Royal News: Saturday 22 July 2017

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Wedding of King Haakon VII of Norway and Princess Maud of Wales

by Susan Flantzer

Painting by Laurits Tuxen, 1897; Credit – Wikipedia

King Haakon VII of Norway, Prince Carl of Denmark at the time, and Princess Maud of Wales were married in the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 22, 1896.

Carl’s Early Life

Standing, left to right: Crown Prince Frederik (King Frederik VIII), Princess Louise, Prince Carl King Haakon VII) Sitting, left to right: Princess Ingeborg,  Crown Princess Louise (Queen Louise), Princess Thyra, Prince Harald and Prince Christan (King Christian X); 1886; Photo Credit – http://glucksburg.blogspot.com

Born Prince Carl of Denmark (Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel) at the Charlottenlund Palace on August 3, 1872, he was the second son of the four sons and the second of the eight children of King Frederik VIII of Denmark and Princess Louise of Sweden. At the time of his birth, his paternal grandfather King Christian IX of Denmark sat upon the Danish throne and his maternal grandfather King Carl XV of Sweden and Norway sat upon the Swedish throne. Carl was related to many European royals via his paternal uncles and aunts and had many royal first cousins including King George V of the United Kingdom, King Constantine I of Greece, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and his future wife Princess Maud of Wales. Carl’s elder brother was King Christian X of Denmark who reigned from 1912 – 1947.

Prince Carl grew up with his seven siblings at his parents’ residence Frederik VIII’s Palace at Amalienborg in Copenhagen and in the family’s summer residence Charlottenlund Palace, north of Copenhagen. As a younger son, it was expected that he would have a career in the military and he trained as a naval officer at the Royal Danish Naval Academy in Copenhagen. He served as a lieutenant and participated in several sailing expeditions with the Royal Danish Navy from 1893 until 1905. In 1905, Carl became King of Norway, taking the name Haakon VII.

Maud’s Early Life

Standing, left to right: Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence; Princess Maud (Queen Maud of Norway), Alexandra, Princess of Wales (Queen Alexandra); Princess Louise (Princess Royal); Edward, Prince of Wales (King Edward VII); Sitting, left to right: Prince George (King George V); Princess Victoria; 1889

 

Princess Maud of Wales (Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria) was born on November 26, 1869 at Marlborough House in London, England. She was the third and youngest daughter and the fifth of the six children of the Prince and Princess of Wales (the future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark). Princess Maud had five siblings including the future King George V of the United Kingdom. Maud’s mother was a paternal aunt of her future husband. At the time of her birth, Maud’s grandmother Queen Victoria sat upon the British throne.

Growing up, Maud was the most exuberant of the three sisters and was known as Harry in the family. She developed a one-sided romance with Prince Francis of Teck, the brother of her future sister-in-law Mary of Teck. Maud and Francis exchanged a couple of letters, but it was soon apparent that Francis was not interested in Maud.

The Engagement

Engagement photograph with the bride’s parents, Queen Alexandra and King Edward VII (Photo: W&D Downey, London, The Royal Court Photo Archive); Photo Credit – http://www.royalcourt.no

Because Maud’s mother was a Danish Princess, Maud visited her Danish relatives often and was familiar with her first cousin Prince Carl of Denmark, who was three years younger than her. They had played together with their other cousins at family reunions held in Denmark at Fredensborg Castle and Bernstorff Castle. There had been family gossip that Maud and Carl might marry, so it was not all that surprising when Carl proposed to Maud during a family reunion at Fredensborg Castle and Maud accepted. On October 29, 1895, the couple’s engagement was announced. Maud’s mother had some concerns about the age difference, but Maud realized Carl would make a good husband for her. She loved the sea and sailing, so a husband who was in the navy would be quite appropriate.

Maud’s grandmother Queen Victoria was delighted. Marie Mallet, who served as Maid of Honour and Extra Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria from 1887-1900 wrote in her diary that Maud’s engagement “…caused much excitement at Balmoral…and has been the cause of much telegraphing…The Queen is delighted and healths were drunk at dinner.” The Prince of Wales (future King Edward VII) gave his daughter Appleton House on the Sandringham Estate for Maud to use on her visits to England.

