Royal Birthdays & Anniversaries: February 26 – March 4

Prince Ernst of Hanover; Photo Credit – www.telegraph.co.uk

63rd birthday of Prince Ernst Augustus of Hanover; born in Hanover, Germany on February 26, 1954
Full name: Ernst Augustus Albert Paul Otto Rupprecht Oskar Berthold Friedrich-Ferdinand Christian Ludwig
Ernst is the senior direct male line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom.  He is descended from George III’s son, Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, who became King of Hanover (due to the Salic Law) following the death of King William IV.

George III > Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, King of Hanover > George, King of Hanover > Ernst Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (married Princess Thyra of Denmark, sister of Queen Alexandra of UK, Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia and King George I of Greece) > Ernst Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Luneberg (married Viktoria Luise, only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II) > Ernst Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Luneberg > Ernst Augustus, Prince of Hanover
Wikipedia: Prince Ernst Augustus of Hanover

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lalla khadija

Princess Lalla Khadija of Morocco; Photo Credit – http://www.map.ma

10th birthday of Princess Lalla Khadija of Morocco, daughter of King Mohammed VI of Morocco; born at the Royal Palace in Rabat, Morocco on February 28, 2007
Wikipedia: Princess Lalla Khadija of Morocco

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James Ogilvy and his wife; Photo Credit – www.zimbio.com

53rd birthday of James Ogilvy, son of Princess Alexandra of Kent; born at the Thatched House Lodge in Richmond Park, Surrey, England on February 29, 1964
Full name: James Robert Bruce
Wikipedia: James Ogilvy

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62nd birthday of Timothy Laurence, second husband of Anne, Princess Royal; born in Camberwell, London, England on March 1, 1955
Full name: Timothy James Hamilton
Unofficial Royalty: Timothy Laurence

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47th birthday of The Honorable Serena Alleyne Stanhope, wife of David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon (son of Princess Margaret); born in Limerick, Ireland on March 1, 1970
Wikipedia: Serena Stanhope

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37th birthday of Lady Rose Windsor Gilman, daughter of Richard, HRH The Duke of Gloucester; born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, England on March 1, 1980
Full name: Rose Victoria Birgitte Louise

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78th birthday of Princess Takako of Japan; born at the Tokyo Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan on March 2, 1939
Princess Takako is the youngest sister of Emperor Akihito. She lost her rank and imperial title when she married Mr. Hisanaga Shimazu . She is now known as Mrs. Hisanaga Shimazu.
Wikipedia: Takako Shimazu

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Prince Oscar of Sweden, son of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden; born at Karolinska Hospital in Solna, Sweden on March 2, 2016
Full Name: Oscar Carl Olof
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Oscar, Duke of Skåne

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February 26: Today in Royal History

King Eric XIV of Sweden; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

February 26, 1275 – Death of Margaret of England, daughter of King Henry III of England, wife of King Alexander III of Scotland, at Cupar Castle in Fife, Scotland; buried at Dunfermline Abbey in Fife, Scotland
Unofficial Royalty: Margaret of England, Queen of Scots

February 26, 1416 – Birth of Christopher of Bavaria, King of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, at Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Bavaria (Germany)
Wikipedia: Christopher of Bavaria

February 26, 1577 – Death of King Eric XIV of Sweden at Örbyhus Castle in Sweden; buried at Västerås Cathedral in Sweden
Wikipedia: King Eric XIV of Sweden

February 26, 1815 – Napoleon escapes from the island of Elba
Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba. Upon his escape in 1815, he rallied troops and declared himself emperor once again. However, the British and Prussians defeated him once and for all at the Battle of Waterloo.
Unofficial Royalty: Napoleon I, Emperor of the French

February 26, 1861 – Birth of Ferdinand I, Tsar of Bulgaria, in Vienna, Austria
Unofficial Royalty: Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria

February 26, 1869 – Birth of Prince Albert, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, grandson of Queen Victoria, at Frogmore House in Windsor, England
Full name: Albert John Charles Frederick Alfred George
Prince Albert was the son of Princess Helena, daughter of Queen Victoria, and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. He never married, but succeeded his childless first cousin, Ernst Günther, as titular Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenberg.  Shortly before his death, he recognized an illegitimate daughter, Valerie Marie.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Albert, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein

