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March 19, 1330 – Execution of Edmund, 1st Earl of Kent, son of King Edward I of England, for high treason at Winchester Castle in Winchester, England; initially buried at the Franciscan Friary in Winchester, in 1331 his remains were moved to Westminster Abbey
Edmund had been persuaded by an unknown friar that his half-brother, the deposed King Edward II, was still alive and set about raising forces to free him and restore him to the throne. It later emerged that Roger Mortimer who helped overthrow Edward II was responsible for leading Edmund to believe the former king was still alive, in a form of entrapment. Edmund was executed by beheading for high treason. The execution had to be held up for a day because no one wanted to be responsible for a prince’s death. Eventually, a convicted murderer agreed to be the executioner in return for a pardon.
Unofficial Royalty: Edmund, 1st Earl of Kent
March 19, 1604 – Birth of King João IV of Portugal at the Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa, in Vila Viçosa, Portugal
João IV was the first King of Portugal from the Portuguese House of Braganza. The Braganzas came to power after deposing the Spanish Habsburg Philippine dynasty, which had reigned in Portugal since 1580. In 1633, João married Luisa de Guzmán. They had seven children including two kings of Portugal and Catherine of Braganza, the wife of King Charles II of England. In 1646, João IV placed the crown of Portugal on the head of a statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and proclaimed the Virgin Mary to be the queen, the patron saint, and the protector of Portugal. After this, no Portuguese monarch would ever wear the crown. Instead, the crown was always placed on a cushion next to the monarch. João IV, King of Portugal died on November 6, 1656, aged 52, at Ribeira Palace in Lisbon, Portugal.
Unofficial Royalty: King João IV of Portugal
March 19, 1629 – Birth of Alexei I, Tsar of All Russia in Moscow, Russia
Alexei was the son of the first Romanov ruler, Michael I, Tsar of All Russia. Sixteen-year-old Alexei succeeded his father upon his death in 1645. In 1648, Alexei married Maria Ilyinichna Miloslavskaya. They had thirteen children including Feodor III, Tsar of All Russia and Ivan V, Tsar of All Russia. In 1669, Alexei’s wife Maria Ilyinichna Miloslavskaya died due to childbirth complications. Alexei’s only surviving sons were the future Tsars, Feodor III, who was disabled by an unknown disease that left him disfigured and partially paralyzed, and Ivan V, who had serious physical and mental disabilities. Alexei married again to Natalya Kirillovna Naryshkina, and hoped his second marriage would give him a healthy son, and it did, Peter I the Great, Emperor of All Russia. On February 8, 1676, five years after marrying Natalya Kiillovna, Alexei I, Tsar of All Russia died of a heart attack at the age of 46.
Unofficial Royalty: Alexei I, Tsar of All Russia
March 19, 1749 – Birth of Princess Louisa Anne of Wales, daughter of Frederick, Prince of Wales and sister of King George III of the United Kingdom, at Leicester House in London, England
Louisa Anne died from tuberculosis at the age of 19.
Wikipedia: Princess Louisa Anne of Wales (Unofficial Royalty article coming soon.)
March 19, 1819 – Birth of Princess Caroline Amalie of Hesse-Homburg, second wife of Heinrich XX, 4th Prince Reuss of Greiz, in Homburg vor der Höhe, Landgraviate of Hesse-Homburg, now in Hesse, Germany
Full name: Caroline Amalie Elisabeth Auguste Friederike Ludowike Christiane Josephine Leopoldine George Bernhardine Wilhelmine Woldemare Charlotte
45-year-old Heinrich XX, 4th Prince Reuss of Greiz needed an heir. His first wife had died childless and so he married 20-year-old Caroline Amalie and the couple had five children. Heinrich XX died in 1859, Heinrich XXIII, his thirteen-year-old son, succeeded him as the 5th Prince Reuss of Greiz. Caroline Amalie was Regent of the Principality of Reuss-Greiz from 1859 until 1867. Carolina Amalie survived her husband by thirteen years, dying on January 18, 1872, aged 52.
Unofficial Royalty: Caroline Amalie of Hesse-Homburg, Princess Reuss of Greiz
March 19, 1851 – Birth of Friedrich Franz III, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin at Ludwigslust Palace in Ludwigslust, Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin now in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Full name: Friedrich Franz Paul Nikolaus Ernst Heinrich
A rather sickly child, Friedrich Franz suffered from severe bronchial asthma and a weak heart that would plague him his entire life. In 1879, Friedrich Franz married Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia, the daughter of Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaevich of Russia and Princess Cecilie of Baden. The couple had three children and they are ancestors of the Danish royal family through his daughter Alexandrine who married King Christian X of Denmark. Friedrich Franz became Grand Duke upon his father’s death on April 15, 1883. Because of his asthma, it was agreed that he would reside in Schwerin for five months of the year and was free to live elsewhere the rest of the year provided that any further children would be born in Schwerin.
Unofficial Royalty: Friedrich Franz III, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
March 19, 1871 – Birth of Baroness Mary von Vetsera, mistress of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, in Vienna, Austria
Mary was the younger of the two daughters and the third of the four children of Albin von Vetsera, a diplomat in foreign service at the Austrian court, originally from Bratislava, Slovakia, and his wife Helene Baltazzi, daughter of a wealthy Greek banker. The affair of Crown Prince Rudolf and Mary was short-lived. On October 14, 1888, Emperor Franz Joseph, Crown Prince Rudolf, and The Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, attended the gala opening of the new Burgtheater in Vienna. The Prince of Wales noticed Mary von Vetsera in the audience and pointed her out to Rudolf. A meeting between Rudolf and Mary was later arranged by Countess Marie Larisch, Empress Elisabeth’s niece and Rudolf’s cousin, who had become Mary’s friend. On November 5, 1888, Countess Marie brought Mary to Rudolf’s rooms at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna and formally introduced them. On January 30, 1889, at Mayerling, a hunting lodge in the Vienna Woods that Rudolf had purchased, 30-year-old Rudolf shot his 17-year-old mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera and then shot himself in an apparent suicide plot.
Unofficial Royalty: Baroness Mary von Vetsera, Mistress of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria
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