Carl had responsibilities to the Danish Royal Navy. He was due to go on a five-month assignment to the West Indies, so the wedding was scheduled for the next summer, on July 22, 1896.

Earlier in 1896, Prince Henry of Battenberg, the husband of Maud’s paternal aunt Princess Beatrice, had died. Henry had persuaded Queen Victoria to allow him to go to West Africa to fight in the Anglo-Ashanti Wars. He arrived in Africa on Christmas Day of 1895. By January 10, 1896, Henry was sick with malaria and it was decided to send him back to England, but Henry died aboard the ship HMS Blonde off the coast of Sierra Leone on January 20, 1896. There were conflicts in the family over whether the marriage should take place during the mourning period. Finally, it was decided that the wedding should go on as planned and that Princess Beatrice and her children would not attend.

Wedding Guests

Family of the Groom

Princess Frederick of Schaumburg-Lippe, born Princess Louise of Denmark, sister of the groom and first cousin of the bride, 1895; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

  • Crown Prince Frederik (father of the groom, uncle of the bride, the future King Frederik VIII of Denmark)
  • Crown Princess Louise of Denmark (mother of the groom, born Princess Louise of Sweden)
  • Prince Christian of Denmark (brother of the groom, first cousin of the bride, the future King Christian X of Denmark)
  • Princess Frederick of Schaumburg-Lippe (sister of the groom, first cousin of the bride, born Princess Louise of Denmark)
  • Prince Frederick of Schaumburg-Lippe (brother-in-law of the groom)
  • Prince Harald of Denmark (brother of the groom, first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Ingeborg of Denmark (sister of the groom, first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Thyra of Denmark (sister of the groom, first cousin of the bride)
  • Prince Gustav of Denmark (brother of the groom, first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Dagmar of Denmark (sister of the groom, first cousin of the bride)

Family of the Bride

Queen Victoria, grandmother of the bride, 1897; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

  • Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (grandmother of the bride)
  • The Prince of Wales (father of the bride, the future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom)
  • The Princess of Wales (mother of the bride, aunt of the groom, born Princess Alexandra of Denmark)
  • The Duke of York (brother of the bride, first cousin of the groom, the future King George V of the United Kingdom )
  • The Duchess of York (sister-in-law of the bride, born Princess Victoria Mary of Teck)
  • Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife (sister of the bride, first cousin of the groom)
  • Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife (brother-in-law of the bride)
  • Lady Alexandra Duff (niece of the bride)
  • Princess Victoria of Wales (sister of the bride, first cousin of the groom)
  • Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke of Edinburgh (uncle of the bride)
  • The Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duchess of Edinburgh (born Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia)
  • Hereditary Prince Alfred of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (aunt of the bride, born Princess Helena)
  • Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (husband of Princess Helena)
  • Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Aribert of Anhalt (first cousin of the bride, born Prince Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein)
  • Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne (aunt of the bride)
  • John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne (husband of Princess Louise, the future 9th Duke of Argyll)
  • Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught (uncle of the bride)
  • The Duchess of Connaught (born Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia)
  • Prince Arthur of Connaught (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Margaret of Connaught (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Patricia of Connaught (first cousin of the bride)
  • Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Alice of Albany (first cousin of the bride)
  • The Duchess of Albany (widow of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, born Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont)

Other Relatives

Crown Prince Constantine I of Greece, first cousin of both the bride and the groom, 1890s; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

