Royal Birthdays & Anniversaries: May 29 – June 4

Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau and Marilène van den Broek, Photo Credit – www.vogue.co.uk

18th wedding anniversary of Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau, son of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, and Marilène van den Broek; married in Apeldoorn, Netherlands on May 29, 1998
Wikipedia: Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven
Wikipedia: Princess Marilène of Orange-Nassau

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Princess Désirée of Sweden; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

78th birthday of Princess Désirée of Sweden, sister of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden; born at Haga Palace outside Stockholm, Sweden on June 2, 1938
Full name: Désirée Elisabeth Sibylla
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld

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Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso, Photo Credit – Wikipedia

40th birthday of Anna Karabo Mots’oeneng, wife of King Letsie III of Lesotho; born in Mapoteng in the Berea District, Lesotho on June 2, 1976
Wikipedia: Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso

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32nd birthday of Prince Félix of Luxembourg, son of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg; born at the Grand Duchess Charlotte Maternity Hospital in Luxembourg on June 3, 1984
Full name: Félix Léopold Marie Guillaume
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Félix of Luxembourg

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Countess Leonore of Orange-Nassau on the right with her siblings, Photo Credit – www.zimbio.com

10th birthday of Countess Leonore of Orange-Nassau, daughter of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands; born at Bronovo Hospital in The Hague, The Netherlands on June 3, 2006
Full name: Leonore Marie Irene Enrica
Wikipedia: Countess Leonore of Orange-Nassau

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Princess Mikasa of Japan, Photo Credit – Wikipedia

93rd birthday of Takagi Yoriko, wife of Prince Mikasa of Japan; born in Tokyo, Japan on June 4, 1923
Prince Mikasa is the brother of the last emperor Hirohito and uncle of the present emperor Akihito.
Wikipedia: Princess Mikasa

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Jetsun Pema, Queen of Bhutan with her husband: Photo Credit – www.zimbio.com

26th birthday of Jetsun Pema, wife of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan; born in Thimphu Hospital in Thimphu, Bhutan on June 4, 1990
Unofficial Royalty: Jetsun Pema

May 29: Today in Royal History

Josephine de Beauharnais, Napoleon’s first wife; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

May 29, 1259 – Death of King Christopher I of Denmark in Ribe, Denmark; buried at Our Lady Maria Cathedral in Ribe, Denmark
Wikipedia: King Christopher I of Denmark

May 29, 1630 – Birth of King Charles II of England at St. James’s Palace in London, England
King Charles II had no legitimate children but he has many descendants through his at least 14 illegitimate children.  Among his descendants from these children are Diana, Princess of Wales; Sarah, Duchess of York; and The Duchess of Cornwall.
Unofficial Royalty: King Charles II of England

May 29, 1814 – Death of Josephine de Beauharnais, Napoleon’s first wife, at the Château de Malmaison, near Paris, France; buried at St. Pierre and St. Paul Church in Rueil, France
Napoleon and Josephine had divorced in 1809 after 13 years of marriage.
Wikipedia: Josephine de Beauharnais

May 29, 1818 – Wedding of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, son of King George III of the United Kingdom, and Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld, at Schloss Ehrenburg in Coburg, Germany
Edward and Victoria were the parents of Queen Victoria.  The couple remarried in England on July 11, 1818 at Kew Palace in a double ceremony with Edward’s brother, the future William IV, and Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen.
Unofficial Royalty: Edward, Duke of Kent
Unofficial Royalty: Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld

May 29, 1873 – Death of Prince Friedrich of Hesse and by Rhine, grandson of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, at Neues Palais in Darmstadt, Germany; buried at the Mausoleum of Rosenhöhe in Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany
Prince Friedrich, known as Frittie in the family, was the son of Princess Alice of the United Kingdom and  Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine.  Afflicted with hemophilia, he died after falling from a window at age 3.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Friedrich of Hesse and by Rhine
Unofficial Royalty: Hemophilia

May 29, 1998 – Wedding of Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau and Marilène van den Broek in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of Prince Maurits and Marilène van den Broek
Wikipedia: Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau
Wikipedia: Marilène van den Broek

