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Peter

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Reply with quote  #16 
[1024px-Le_Mans_-_Cite_Plantagenet_01] 
The citadel of Le Mans, France, birthplace of the future Henry II of England

19th December

1154: First of the Angevin or Plantagenet dynasty, Henry II of England is crowned at Westminster Abbey alongside his wife of three years Eleanor of Aquitaine. His accession to a country exhausted by two decades of civil war had been peaceful and unopposed, and his reign would stretch over the next 44 years, with every King until 1485 being his direct male-line descendant. Ambitious, acquisitive and ruthless and apparently devoid of scruple in both his personal and political life (it was said of him that he was so crooked that he ‘could not even lie straight in bed’), Henry was nevertheless a very capable monarch, conscientious in the administration of justice and the good governance of his realm, or rather realms, his power stretching far into France and west to Ireland, conquered during his reign.

His storm-tossed marriage and disastrous relationship with his sons became the stuff of legends, beginning with the brilliant coup of his marriage to Eleanor, the greatest heiress of the day, only eight weeks after her first marriage, to Louis VII of France, was dissolved on the grounds of consanguinity (it did not appear to trouble anyone that Henry and Eleanor were, er, more closely related than Eleanor and Louis).

Two of those sons would be King of England in their turn, the archetypal hero Richard the Lionheart and the archetypal villain John Lackland. While there is no doubt that Richard was by far the better man of the two or that he was a general of genius, it is very arguable that John’s reign did far more to shape and to benefit England than that of his brother the perennial absentee. Either way, the very considerable legacy of their father’s reign, far longer than those of Richard and John put together, should not be overlooked in consideration of these contrasting siblings, as it all too often is.

1327: The death of Agnès of France, youngest daughter of the sainted Louis IX. Duchess of Burgundy by marriage to the Duke Robert II, two of her daughters would be Queen of France, Marguerite as wife of Louis X and Jeanne as consort of Philippe VI. Their fates though would be very contrasting, Marguerite when she became Queen already confined as an accused adulteress (in which state she would die, possibly murdered to clear the way for her husband’s second marriage) and Jeanne the strength and mainstay of her husband throughout his reign. All sovereigns today are descended from both.

1554: The birth of Filips Willem, Prince of Orange, first son and heir of William the Silent. If Filips Willem is an obscure figure in history, this is both because as a Catholic (to which religion his father had been converted in childhood in order to secure the Orange inheritance, only in later life changing to Calvinism) he was unable to obtain secure dominion over the firmly Protestant Netherlands, and because he was childless, his successor being his renowned and definitely Protestant brother Maurits. An attractive and emollient figure, Filips Willem managed the difficult balancing act of being a Catholic lord in a Protestant land with considerable success. Had he had a son Orange would certainly have descended to him, and it is not unimaginable that Netherlands hegemony would have also, the stuff of an interesting AH.

1683: The future Felipe V of Spain is born at Versailles. A fils de France as a younger son of the Dauphin, the then Philippe was created duc d’Anjou at birth, a title he would put aside for greater things aged 16. While two sons of his first marriage would be Kings of Spain, the present Spanish line descends from a son of the second, who as Carlos III would be the third son of Felipe V to reign.

The Grand Duke of Luxembourg is also a male-line descendant of Felipe V, through Filippo I of Parma, a younger full brother of Carlos III. Two of their full sisters were Queens respectively of Portugal and Sardinia, descent surviving from both in sovereigns of today (it survives also from a third brother Luis, but not in royal lines; Archbishop of Toledo, Primate of Spain and a Cardinal from the age of eight, aged 27 he renounced all these dignities and subsequently married morganatically).

Of the four sovereign descendants of Felipe V today, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg actually descends from all four of his children with a surviving royal posterity, Carlos III, Filippo I, Mariana Vitória of Portugal and Maria Antonia of Sardinia. The King of Belgium and the Prince of Liechtenstein have to content themselves with the first three only (though, and inevitably, Liechtenstein’s ultimate heir Prince Joseph Wenzel has the full hand), while the King of Spain has to make do with but the first two. Respectively 22 times and nine times, so perhaps that is enough.