  • Crown Prince Constantine of Greece (first cousin of the bride and the groom, the future King Constantine I of Greece)
  • Crown Princess Sophie of Greece (first cousin of the bride, born Princess Sophie of Prussia)
  • Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark (first cousin of the bride and the groom)
  • Prince Heinrich of Prussia (first cousin of the bride, representing his brother Wilhelm II, German Emperor)
  • Grand Duke Ernst of Hesse and by Rhine (first cousin of the bride)
  • Grand Duchess Victoria Melita of Hesse and by Rhine (first cousin of the bride, born Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh)
  • Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna of Russia (first cousin of the bride, born Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine)
  • Grand Duke Serge Alexandrovich of Russia (husband of Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine)
  • Prince Friedrich Karl of Hesse
  • Princess Friedrich Karl of Hesse (first cousin of the bride, born Princess Margarete of Prussia)
  • Prince George, Duke of Cambridge (Queen Victoria’s first cousin)
  • The Duchess of Teck (Queen Victoria’s first cousin, mother of the Duchess of York, born Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge)
  • The Duke of Teck (father of the Duchess of York)
  • Prince Adolphus of Teck (brother of the Duchess of York)
  • Princess Adolphus of Teck (born Lady Margaret Grosvenor)
  • Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (widow of the son of Queen Victoria’s half-sister Princess Feodora of Leiningen)
  • Count Edward Gleichen (son of Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg)
  • Countess Feodora Gleichen (daughter of Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg)
  • Countess Valda Gleichen (daughter of Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg)
  • Countess Helena Gleichen (daughter of Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg)

Other Royals

  • Crown Prince Gustaf of Sweden (the future King Gustaf V of Sweden)
  • Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
  • Princess Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (born Princess Louise of Belgium)
  • Princess Elisabeth of Waldeck and Pyrmont
  • Princess Edward of Saxe-Weimar (born Lady Augusta Gordon-Lennox)

Wedding Attendants

 

Bridesmaids

  • Princess Victoria of Wales (sister of the bride)
  • Princess Ingeborg of Denmark (sister of the groom)
  • Princess Thyra of Denmark (sister of the groom)
  • Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Margaret of Connaught (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Patricia of Connaught (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Alice of Albany (first cousin of the bride)
  • Lady Alexandra Duff (the bride’s niece)

Supporters of the Groom

  • Prince Christian of Denmark (brother of the groom)
  • Prince Harald of Denmark (brother of the groom)

Prince Christian and Prince Carl arrive at Buckingham Palace; Credit – Illustrated London News

Wedding Attire

 

Princess Maud wanted to dress in a simple fashion. Her dress, designed by Miss Rosalie Whyte of the Royal Female School of Art, had a long train and was made of pure white English satin that had been woven in Spitalfields, a section of London known for its weaving. Maud wore her mother’s veil and instead of a tiara, she wore flowers in her hair. Her jewelry was simple, a choker necklace and several bracelets, and she carried a bouquet of orange blossoms, German myrtle, and a mixture of white jessamine.

The bridesmaids wore white dresses trimmed with red geraniums while the Carl wore his Royal Danish Navy uniform.

Wedding Ceremony

 The Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace

 

The wedding was held in the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace in London, England at 12:30 PM on July 22, 1896, a sunny and pleasant day. It was a family affair, rather than a state occasion. Queen Victoria was already at Buckingham Palace, so she made no public appearance during the wedding procession. The streets of London were decorated with British and Danish flags and flowers. Two military units, the Life Guards and the Coldstream Guards, lined the short distance from Marlborough House, the home of Maud’s parents, and Buckingham Palace. Crowds gathered near the Palace in anticipation of the procession.

Early arrivals to the Palace included minor members of the British royal family and foreign royals. First in the carriage procession was the groom with his parents Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Louise and his brothers Prince Christian and Prince Harald. The Princess of Wales and the children of Queen Victoria, accompanied by their children, came next. When the royals, with the exception of the bride’s procession, had gathered at the palace, Queen Victoria led the family into the Private Chapel, accompanied by two of her grandsons, Prince Arthur of Connaught and Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein. Then Prince Carl and his brothers entered the chapel, heading up to the altar to wait for the bride. Maud accompanied by her father The Prince of Wales and her eight bridesmaids were the last to leave Marlborough House.