Royal News: Saturday 28 May 2016

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May 28: Today in Royal History

King George I of Great Britain; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

May 28, 1368 – Wedding of Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence, son of King Edward III of England, and Violante Visconti at Church of St Maria Maggiore in Milan, Italy
Wikipedia: Lionel of Antwerp
Wikipedia: Violante Visconti

May 28, 1357 – Death of King Afonso IV of Portugal in Lisbon, Portugal; buried at the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal
Wikipedia: King Afonso IV of Portugal

May 28, 1656 – Birth of Prince Anton Florian of Liechtenstein in Wilfersdorf, Austria
Wikipedia: Prince Anton Florian of Liechtenstein

May 28, 1660 – Birth of King George I of Great Britain at Leineschloss in Osnabruck, Hanover, Germany
Full name: George Louis
George I was the great grandson of King James I of England and the great great grandson of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Unofficial Royalty: King George I of Great Britain

May 28, 1957 – Birth of Sylvana Palma Tomaselli, wife of George Windsor, Earl of St. Andrews, in Placentia, Newfoundland, Canada
The Earl of St. Andrews is the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II’s first cousin the Duke of Kent. He has lost his place in the succession to the throne because he married a Catholic.  Sylvana Tomaselli is Director of Studies in History Part I and Social & Political Sciences at St John’s College, Cambridge University.
Wikipedia: Sylvana Palma Tomaselli

May 28, 1972 – Death of the Duke of Windsor, former King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, at Bois de Boulogne in Paris, France; buried at Frogmore, Windsor, England
Unofficial Royalty: Edward VIII of the United Kingdom

Royal News: Friday 27 May 2016

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Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England

by Susan Flantzer

Credit – Wikipedia

Catherine of Aragon (Catalina in Spanish) was the first of the six wives of King Henry VIII of England and the mother of Queen Mary I of England. Born on December 15, 1485 at the Archbishops Palace in Alcalá de Henares in the Kingdom of Castile (now in Spain), Catherine was the youngest child of the Catholic Monarchs, King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, whose marriage ultimately united Aragon and Castile into the Kingdom of Spain.

King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile; Credit – Wikipedia

Catherine had blue eyes and golden red hair which had come from her mother’s descent from the English House of Plantagenet. Catherine’s great-grandmother Catherine of Lancaster and her great great grandmother Philippa of Lancaster were daughters of John of Gaunt, a son of King Edward III of England. Alessandro Geraldini, a humanist scholar and later Bishop of Santo Domingo, served as tutor to Catherine and her siblings, all of whom received an excellent education.

Catherine of Aragon at age 11; Credit – Wikipedia

Catherine had four elder siblings:

When Catherine was only two years old, King Henry VII of England began negotiations for his son and heir, Arthur, Prince of Wales to marry Catherine. The Treaty of Medina del Campo, ratified by Spain in 1489 and by England in 1490, contained the marriage contract between Catherine and Arthur. Catherine left Spain in 1501, never to return, and on November 14, 1501, the two 15 year-olds, Catherine and Arthur, were married at the Old St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. She was escorted to the cathedral by the 10 year-old Henry, Duke of York, who would eventually become her second husband.

Arthur, Prince of Wales, circa 1501; Credit – Wikipedia

Catherine of Aragon, circa 1502; Credit – Wikipedia

Soon after their marriage, Catherine and Arthur went to live at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire, close to Wales, where, as Prince of Wales, Arthur presided over the Council of Wales and the Marches.  Less than five months later, on April 2, 1502, Arthur died, probably of the sweating sickness, and 16 year-old Catherine was left a widow. There was no issue from the marriage and it is doubtful that the marriage was even consummated, as Catherine in later years would claim.

King Henry VII did not want to lose Catherine of Aragon’s dowry or the alliance he had made with Spain, so he offered his new heir Henry, who was five years younger than Catherine, to be her husband. A number of problems with negotiations made it doubtful that the marriage would ever take place. With little money, Catherine lived as a virtual prisoner at Durham House in London from 1502 – 1509. King Henry VII died on April 21, 1509 and 17 year old Henry succeeded him.

