Great Church (St. Jacobskerk) in The Hague
Juliana and Bernhard first met at the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany. They became engaged during the summer of 1936 and the engagement was announced to the Dutch public on September 8, 1936. On January 7, 1937, Juliana and Bernhard had a civil ceremony in The Hague Town Hall followed by a religious service at the Great Church (St. Jacobskerk) in The Hague. Bernhard received the title of Prince of the Netherlands on the day of the wedding. Given Juliana’s position as heir to the Dutch throne, the usual bride’s vow to obey her husband was eliminated from the wedding ceremony. Juliana and Bernhard had four daughters including Juliana’s successor Queen Beatrix.
Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of Juliana of the Netherlands and Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld

January 7, 1950 – Death of Prince Giuseppe of Bourbon-Parma, Titular Duke of Parma in Pianore, near Lucca, Italy
Prince Giuseppe of Bourbon-Parma was the titular Duke of Parma from 1939 until his death in 1950. As he was mentally disabled, his younger brother Elia served as regent.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Giuseppe of Bourbon-Parma

January 7, 1960 – Death of Prince Ferdinando Pio of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Calabria, at Villa Amsee in Lindau, Bavaria, Germany; buried at the Filialkirche St. Peter und Paul in Rieden, Swabia, Germany
Prince Ferdinando Pio, Duke of Calabria was Head of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and pretender to the former throne from 1934 until his death in 1960. His death brought about a dispute between two branches of his extended family, both claiming to be the rightful heir and thus head of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Ferdinando Pio of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Calabria

January 7, 1989 – Death of Emperor Shōwa of Japan (Hirohito) at the Fukiage Ōmiya Palace on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan; buried at the Musashi Imperial Graveyard in Hachiōji, Tokyo, Japan
Emperor of Japan for 62 years, Hirohito, now known in Japan by his posthumous name Emperor Shōwa, was born during the reign of his grandfather Emperor Meiji.  After World War II, some believed that Hirohito was chiefly responsible for Japan’s role in the war and others said that he was just a powerless puppet under the influence of Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō who was eventually executed for war crimes. The view promoted by both the Japanese Imperial Palace and the American occupation forces immediately after World War II portrayed Emperor Hirohito as a powerless figurehead behaving strictly according to protocol. However, since his death in 1989, a debate began to surface over the extent of his involvement and his culpability in World War II. In 1924, Hirohito married Princess Nagako Kuni. They had two sons and five daughters including Hirohito’s successor Emperor Akihito. Hirohito was very interested in marine biology and the Imperial Palace contained a laboratory where he worked. He published several scientific papers on the subject and was considered one of the most respected jellyfish experts in the world. In 1987, Emperor Hirohito underwent surgery on his pancreas after several months of digestive problems. The doctors discovered duodenal cancer. Hirohito seemed to recover well after the surgery but a year later, he collapsed. His health deteriorated and he suffered from constant internal bleeding. Emperor Hirohito died on January 7, 1989, at the age of 87.
Unofficial Royalty: Emperor Shōwa of Japan

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