The wedding ceremony was conducted by Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury assisted by Frederick Temple, Bishop of London and Randall Thomas Davidson, Bishop of Winchester. The musicians and choir of the Chapel Royal of St. James’s Palace provided the music during the ceremony. The newlyweds left the chapel the famous wedding march by Felix Mendelssohn from his suite of incidental music to Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The wedding march had become popular after it was used at the wedding of Maud’s aunt Victoria, Princess Royal and the future Friedrich, German Emperor. After signing the wedding registry with 50 other royals, chatting animatedly for several minutes, and embracing the bride and groom, Queen Victoria left and did not attend the wedding luncheon.

Wedding Luncheon

 The State Dining Room at Buckingham Palace

 

Two luncheons were held at Buckingham Palace: one in the State Dining Room for the royal guests and one in the State Ballroom for everyone else. After that, the newlyweds and The Prince and Princess of Wales greeted guests in a receiving line in the Picture Gallery. Later in the afternoon, The Prince and Princess of Wales hosted a garden party at Marlborough House.

Carl and Maud’s wedding cake; Photo Credit – http://www.edwardianpromenade.com

A publication of the day described the wedding cake: “…the separate tiers were encircled with white satin ribbon bordered with pearls, trimmed with bridal buds and tied in true lovers’ knots: a triumphant god of love surmounting the whole structure bore aloft a delicate nautilus shell, from which fell festoons of silver bullion and fragile seaweed.”

At 2:45 PM, the bridal party departed Buckingham Palace and went the long way around via Piccadilly and St. James Street. The streets were beautifully decorated with bunting, flags, and flowers. People lined the streets and the windows of clubs and other buildings along the route were filled with cheering people.

The Honeymoon

Later, Maud and Carl left Marlborough House for St. Pancras Station to board a special train for the railway station in Wolferton, Norfolk, the nearest station to Sandringham House. The newlyweds were to spend a short honeymoon at Appleton House on the Sandringham Estate, the house that Maud’s father had given her as a wedding gift. However, the short honeymoon turned a five-month honeymoon. Some family members had been concerned that Maud would have difficulty leaving England, and that was proving to be true.

Three weeks after the wedding, the Danish Royal Family all met at Bernstorff Castle, ready to welcome the newlyweds to Denmark. Maud’s mother and sister, The Princess of Wales and Princess Victoria, arrived at Bernstorff Castle at the end of August. Maud wrote to her grandmother Queen Victoria that they were going to Denmark in the beginning of September. Family members began arriving in Denmark, expecting to see Carl and Maud. King George I of Greece (Maud and Carl’s uncle) arrived at Berstorff Castle in early September. Within a few days, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (Maud and Carl’s first cousin) and his wife Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna (Maud’s first cousin) arrived and there was still no sign of Maud and Carl in Denmark. Maud and Carl were still in England on December 14 when the family gathered at Frogmore for the annual remembrance ceremony for Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s late husband.

Carl’s leave from the navy was nearly over and it was imperative they leave for Denmark, which they did on December 21, 1896. Maud never did get used to the harsh Danish winters and visited her England as often as she could.

Postscript

King Haakon VII, Queen Maud, and Crown Prince Olav, July 17, 1913; Credit – Wikipedia

In 1905, upon the dissolution of the Union between Sweden and Norway, the Norwegian government began searching for candidates to become King of Norway. Because of his descent from prior Norwegian monarchs, as well as his wife’s British connections, Carl was the overwhelming favorite. Before accepting, Carl insisted that the voices of the Norwegian people be heard in regards to retaining a monarchy. Following a referendum with a 79% majority in favor, Prince Carl was formally offered and then accepted the throne. He sailed for Norway, arriving on November 25, 1905, and took the oath as King two days later. He took the name Haakon VII and Maud became Queen of Norway. The couple’s only child Prince Alexander of Denmark, born in 1903, took on the name Olav, became Crown Prince of Norway, and succeeded his father on the throne in 1957. Because of their mutual descent from King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, the Norwegian Royal Family is the most closely related royal family to the British Royal Family.