King Henry VIII, 1509; Credit – Wikipedia

King Henry VIII married 23 year-old Catherine in June 11, 1509 at Grey Friar’s Church, Greenwich. On June 23, 1509, the traditional procession to Westminster, held the day before the coronation of English kings, was greeted by a large and enthusiastic crowd. Following tradition, Henry and Catherine spent the night before their coronation at the Tower of London. King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine were anointed and crowned by William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury in Westminster Abbey on June 24, 1509.

16th century woodcut of the coronation of King Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon showing their heraldic badges, the Tudor Rose and the Pomegranate of Granada; Credit – Wikipedia

Catherine had six pregnancies, however only one child, the future Queen Mary I, survived.

  • January 31, 1510: a premature stillborn girl
  • January 1, 1511: Henry, Duke of Cornwall, died February 22, 1511
  • September 17, 1513: a premature son, the second Henry, Duke of Cornwall, who died shortly after birth
  • January 8, 1515: a stillborn boy
  • February 18, 1516: Queen Mary I (1516 – 1558); married King Philip II of Spain, no issue
  • November 10, 1518: a daughter, who died shortly after birth

Catherine and Henry’s daughter, later Queen Mary I; Credit – Wikipedia

Catherine was highly regarded as queen and Henry made her regent when he went on campaign in France and Flanders in 1513. While Henry was away, it was up to Catherine to supervise England’s defense when Scotland invaded. Ultimately, the Scots were defeated at the Battle of Flodden and Catherine sent Henry the bloodstained coat of the defeated and dead King James IV of Scotland (who was married to Henry’s sister Margaret). In 1520, Catherine accompanied Henry to the Field of the Cloth of Gold in France where he met King François I of France.

Field of the Cloth of Gold; Credit – Wikipedia

Catherine was instrumental in reviving an interest in gardening which had been all but forgotten during the time England was plagued by the Wars of the Roses. Henry imported a gardener from Flanders and the gardens at Hampton Court Palace were the premier gardens in England. Part of Henry’s garden layout still survive at Hampton Court Palace’s Pond Garden.

0890_HamptonCtPal_7

Pond Garden at Hampton Court Palace; Photo Credit – Susan Flantzer

By the time Catherine turned 40 in 1525, it was very unlikely that she would produce the male heir that Henry yearned for. Henry had three options. He could legitimize his illegitimate son Henry FitzRoy. He could marry his daughter Mary and hope for a grandson. He could reject Catherine and marry someone of childbearing age. Henry became convinced that his marriage was cursed because Leviticus 20:21 says, “And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.” Around the same time, Henry became enamored of Anne Boleyn, a lady-in-waiting to Catherine, and Henry began pursuing her.

Henry instructed Cardinal Wolsey to start negotiations with the Vatican to have his marriage with Catherine annulled. Catherine put up a valiant fight to save her marriage and was supported by her nephew Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.  After several long years of negotiations, Cardinal Wolsey failed to obtain the annulment incurring the anger of Anne Boleyn, who brought about Wolsey’s dismissal as Chancellor. A far more reaching consequence was Henry’s break with Rome which was to lead to the Reformation in England and the establishment of the Church of England. In 1533, Henry nominated Thomas Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury and in May of 1533, Cranmer declared that because Henry and Catherine’s marriage was against the law of God, it was null and void. Catherine had testified that she and Arthur had never had physical relations.

Catherine was banished from the court and Henry refused her the right to any title but “Dowager Princess of Wales” in recognition of her position as his brother’s widow. She was forbidden to see her daughter Mary. Catherine suffered these indignities with patience and told her women not to curse the new queen, Anne Boleyn. She spent most of her time doing needlework and praying. Catherine refused to accept the 1533 Act of Succession which made her daughter Mary a bastard and made Anne Boleyn’s daughter Elizabeth Henry’s successor.