1737: The death of Jakub Ludwik Sobieski, son of Jan III of Poland. The Polish monarchy was as everyone knows elective, but in practice if a King died leaving a living son he would always be elected in his turn. Jakub was the unfortunate first exception to this rule, the artfully-dispensed bribes of the Elector of Saxony Friedrich August I ensuring his own election instead as Poland’s first-ever German King. Nor was his grandson Prince Charles Edward Stuart any more successful in gaining the British throne, and Jakub in fact has never had a crowned descendant (the nearest he came was with Princess Eleonore Reuss, second wife of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria), though descendants he does have among the French nobility, and in German mediatised and formerly reigning lines.

1751: The death in Copenhagen of Princess Louise of Great Britain, youngest daughter of George II and Queen of Sweden and Norway as wife of Frederik V. Her attractive personality and kind and generous disposition made her greatly loved in Denmark, as did her learning Danish and ensuring that her children could all speak it, neither of which had been true of several previous consorts. Seven out of ten sovereigns today are of her descent, the exceptions being the two Princes and the King of the Netherlands.

1778: The birth of Marie Thérèse of France, sole child of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to survive the Terror. Living until 1851 but always haunted by the ghastly events of her childhood and the loss of her entire family, she was by marriage duchesse d’Angoulême and later Dauphine, but due to the renunciation of her husband and first cousin, the elder son of Charles X, never Queen in succession to her mother. With her childless death the entire posterity of Louis XVI became extinct, Naundorff fairy tales aside.

[Madame_Royale5] 
                                                The tragic Marie Thérèse of France in 1796

Peter

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[MarketaProv] 
                                                                         Margaret of Provence, d. 1295

20th December

860: Æthelbald, King of Wessex, dies at Sherborne, Dorset. He was not regarded with favour by the chroniclers of the day, and his two-and-a-half-year reign had been chiefly remarkable for his scandalous and deeply uncanonical marriage to his widowed stepmother, Judith of France, by whom he had no issue. It is Judith that is of interest, as by her also scandalous third marriage to the Frankish nobleman Baldwin of Flanders (she had eloped with him, escaping the nunnery to which her father Charles the Bald had confined her) her descent eventually made it to what was by then the English throne.

After a reconciliation brokered by the Pope between the couple and her father, Baldwin became the first Count of Flanders, progenitor with Judith of a famous line. Their son Baldwin II married Ælfthyryth, a child of Æthelbald’s brother Alfred (or Ælfræd) the Great, and a daughter of their line was Matilda of Flanders, consort of William the Conqueror. As this link shows, it was not through the marriage of Henry I that the royal blood of Wessex returned to the throne of England, since it already had in the person of Henry himself, and before that his brother William II.

1295: The death of Margaret of Provence, eldest of the four beautiful daughters of Ramon Berenguer V, Count of Provence, all four of whom were Queens. In Margaret’s case it was of France, as wife of Louis IX. Married to the then 20-year-old Louis aged 13, Margaret earned favourable opinions for her beauty, virtue, intelligence and religious devotion, though not from the Queen Mother Blanche of Castile, who feared a diminution in her own influence with her son and caused many difficulties for the couple.

Margaret continued to win golden opinions otherwise, particularly for her conduct on Crusade in Egypt, where during her husband’s captivity she became the only woman ever to lead a Crusading force, doing so with courage, wisdom and skill. In later life relations with Louis grew chilly and she seemed to lose some of her adroitness, becoming known as a meddler and would-be emulator of her autocratic mother-in-law, but nevertheless she had been a remarkable Queen. The exact location of her grave in St Denis was lost, with the ironic result that though still unknown it probably remains inviolate, unlike all the other royal graves there which were desecrated in the Revolutionary years.

1355: Stephen Uroš IV of Serbia dies. Penultimate King of medieval Serbia, and the greatest of his line, he was known as Silni, ‘the Mighty’. He was the only King of the Nemanjić dynasty to not be canonised, presumably because he was a parricide. Fratricide though was apparently no bar to sainthood in the Serbian Orthodox Church, as his father Stephen Uroš III had been guilty of that but was sainted just the same. Stephen Uroš III is discussed in the introduction to the 1330 thread, and, in the context of his son Stephen Uroš V, Stephen Uroš IV in that for 1371.