February 26, 1909 – Birth of King Talal of Jordan in Mecca (now in Saudi Arabia)
Wikipedia: King Talal of Jordan

February 26, 1933 – Death of Princess Thyra of Denmark, Crown Princess of Hanover
Unofficial Royalty: Thyra of Denmark, Crown Princess of Hanover

February 26, 1954 – Birth of Prince Ernst Augustus of Hanover in Hanover, Germany
Full name: Ernst Augustus Albert Paul Otto Rupprecht Oskar Berthold Friedrich-Ferdinand Christian Ludwig
Ernst is the senior direct male to male descendant of King George III.  He is descended from George III’s son, Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, who became King of Hanover (due to the Salic Law) following the death of King William IV.

George III > Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, King of Hanover > George, King of Hanover > Ernst Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (married Princess Thyra of Denmark, sister of Queen Alexandra of UK, Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia and King George I of Greece) > Ernst Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Luneberg (married Viktoria Luise, only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II) > Ernst Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Luneberg > Ernst Augustus, Prince of Hanover
Wikipedia: Ernst Augustus of Hanover

February 26, 1959 – Death of Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife, daughter of Alexander Duff, Duke of Fife and Louise, Princess Royal (daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom) at Avenue Road, London; buried at Mar Lodge Chapel in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Alexandra was the Duchess of Fife in her own right.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife

February 26, 2000 – Death of Giovanna of Savoy, wife of Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria, in Estoril, Portugal; buried at the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi in Assisi, Italy
Unofficial Royalty: Giovanna of Savoy, Tsaritsa of Bulgaria

Royal News: Sunday 26 February 2017

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Germany

Morocco

Saudi Arabia

United Kingdom

Royal News: Saturday 25 February 2017

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Denmark

Japan

Monaco

Multiple Monarchies

Norway

Saudi Arabia

Spain

Sweden

United Kingdom

February 25: Today in Royal History

Princess Alice of Battenberg, wife of Prince Andrew of Greece and mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

February 25, 1246 – Death of Dafydd ap Llywelyn, Prince of Wales, Prince of Gwynedd, at Garth Celyn, Wales; buried at Aberconwy Abbey in Conwy, Wales
Wikipedia: Dafydd ap Llywelyn, Prince of Wales

February 25, 1308 – Coronation of King Edward II of England
Edward’s wife Isabella of France was crowned with him.
Unofficial Royalty: King Edward II of England

February 25, 1558 – Death of Eleanor of Austria, third wife of King Manuel I of Portugal and second wife of King Francis I of France; buried at the Monastery of San Lorenzo El Real in El Escorial, Spain
Eleanor was the daughter of Juana of Castile and Philip the Handsome.
Wikipedia: Eleanor of Austria

February 25, 1601 – Execution of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex and favorite of Queen Elizabeth I of England, in the Tower of London for high treason
Wikipedia: Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex

February 25, 1661/2 – Birth of Lady Anne FitzRoy, acknowledged by King Charles II of England as his child by Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland, at Westminster, London, England
Wikipedia: Lady Anne FitzRoy

February 25, 1713 – Death of King Friedrich I of Prussia in Berlin, Prussia (Germany); buried at Berlin Cathedral
Wikipedia: King Friedrich I of Prussia

February 25, 1805 – Death of Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt, second wife of King Frederick William II of Prussia, in Berlin, Prussia (Germany); buried at the Berlin Cathedral
Wikipedia: Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt

February 25, 1848 – Birth of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg in Stuttgart (Germany)
Wikipedia: King Wilhelm II of Württemberg

February 25, 1883 – Birth of Princess Alice of Albany, daughter of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany and the last surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria, at Windsor Castle
Full name: Alice Mary Victoria Augusta Pauline
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Alice of Albany

February 25, 1885 – Birth of Princess Alice of Battenberg, great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, wife of Prince Andrew of Greece and mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Windsor Castle
Wikipedia: Prince Alice of Battenberg

February 25, 1912 – Death of Grand Duke Guillaume IV of Luxembourg at Berg Castle, Luxembourg; buried at buried at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Unofficial Royalty: Grand Duke Guillaume IV of Luxembourg

Royal News: Friday 24 February 2017

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Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany

by Susan Flantzer

Credit – Wikipedia

Born on September 23, 1158, Geoffrey was the fourth of the five sons and the fifth of the eight children of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was named after Henry II’s brother Geoffrey, Count of Nantes who had died two months before his nephew’s birth.

