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May 4, 1471 – Death of Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, the only child of King Henry VI of England, at the Battle of Tewkesbury; buried at Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucester, England
The final decisive Yorkist victory in the Wars of the Roses was at the Battle of Tewkesbury, where Margaret of Anjou, wife of King Henry VI of England, led the Lancastrian forces and her son Edward, Prince of Wales was killed. The only Prince of Wales to be killed in battle, he was buried at Tewkesbury Abbey where a plaque on the floor in the center of the sanctuary marks his grave. The plaque has an inscription in Latin, translated into English says: “Here lies Edward, Prince of Wales, cruelly slain whilst but a youth. Anno Domini 1471, May 4th. Alas, the savagery of men. Thou art the sole light of thy Mother, and the last hope of thy race.”
Unofficial Royalty: Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales
May 4, 1679 – Birth of Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg, mistress and bigamous wife of Frederik IV, King of Denmark and Norway, probably at her father’s estate in Wattmannshagen, now in Lalendorf in the German state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania
In 1703, without divorcing his wife Queen Louise, Frederik IV made a bigamous marriage to Elisabeth. On the same day, Elisabeth was created Countess of Antvorskov and was given Antvorskov Castle. She gave birth to a son, Frederik Gyldenløve. Following the practice of his predecessors, Frederik IV gave his illegitimate children the surname Gyldenløve which means Golden Love. However, Elisabeth developed complications after the birth and died on June 27, 1704, aged 25. She was greatly mourned by Frederik IV who gave her a lavish funeral and commanded that the bells of three churches should ring for two hours.
Unofficial Royalty: Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg, mistress of Frederik IV, King of Denmark
May 4, 1728 – Death of Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna of Russia, Duchess of Holstein-Gottorp in Kiel, Duchy of Holstein-Gottorp, now in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein; buried at the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia
Anna Petrovna was one of three of the fourteen children of Peter I (the Great), Emperor of All Russia to survive childhood. In 1725, Anna Petrovna married Karl Friedrich, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp. On February 21, 1728, at Kiel Castle in Kiel, then in the Duchy of Holstein-Gottorp, now in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, Anna gave birth to a son who was named Karl Peter Ulrich. Sadly, Anna died three months later, on May 4, 1728, at the age of 20. Anna’s son Karl Peter Ulrich succeeded her younger sister Elizabeth, Empress of All Russia as Peter III, Emperor of All Russia. However, the reign of Peter III lasted only six months. He was deposed by his wife, born Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, who reigned as Catherine II (the Great), Empress of All Russia.
Unofficial Royalty: Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna of Russia, Duchess of Holstein-Gottorp
May 4, 1884 – Death of Maria Anna of Savoy, wife of Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria at Hradčany Palace in Prague, Kingdom of Bohemia, now in the Czech Republic; buried at the Imperial Crypt in Vienna, Austria
Maria Anna married Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria. The marriage was childless and probably never consummated, but the couple remained devoted to each other. Emperor Ferdinand suffered from a number of ailments including epilepsy and hydrocephalus. He was considered incapable of ruling although he kept a coherent diary. Ferdinand abdicated the throne in favor of his nephew Franz Joseph during the Revolutions of 1848 and lived out the rest of his life at Hradčany Palace in Prague, Kingdom of Bohemia, now in the Czech Republic, where he died in 1875. Maria Anna survived her husband by nine years and died at the age of 80 on May 4, 1884.
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Anna of Savoy, Empress of Austria
May 4, 1913 – Birth of Princess Katherine of Greece, The Lady Katherine Brandram, daughter of King Constantine I of Greece, at the New Royal Palace in Athens, Greece
Katherine married Major Richard Brandram, an officer in the British Royal Artillery, and lived the rest of her life in England. King George VI of the United Kingdom issued a decree granting Katherine the “style, title, place and pre-eminence as the daughter of a Duke”, and she became styled as Lady Katherine Brandram. She died in 2007 and was the last surviving great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Katherine of Greece, The Lady Katherine Brandram
May 4, 1948 – Birth of King George Tupou V of Tonga in Tongatapu, Tonga
King George Tupou V had a short reign from 2006 – 2012. His father had been an absolute monarch. George Tupou is known for introducing democracy to Tonga. During the period between his accession to the throne and his coronation, George Tupou and his advisors put together a framework for sweeping political reforms. Three days before the coronation ceremony, King George Tupou V announced he was ceding most of his executive powers to a democratically elected parliament.
Unofficial Royalty: King George Tupou V of Tonga
May 4, 1972 – Death of Johann Leopold, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha at Callenberg Castle in Grein, Austria; buried at St. Zeno Church in Bad Reichenhall, Germany
Johann Leopold was the eldest of the five children of Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, grandson of Queen Victoria. At the time of his birth, Johann Leopold was the heir to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Despite the fact that the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha ceased to exist at the end of World War I, Johann Leopold had to give up his succession rights when he made a morganatic marriage in 1932. The Head of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha then descended from his younger brother Friedrich Josias.
Unofficial Royalty: Johann Leopold, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
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