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January 8, 1864 – Birth of Prince Albert Victor of Wales (Eddy), son of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, at Frogmore House in Windsor, England
Full name: Albert Victor Christian Edward
Albert Victor was named after his paternal grandparents Queen Victoria and her late husband Prince Albert but he was always known as Eddy in the family and later as Prince Eddy in the press. Eddy, who was inattentive and lazy, never excelled in his studies. Perhaps this was due to his premature birth which can be associated with learning disabilities. Prince Eddy’s apathetic attitude and his lack of interest in anything serious caused great anxiety to his family especially since in the line of succession, he would inherit the throne after his father. In 1891, Eddy became engaged to Princess Mary Victoria of Teck (known as May), and the wedding was set for February 27, 1892. However, on January 14, 1892, 28-year-old Eddy died from influenza. In 1893, Eddy’s brother married May and eventually became the beloved King George V and Queen Mary.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence
January 8, 1873 – Birth of Elena of Montenegro, Queen of Italy, wife of King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy, in Cetinje, Montenegro
Full name: Jelena Petrović Njegoš
Elena was the daughter of King Nikola I of Montenegro. Among her eleven siblings were Militza and Anastasia (Stana) who married Russian Grand Dukes and were instrumental in introducing Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin to Nicholas II, Emperor of All Russia and his family. In 1896, Elena married the future King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy. The couple had two children including Vittorio Emanuele III’s brief successor King Umberto II of Italy and Giovanna who married Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria. Elena’s husband abdicated on May 9, 1946, hoping that a new King, his son Umberto II, would bring support for continuing the monarchy in an upcoming referendum. However, his son would only reign for several weeks before Italy became a Republic in an overwhelming vote. After the abdication, Vittorio Emanuele and Elena went into exile, settling in Alexandria, Egypt.
Unofficial Royalty: Elena of Montenegro, Queen of Italy
January 8, 1878 – Death of King Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy at the Quirinal Palace in Rome Italy; buried in the Pantheon in Rome, Italy
Vittoria Emanuele was the eldest son of Carlo Alberto, 7th Prince of Carignano, the future King of Sardinia. In 1842, he married Archduchess Adelheid of Austria and the couple had eight children. Vittorio Emanuele also had a longtime relationship with Rose Vercellana with whom he had two children. Vittorio Emanuele and Rosa eventually married. Following a massive defeat by the Austrian forces, Vittorio Emanuele’s father abdicated in 1849, and he became King of Sardinia as Vittorio Emanuele II. He became a driving force behind the Risorgimento, the Italian unification movement. In 1861, Vittorio Emanuele was proclaimed the first King of the new, united Kingdom of Italy. He focused on building up the new kingdom, both financially and culturally, further cementing his legacy as Father of the Fatherland (Padre Della Patria), a title given to him by the Italian people. He died at the age of 57.
Unofficial Royalty: King Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy
January 8, 1987 – Birth of Princess Sirivannavari of Thailand, daughter of King Vajiralongkorn of Thailand, born Chao Busyanambejra Mahidol in Bangkok, Thailand
Princess Sirivannavari is the only daughter and the youngest of the five children of King Vajiralongkorn of Thailand and Sujarinee Vivacharawongse, as she is now known, an actress and a consort, and the second of the king’s four wives. In 1996, Sujarinee fled to the United Kingdom with her five children. Vajiralongkorn, then the Crown Prince, accused her of adultery and managed to retrieve his daughter Sirivannavari and bring her back to Thailand. Sujarinee and her four sons were stripped of their royal titles and her marriage to the Crown Prince was dissolved. King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, Sirivannavari’s paternal grandfather, gave her the name Sirivannavari and the style and title Her Royal Highness Princess of Thailand. Sirivannavari studied fashion and textile design at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand and became a fashion designer.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Sirivannavari of Thailand
January 8, 2011 – Birth of Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine of Denmark, twin son and daughter of Crown Prince Frederik, at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark
Full Names: Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander and Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda
Vincent was born 26 minutes before his twin sister Josephine making him fourth in the line of succession to the Danish throne after his father Crown Prince Frederik, his elder brother Prince Christian, and his elder sister Princess Isabella. Denmark changed its succession law in 2008 to absolute primogeniture where the succession passes to the eldest child of the sovereign regardless of gender. Males and females have equal succession rights. This means that Crown Prince Frederik’s second-born child Isabella is ahead of her younger brother Vincent in the line of succession.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Vincent of Denmark
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Josephine of Denmark
January 8, 2020 – Death of Infanta Pilar of Spain, Duchess of Badajoz at the Ruber International Hospital in Madrid, Spain
Infanta Pilar was the daughter of Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona (son of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, granddaughter of Queen Victoria) and Princess María Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and the elder sister of King Juan Carlos I of Spain. In 1967, Pilar married Luis Gómez-Acebo y Duque de Estrada and the couple had five children. Pilar was President of the International Equestrian Federation from 1994 – 2005. She was a member of the International Olympic Committee from 1996 to 2006 and was then an Honorary member. She was also a member of the executive board of the Spanish Olympic Committee. Pilar had been ill with colon cancer, had surgery in February 2019, and had undergone chemotherapy. She died at the age of 83.
Unofficial Royalty: Infanta Pilar of Spain, Duchess of Badajoz
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