Geoffrey’s parents, Henry II and Eleanor, holding court; Credit – Wikipedia

Geoffrey had seven siblings:

13th-century depiction of Henry and his legitimate children: (l to r) William, Young Henry, Richard, Matilda, Geoffrey, Eleanor, Joan and John; Credit – Wikipedia

Geoffrey’s father King Henry II of England was determined to expand and maintain his French territory. Henry II’s brother Geoffrey had been Count of Nantes and Nantes was one of the two traditional capitals of Brittany. Upon the death of Geoffrey in 1158, Conan IV, Duke of Brittany attempted to reclaim Nantes. However, Henry II annexed it for himself and steadily increased his power in Brittany. Henry II considered himself overlord of Brittany and Conan IV, Duke of Brittany as his vassal.

In 1166, Henry II invaded Brittany to punish a local barons’ revolt. In order to gain complete control over the duchy, Henry II forced Conan IV to abdicate in favor of his five-year-old daughter Constance and then betrothed his eight-year-old son Geoffrey to Constance. Henry never claimed the Duchy of Brittany. After Conan IV abdicated, Henry II held guardianship over Brittany for Conan’s daughter Constance, and then for his son Geoffrey to rule by the right of his wife. Henry II had now provided his three surviving sons with territory of their own: Henry would become King of England and have control of Anjou, Maine, and Normandy; Richard would inherit Aquitaine and Poitiers from his mother; and Geoffrey would become Duke of Brittany. Henry II’s youngest son John would be born later in 1166 and would have no land, hence his nickname John Lackland.

Henry’s claims over lands in France (in dark orange, orange and yellow) at their peak; Credit – By France_blank.svg: Eric Gaba (Sting – fr:Sting)derivative work: Hchc2009 (talk) – France_blank.svg, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12603376

In May of 1169, Geoffrey was enthroned and invested as Duke of Brittany at Rennes Cathedral and received the homage of the Breton nobles at Christmas of 1169. Geoffrey and Constance were finally married in July of 1181.

Geoffrey and Constance had three children:

As the sons of King Henry II grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge, encouraged by King Louis VII of France and then his son King Philip II of France. In 1173, Henry the Young King rebelled in protest and was joined by his brothers Richard and Geoffrey and by their mother Eleanor of Aquitaine (The Revolt of 1173-1174). France, Scotland, Flanders and Boulogne allied themselves with the rebels. King Henry II eventually defeated the revolt and had Eleanor imprisoned for the next sixteen years for her part in inciting their sons. In 1182–83, Henry the Young King had a falling out with his brother Richard when Richard refused to pay homage to him on the orders of King Henry II, Geoffrey supported his brother Henry. As Henry the Young King was preparing to fight Richard, he became ill with dysentery (also called the bloody flux), the scourge of armies for centuries, and died.

Seal of Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany; Credit – Wikipedia

With the death of his eldest son, King Henry II had to make plans for the disposition of his empire, but he kept his thoughts secret. This caused more ill feelings between him and his three remaining sons, Richard, Geoffrey, and John. King Philip II of France was determined to exploit the situation to his benefit. Geoffrey spent a lot of time at Philip’s court in Paris and the two were close friends. Dissatisfied with having just the Duchy of Brittany, Geoffrey also wanted the County of Anjou and Philip encouraged him in his plans to once again rebel against his father.