Works Cited

  • Holland, E. (2017). Royal Wedding #2: Princess Maud of Wales & King Haakon VII of Norway. [online] Edwardian Promenade. Available at: http://www.edwardianpromenade.com/weddings/royal-wedding-2-princess-maud-of-wales-king-haakon-vii-of-norway/ [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].
  • Kay, E. (2017). Norwegian Royal Weddings: King Haakon VII and Queen Maud. [online] Thecourtjeweller.com. Available at: http://www.thecourtjeweller.com/2016/01/norwegian-royal-weddings-king-haakon.html [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].
  • Query.nytimes.com. (2017). PRINCESS MAUD A BRIDE; MARRIED IN STATE TO PRINCE CHARLES OF DENMARK. The Archbishop of Canterbury Performs the Ceremony at the Buckingham Palace Chapel — The Queen and All the Royal Family Except Princess Beatrice Present — Profuse, Decorations — Vast Crowds Line the Streets.. [online] Available at: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9801EFDC123BEE33A25750C2A9619C94679ED7CF [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].
  • Unofficial Royalty. (2017). King Haakon VII of Norway. [online] Available at: http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/september-21-1957-death-of-king-haakon-vii-of-norway/ [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].
  • Unofficial Royalty. (2017). Maud of Wales, Queen of Norway. [online] Available at: http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/queen-maud-of-norway/ [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].
  • Van der Kiste, J. (2013). Edward VII’s Children. Stroud: The History Press.

July 22: Today in Royal History

Princess Mary, last surviving child of George III at age 80, on the right with her niece Queen Victoria and two of Victoria’s children, Princess Alice and the Prince of Wales (future Edward VII), Photo Credit – Wikipedia

July 22, 1210 – Birth of Joan of England, eldest daughter and third child of King John, in Gloucester, England
Unofficial Royalty: Joan of England, Queen of Scots

July 22, 1461 – Death of King Charles VII of France at Mehun-sur-Yèvre, France; buried at Saint Denis Basilica near Paris
Wikipedia: King Charles VII of France

July 22, 1478 – Birth of Philip the Handsome, Duke of Burgundy, husband of Queen Juana of Castile, in Bruges (Belgium)
Philip reigned with his wife as Philip I. After his death, his wife refused to part with his body and had it transported as she traveled. It was not buried for a couple of years.
Wikipedia: Philip the Handsome, Duke of Burgundy

July 22, 1535 – Birth of Katarina Stenbock, third wife of King Gustav I of Sweden, in Torpa, Västergötland, Sweden
Wikipedia: Katarina Stenbock, Queen of Sweden

July 22, 1816 – Wedding of Princess Mary, daughter of King George III of Great Britain, and Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, her first cousin, at the Private Chapel, Buckingham Palace
At age 40, Mary married her first cousin William, son of her father’s brother. Mary was the last of George III’s children to die (in 1857) and was a favorite aunt of Queen Victoria.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Mary of Great Britain
Wikipedia: Prince William, Duke of Gloucester

July 22, 1832 – Death of Napoléon II, son of Napoleon Bonaparte, at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria; originally buried in the Kapuzinergruft in Vienna; his remains were transferred to Les Invalides in Paris, but his heart remains at the Herzgruft in the Augustinerkirche in Vienna, and his viscera remains at the Ducal Crypt in Stephansdom in Vienna
Wikipedia: Napoléon II

July 22, 1848 – Birth of Adolf Friedrich V, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, in Neustrelitz (Germany)
Unofficial Royalty: Adolf Friedrich V, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

July 22, 1896 – Wedding of Princess Maud of Wales, daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, and Prince Carl of Denmark, later King Haakon VII of Norway, at the Private Chapel, Buckingham Palace
Unofficial Royalty: Maud of Wales, Queen of Norway
Unofficial Royalty: King Haakon VII of Norway
Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of King Haakon VII of Norway and Princess Maud of Wales

July 22, 2002 – Birth of Prince Felix of Denmark, son of Prince Joachim of Denmark, at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark
Full name: Felix Henrik Valdemar Christian
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Felix of Denmark

July 22, 2013 – Birth of Prince George of Cambridge, son of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, England
Full name: George Alexander Louis
Unofficial Royalty: Prince George of Cambridge