By 1535, with no hope of ever seeing her daughter Mary, who suffered great humiliation at the court of Anne Boleyn, Catherine’s health deteriorated and she was taken to Kimbolton Castle. Catherine knew by December of 1535 that she would not live much longer. She put her will in order, wrote to her nephew Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor asking him to protect Mary, and wrote her final letter to King Henry VIII:

My most dear lord, king and husband,

The hour of my death now drawing on, the tender love I owe you forceth me, my case being such, to commend myself to you, and to put you in remembrance with a few words of the health and safeguard of your soul which you ought to prefer before all worldly matters, and before the care and pampering of your body, for the which you have cast me into many calamities and yourself into many troubles. For my part, I pardon you everything, and I wish to devoutly pray God that He will pardon you also. For the rest, I commend unto you our daughter Mary, beseeching you to be a good father unto her, as I have heretofore desired. I entreat you also, on behalf of my maids, to give them marriage portions, which is not much, they being but three. For all my other servants I solicit the wages due them, and a year more, lest they be unprovided for. Lastly, I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things.
Katharine the Quene.

Catherine died on January 7, 1536 at the age of 50. Rumors were circulated that she had been poisoned. Her embalmer described her heart as “quite black and hideous to look at” with a “black round body stuck to the outside.” Modern doctors have agreed that her heart’s discoloration was due to cancer. Catherine was buried at Peterborough Cathedral on January 29, 1536, but her daughter Mary was not allowed to attend her funeral. A cortege from Kimbolton Castle brought Catherine’s remains to Peterborough Abbey, now Peterborough Cathedral. It was the nearest great religious place and Henry did not want to move her remains to London as it would have given the wrong message. The cortege was covered in black velvet, pulled by six horses, and accompanied by 50 servants in suits made of black fabric, carrying banners and torches. The cortege was met by four bishops and six abbots, and 1,000 candles lit up the abbey, where three masses were held as part of the funeral.

Catherine was buried in an elaborate black marble tomb gilded with gold. The gold was stolen by Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers during the English Civil War. The marble tomb survived into the 18th century when it was taken apart by one of the deans of the cathedral for the floor of his summer house. In 1895, Katharine Clayton, the wife of one of the canons at the cathedral, decided something should be done to restore Catherine’s tomb, so she launched an appeal for Katharines/Katherines/Catherines around the England to donate money towards the project. Every year around the anniversary of her death, a service commemorating Catherine of Aragon’s life is held at Peterborough Catherdal. Catherine’s grave is visited by many people each year, some of who leave flowers and pomegranates, Catherine’s heraldic symbol.

Grave of Catherine of Aragon at Peterborough Cathedral; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Wikipedia: Catherine of Aragon

May 27: Today in Royal History

William II, Prince of Orange; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

May 27, 1199 – Coronation of King John of England
John’s second wife Isabella of Angouleme was crowned on October 8, 1200.
Wikipedia: John of England

May 27, 1541- Execution of Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury, daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, at the Tower of London; buried at St. Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London
Margaret was the niece of King Edward IV of England and one of the few survivors of the Plantagenets after the Wars of the Roses.  She was executed during the reign of King Henry VIII.  Beatified by the Roman Catholic Church in 1886, she is known as Blessed Margaret Pole.
Unofficial Royalty: Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury

May 27, 1626 – Birth of William II, Prince of Orange in The Hague, Dutch Republic (The Netherlands)
William married Mary, Princess Royal who was the daughter of King Charles I of England.  William and Mary were the parents of William III, Prince of Orange, who married his cousin Mary and together they reigned in England as William III and Mary II.
Wikipedia: William II, Prince of Orange

May 27, 1707 – Death of Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Marquise de Montespan, better known as Madame de Montespan, mistress of King Louis XIV of France, in Bourbon-l’Archambault, France
Wikipedia: Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart

May 27, 1723 – Death of Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond and 1st Duke of Lennox, 1er Duc d’ Aubigny, illegitimate son of King Charles II of England and Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth
Wikipedia: Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond and Lennox

May 27, 1756 – Birth of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria in Schwetzingen (Germany)
Unofficial Royalty: King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria

May 27, 1770 – Death of Sophia Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, wife of King Christian VI of Denmark and Norway, at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark; buried in Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark
Wikipedia: Sophia Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach

May 27, 1819 – Birth of King George V of Hanover in Berlin, Prussia (Germany)
Unofficial Royalty: George V of Hanover

May 27, 1848 – Death of Princess Sophia of the United Kingdom, daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom, at Vicarage Place in Kensington, London, England; buried at Kensal Green Cemetery in London, England
Wikipedia: Princess Sophia of the United Kingdom

May 27, 1987- Wedding of Prince Jean of Luxembourg and Helene Vestur
The couple has since divorced.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Jean of Luxembourg

May 27, 2004 – Official Wedding of Prince Hamzah of Jordan, son of King Hussein of Jordan, and Princess Noor bint Asem of Jordan
The couple were initially married in a private ceremony on August 29, 2003 at the Al Baraka Palace in Amman. They divorced in September 2009.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Hamzah of Jordan
Wikipedia: Princess Noor bint Asem

 

Information about the upcoming Christening of Prince Oscar of Sweden

Monogram of Prince Oscar of Sweden, Duke of Skåne. source: Swedish Royal Court

Monogram of Prince Oscar of Sweden, Duke of Skåne. source: Swedish Royal Court

The Swedish Royal Court has today released details about the Christening of Prince Oscar of Sweden, Duke of Skåne, the son of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.  Prince Oscar is the fourth grandchild of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, and is third in the line of succession to the Swedish throne.

The christening will be held tomorrow, May 27, 2016, in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. The Crown Princess and Prince Daniel have chosen the following godparents for their son:

The Crown Prince couples of Denmark and Norway will be the only foreign royalty in attendance.

In conjunction with the christening, the Royal Court also issued Prince Oscar’s coat of arms and monogram.

Coat of Arms of Prince Oscar of Sweden, Duke of Skåne, as designed by Henrik Dahlström, heraldic artist, the National Archives. source: Swedish Royal Court

Coat of Arms of Prince Oscar of Sweden, Duke of Skåne, as designed by Henrik Dahlström, heraldic artist, the National Archives. source: Swedish Royal Court

Royal News: Thursday 26 May 2016

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May 26: Today in Royal History

Victoria Mary of Teck, Queen of the United Kingdom; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

May 26, 946 – Murder of King Edmund I of England in Pucklechurch, South Gloucestershire, England; buried at Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset, England
Wikipedia: King Edmund I of England

May 26, 1796 – Birth of Prince Alois II of Liechtenstein in Vienna, Austria
Wikipedia: Prince Alois II of Liechtenstein

May 26, 1822 – Birth of Augusta Reuss of Köstritz, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Wikipedia: Augusta Reuss of Köstritz, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

May 26, 1826 – Birth of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mikhailovna of Russia, first wife of Grand Duke Adolphe I of Luxembourg, in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia
Elizabeth died at age 18 in childbirth along with her baby daughter.  Her husband had an Orthodox church built for her remains.  The church was built on a hill which was visible from Adolphe’s residence so he could always see where Elizabeth’s remains were buried.
Wikipedia: Elizabeth Mikhailovna of Russia

May 26, 1842 – Wedding of King Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Kassel at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark
Unofficial Royalty: King Christian IX of Denmark
Unofficial Royalty: Louise of Hesse-Kassel

May 26, 1867 – Birth of Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, wife of King George V of the United Kingdom, at Kensington Palace in London, England
Full name: Victoria Mary Augusta Louisa Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes
Unofficial Royalty: Mary of Teck, Queen of the United Kingdom

May 26, 1896 – Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in Moscow, Russia
Royal Russia: The Coronation of Nicholas II

May 26, 1968 – Birth of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark
Full name: Frederik André Henrik Christian
Unofficial Royalty: Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark

May 26, 1989 – Death of Kazuko Takatsukasa, daughter of Emperor Hirohito of Japan
Kazuko, Princess Taka was the elder sister of the current Emperor Akihito. She lost her Imperial status upon marriage.
Wikipedia: Kazuko Takatsukasa