Geoffrey remained in Paris through the summer of 1186, but his plans came to naught because on August 19, 1186, Geoffrey died at the age of 27. One contemporary source says Geoffrey died of a fever. However, several other sources say he was thrown off his horse during a tournament and trampled to death. Geoffrey was buried in the choir of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. King Philip II of France was so overcome with grief for his friend that he had to be restrained from throwing himself upon Geoffrey’s coffin in the open tomb. Geoffrey’s half-sister from his mother’s first marriage to King Louis VII of France, Marie, Countess of Champagne, attended his funeral and contributed funds to pay for masses for his soul.

Geoffrey’s death left Constance a widow at the age of 25 with two young daughters (little Matilda died three years later) and pregnant with another child. On March 29, 1187 in Nantes, Brittany, Constance gave birth to Geoffrey’s posthumous son.  King Henry II wanted his grandson to be named Henry, but in defiance of Henry II, the infant was named Arthur after the legendary King Arthur. King Philip II of France claimed the guardianship of Arthur, but King Henry II refused because he did not want Philip II to gain a stronghold in Brittany. Constance was to act as a regent for her son, but Henry II did not trust her. In 1188, Henry II arranged for Constance to marry Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester, one of the most powerful earls in England. The marriage was an unhappy one, the couple became estranged, and there were no children.

In 1189, King Henry II died and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son King Richard I. As Richard’s marriage was childless, in 1191, he officially proclaimed his nephew Arthur as his heir. Then in 1196, Constance had nine-year-old Arthur proclaimed Duke of Brittany and her co-ruler. Because of this, King Richard I had Constance abducted and imprisoned by her estranged husband. Arthur was secretly taken away by his tutor to the French court to be brought up with the future King Louis VIII, son of King Philip II.

In 1199, Constance was released and her second marriage was annulled. That same year, Constance married Guy of Thouars and the couple had two daughters including Alix of Thouars who succeeded her half-brother Arthur as Duchess of Brittany. Constance died at the age of 40 on September 5, 1201 at Nantes. The cause of her death is suspected to be leprosy and/or childbirth complications after giving birth to twin girls who also died. Constance was buried at the Abbey of Villeneuve in Sorinières, south of Nantes, which she had founded. Her third husband Guy of Thouars and their daughter Alix are buried with her.

Geoffrey and Constance’s surviving children Arthur, Duke of Brittany and Eleanor, Fair Maid of Brittany had unhappy endings. In 1199, as King Richard I of England lay dying of a gangrenous arrow wound, he named his brother John his successor fearing his 12-year-old nephew Arthur was too young to be able to successfully reign. This decision bypassed the children of his deceased brother Geoffrey, both of whom had better claims to the throne based upon the laws of primogeniture.

Arthur I, Duke of Brittany paying homage to King Philip II of France; Credit – Wikipedia

Many members of the French nobility refused to recognize John upon his accession to the English throne and his French lands. They were of the opinion that Arthur had a better claim because his father was an older brother of John. In 1202, 15-year-old Arthur started a campaign against his uncle John in Normandy with the support of King Philip II of France. John’s territory of Poitou revolted in support of Arthur. Arthur besieged his grandmother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, John’s mother, in the Château de Mirebeau in Poitou.   John marched on Mirebeau, taking Arthur by surprise on July 31, 1202. Arthur was captured and imprisoned in the Château de Falaise in Falaise, Normandy. By 1203, Arthur had disappeared. His fate is unknown, but presumably, he was murdered on the orders of his uncle John.

Eleanor of Brittany; Credit – Wikipedia

Arthur’s sister Eleanor was also King John’s prisoner because she and any children she had could pose a threat to John’s throne. She remained imprisoned for her entire life, into the reign of John’s son King Henry III of England, dying in 1241 at the age of 57. Her imprisonment in England made it impossible for her to claim her inheritance as Duchess of Brittany. During her 39 year imprisonment, Eleanor, who was apparently innocent of any crime, was never tried or sentenced. She was considered a state prisoner, was forbidden to marry, and guarded closely even after her child-bearing years.