Royal News: Friday 21 July 2017

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Amalie of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler, Queen of Saxony

source: Wikipedia

Amalie of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler, Queen of Saxony

The first Queen of Saxony, Amalie Auguste was the wife of King Friedrich August I. She was born Countess Maria Amalie Auguste of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler, in Mannheim on May 10, 1752, the daughter of Count Palatine Friedrich Michael of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler and Countess Palatine Maria Francisca of Sulzbach. Amalie had four siblings:

Friedrich August, painted by Johann Heinrich Schmidt. source: Wikipedia

On January 29, 1769, Amalie married Friedrich August III, Elector of Saxony (future King Friedrich August I). At the time of her marriage, she became the Electress of Saxony – the last to hold this title. In addition to three stillborn children, the couple had one daughter:

source: Wikipedia

On December 20, 1806, Amalie became the first Queen of Saxony when the electorate was elevated to a Kingdom, and her husband assumed the throne as King Friedrich August I. She also became Duchess of Warsaw the following year when the newly created Duchy of Warsaw, a protectorate of the French Empire, was placed in personal union with the Kingdom of Saxony by the French Emperor Napoléon. She remained Duchess of Warsaw until 1815 when it was dissolved at the Congress of Vienna.

Her husband died in May 1827 and was succeeded by his younger brother, Anton. Queen Amalie survived her husband by a year and a half, dying in Dresden on November 15, 1828. She is buried in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony).

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July 21: Today in Royal History

Leopold I, King of the Belgians; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

July 21, 1824 – Death of Buddha Loetla Nabhalai, Rama II of Thailand in Bangkok
Wikipedia: Buddha Loetla Nabhalai

July 21, 1831 – Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, uncle of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, ascends to the throne of Belgium
Unofficial Royalty: King Leopold I of the Belgians

July 21, 1858 – Birth of Maria Christina of Austria, second wife of King Alfonso XII of Spain, at Židlochovice Castle in Brno (Czech Republic)
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Christina of Austria, Queen of Spain

Royal News: Thursday 20 July 2017

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July 20: Today in Royal History

Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

July 20, 1346 – Birth of Margaret of Windsor, daughter of King Edward III of England, at Windsor Castle
Wikipedia: Margaret of Windsor

July 20, 1524 – Death of Claude of France, first wife of King Francis I of France and eldest daughter of King Louis XII of France, at the Chateau de Blois, Blois, France; buried at St. Denis Basilica
Wikipedia: Claude of France, Queen of France

July 20, 1572 – Wedding of King Frederik II of Denmark and Sophia of Mecklenburg-Guströw
Unofficial Royalty: King Frederik II of Denmark
Wikipedia: Sophia of Mecklenburg-Guströw

July 20, 1890 – Birth of George II, King of the Hellenes at Tatoi Palace, Greece
Unofficial Royalty: King George II of Greece

July 20, 1927 – Death of King Ferdinand I of Romania at Pelisor Castle in Sinaia, Romania; buried at the Cathedral of Curtea de Arges
Ferdinand was the husband of Marie of Edinburgh, granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
Unofficial Royalty: King Ferdinand I of Romania

July 20, 1951 – Death of Johanna Loisinger, Countess of Hartenau, wife of Prince Alexander of Bulgaria, in Vienna, Austria; buried at St. Leonhard Cemetery in Graz, Austria
Unofficial Royalty: Johanna Loisinger, Countess of Hartenau

July 20, 1951 – Assassination of King Abdullah I of Jordan at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem; buried at Royal Cemetery in Amman, Jordan
King Abdullah I was killed at Al Asa Mosque in Jerusalem by a Palestinian nationalist angered by Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank.  His assassination was witnessed by his 15-year-old grandson, the future King Hussein.  The bullet meant for the young Hussein deflected off a medal he was wearing, thereby saving his life.
Wikipedia: King  Abdullah I of Jordan

July 20, 1951 – Death of Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany in Hechingen, Germany; buried at Hohenzollern Castle near Stuttgart, Germany
Unofficial Royalty: Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany

July 20, 1973 – Birth of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway at Rikshospitalet in Oslo, Norway
Unofficial Royalty: Crown Prince Haakon of Norway

July 20, 1999 – Birth of Princess Alexandra of Hanover, daughter of Prince Ernst of Hanover and Princess Caroline of Monaco, in Vöcklabruck, Austria
Full name: Alexandra Charlotte Ulrike Maryam Virginia
Wikipedia: Princess Alexandra of Hanover

Royal News: Wednesday 19 July 2017

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Friedrich August I, King of Saxony

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

Friedrich August I, King of Saxony

Friedrich August I was the first King of Saxony, reigning from 1806 to 1827. He was born Prince Friedrich August Josef Maria Anton Johann Nepomuk Alois Xavier on December 23, 1750, in Dresden, the eldest surviving child of Prince (later Elector) Friedrich Christian of Saxony and Princess Maria Antonia Walpurgis of Bavaria. Friedrich August had six siblings:

Upon his father’s death on December 17, 1763, Friedrich August became Elector of Saxony, reigning as Friedrich August III. As he was just thirteen at the time, his mother served as Regent, and his uncle, Prince Franz Xavier, served as his representative until he reached his eighteenth birthday in 1768. During this time, his uncle relinquished the throne of Poland to Stanisław II Augustus on Friedrich August’s behalf. However, under the terms of the new Polish Constitution, he remained heir to the Polish throne (which he would later refuse upon Stanisław’s death in 1798).

Amalie of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, c1769. source: Wikipedia

On January 1769, Friedrich August married Amalie of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, the daughter of Count Palatine Friedrich Michael of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler and Countess Palatine Maria Francisca of Sulzbach. She was also the sister of the future King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. In addition to three stillborn children, Friedrich August and Amalie had one daughter:

As Elector, Friedrich August was not involved in the establishment of the Confederation of the Rhine, which brought about the end of the Holy Roman Empire. Staying out of the politics, he was drawn in when Napoleon advanced into German territory, siding with Prussia. The Saxon forces suffered significant losses and Friedrich August soon surrendered. He was forced to join the Confederation of the Rhine and had to cede territory to the Kingdom of Westphalia. However, the trade-off was Saxony’s elevation to a kingdom. So on December 20, 1806, Friedrich August became King Friedrich August I of Saxony.

The following year, the French Emperor Napoléon established the Duchy of Warsaw as a protectorate of the French Empire. In the Duchy’s constitution, he joined it with the House of Saxony, creating King Friedrich August I the Duke of Warsaw on June 9, 1807.

Under the watchful and controlling eye of Napoleon, Friedrich August attempted to join the Sixth Coalition in 1813, starting with a clandestine pact with Austria. However, word got back to Napoleon who quickly squashed the King’s efforts. The Emperor demanded the full support of Saxony, including their forces. Despite his misgivings about Napoleon, he trusted the Prussians even less, so the Saxons fought alongside the French in the Battle of Leipzig. The Prussians had no real intent to bring Saxony into the Coalition and had already formed a separate alliance with Russia, with the agreement that Prussia would annex Saxony. Instead of any support for Friedrich August, he was arrested by the Prussians and taken into custody.

After being released from prison in February 1815, the King delayed agreeing to any of the terms set out at the Congress of Vienna. Having no choice, he soon agreed to the peace treaty presented by Prussia and Russia. On May 21, 1815, he signed the treaty which gave more than half of the Saxony territory to Prussia, and the next day abdicated as Duke of Warsaw. Polish territory was divided amongst Russia, Austria and Prussia, with the Russian area becoming the Kingdom of Poland, with the Russian Tsar as King. Upon returning home to Saxony in July 1815, the king received a warm welcome from the people of Saxony. He would remain on the throne for another twelve years.

Dresden Castle, c1896. source: Wikipedia

King Friedrich August I died at Dresden Castle on May 5, 1827. He is buried in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony). As he had no male heirs, he was succeeded by his younger brother, Anton.

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