Wikipedia: Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany

Works Cited
Bretagne, Histoire de. “Geoffroy II de Bretagne.” Wikipedia. N.p.: Wikimedia Foundation, 1181. Web. 10 Jan. 2017.
“Constance, Duchess of Brittany.” Wikipedia. N.p.: Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Nov. 2016. Web. 10 Jan. 2017.
“Geoffrey II, duke of Brittany.” Wikipedia. N.p.: Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Jan. 2017. Web. 10 Jan. 2017.
“Henry II, King of England.” Wikipedia. N.p.: Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Jan. 2017. Web. 10 Jan.
Kelly, Amy. Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings. New York: Book-of-the-Month-Club, 1950. Print.
Susan. “King Henry II of England.” British Royals. Unofficial Royalty, 7 Aug. 2016. Web. 10 Jan. 2017.
Susan. “King John of England.” British Royals. Unofficial Royalty, 21 Aug. 2016. Web. 10 Jan. 2017.
Weir, Alison. Eleanor of Aquitaine By the Wrath of God, Queen of England. London: Jonathan Cape, 1999. Print.
Williamson, David. Brewer’s British Royalty. London: Cassell, 1996. Print.

February 24: Today in Royal History

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor as a boy with his sisters Eleanor (center, future Queen of Portugal and France) and Isabella (right, future Queen of Denmark)

February 24, 1500 – Birth of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (Charles I of Spain) in Ghent, Flanders (Belgium)
Charles was the son of Juana of Castile and Philip the Handsome.
Wikipedia; Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

February 24, 1767 – Birth of Buddha Loetla Nabhalai, King Rama II of Siam (Thailand), in Amphawa, Samut Songkhram Province, Kingdom of Ayutthaya
Wikipedia: Buddha Loetla Nabhalai

February 24, 1774 – Birth of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, son of King George III of the United Kingdom, at Buckingham Palace
Full name: Adolphus Frederick
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge

February 24, 1777 – Birth of King José I of Portugal at Ribeira Palace in Lisbon, Portugal
Wikipedia: King José I of Portugal

February 24, 1981 – Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s engagement announced
BBC: On This Day – February 24, 1981
Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer

Royal News: Thursday 23 February 2017

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Bahrain

Denmark

Jordan

Multiple Monarchies

Netherlands

Saudi Arabia

Spain

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Tonga

United Kingdom

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February 23: Today in Royal History

Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

February 23, 1447 – Death of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, son of King Henry IV of England, at Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England; buried at St. Albans Abbey in Hertfordshire, England
Unofficial Royalty: Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester

February 23, 1511 – Death of Henry, Duke of Cornwall, son of King Henry VIII of England, at Richmond Palace in Surrey, England; buried at Westminster Abbey
This little prince was the New Year’s baby (born January 1, 1511) who brought so much joy and hope to his parents, Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon. Think of how different England would have been if this little Prince had lived and succeeded his father!
Wikipedia: Henry, Duke of Cornwall

February 23, 1779 – Birth of Prince Octavius, son of King George III of the United Kingdom, at Buckingham Palace
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Octavius of Great Britain
Unofficial Royalty: Smallpox knew no class boundaries

February 23, 1803 – Birth of Alexandrine of Prussia, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Wikipedia: Alexandrine of Prussia, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

February 23, 1918 – Death of Adolf Friedrich VI, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz at Neustrelitz (Germany)
Adolf Friedrich committed suicide.
Unofficial Royalty: Adolf Friedrich VI, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

February 23, 1960 – Death of Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke, grandson of Queen Victoria, at Kensington Palace in London, England; cremated and ashes buried at St. Mildred’s Church, Whippingham, Isle of Wight
Unofficial Royalty: Alexander Mountbatten, Marquess of Carisbrooke

February 23, 1960 – Birth of Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan at Togu Palace in Tokyo, Japan
February 23, 1990 – Naruhito formally invested as Crown Prince of Japan
Unofficial Royalty: Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan

February 23, 1969 – Death of King Saud of Saudi Arabia in exile at Athens, Greece; buried at the Alaoud Cemetery in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Wikipedia: King Saud of Saudi Arabia

February 23, 2012 – Birth of Princess Estelle of Sweden, daughter of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, at the Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Sweden
Full name: Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Estelle of Sweden