1537: The birth of Johan III of Sweden, second son of Gustav I, founder of the Vasa dynasty, but the first by his second wife, noblewoman Margareta Leijonhufvud. In 1568 he would overthrow his deranged half-brother Erik XIV and take the throne for himself. A strong King and successful in warfare, tensions were caused in Johan’s later reign by his evident sympathy for Catholicism, acquired from his Queen Katarzyna Jagiellonka, daughter of Zygmunt the Old of Poland. Their son Sigismund would succeed both in Poland, as Zygmunt III, and in Sweden, but would lose the latter realm to his uncle Karl IX, younger brother of Johan III.

The posterity of Sigismund, and the legitimate posterity of his father, expired with the death in 1672 of the Polish monarch Jan II Kazimierz. Johan III does have an extensive posterity today, but all through illegitimate issue, and in the three centuries and counting since Jan II Kazimierz died there has never been a crowned descendant of Johan III. This will eventually change, and there will be no surprise that the change will happen on the accession to Liechtenstein of Prince Joseph Wenzel (stage I; stage II). Though not expected to succeed to any throne, the elder Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia is another contemporary royal descendant of the 16th-century Swedish King (stage I; stage II).

1765: Louis, Dauphin of Viennois, dies of consumption aged 36. Eldest son (and the only one to survive infancy) of Louis XV, and father of Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X, dying as he did eight years before his father he never came to the throne himself. Devout, virtuous and devoted to both his wives, reckoned intelligent, courageous and capable, he might have proved an excellent King and left his son Louis XVI a firmer foundation for his throne, but it was not to be. He has but one crowned descendant today, who is the Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

2007: Today is the day on which Elizabeth II became the oldest ever British sovereign, surpassing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria’s age at death of 81 years, seven months, 29 days. Long may Her Majesty continue to reign over us.

[800px-Louis_de_France%2C_dauphin_%281745%29_by_Maurice_Quentin_de_La_Tour] 

                                       Louis, Dauphin of Viennois; son of a King, father of three, but never a King
ABM

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Reply with quote  #18 
Louis, Dauphin of Viennois, was an especially tragic figure. Had he lived and succeeded to the throne, he way well have arrested or blunted the effects of the evil Revolution of 1789. Regardless any successor of Louis XV would have faced an uphill battle, owing to the enormous damage Louis XV had inflicted on the throne. 
Peter

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Reply with quote  #19 
I don't pretend to have enough knowledge of Louis XV's long reign to offer an informed opinion. I know though that there is more than one possible view of him, also that he did have periods of success, even if it would be hard to call the reign overall highly successful. For what it is worth he seems to me to have been decent and well-intentioned, albeit a monarch wielding the authority he did needs rather more than that to call upon. How his son would have done in the role we can never know, though we do know that his grandson proved inadequate, and speculation as to some different path that could have been taken is always tempting.

I am going away today and doubt I will be able to write an entry, in fact depending how things go it might be several days before I can. Minuscule as the readership has been I do intend to continue, though, so any hiatus will be just that. I have learned from doing the work, as well as giving my somewhat flabby from unuse writing muscles regular exercise and finding excuses for genealogical enquiry (not that I ever need much excuse). In the end, while I always hope that others will enjoy what I do I am really doing it for myself, and will carry on while I find it rewarding.
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #20 
Well as far as I'm concerned this thread has become my favorite.  Please continue Peter, when you are able to post of course.
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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Queenslander

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Do continue Peter, it does seem that if you were an early King of England a coronation in December was almost 'de reguer' as both Henry II and William I were crowned within a week of each other (disregarding the years elapsed between).
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Peter

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Thanks both, and I'm glad you've been enjoying it. I'm away from my usual London haunts and down on the south coast, staying with my sister for Christmas, and wasn't sure whether she would mind me bringing my laptop (my health isn't up to long train journeys so they had to collect me by car) or what sort of time I'd have here for such things. The former was evidently OK, the latter remains to be seen. Anyway I wrote the second paragraph above just to make it clear that if I disappeared for a few days it wasn't because I'd lost interest, and the series will definitely continue for a while at least.

William II was crowned in September, Henry I in August but Stephen in December again, so it does seem to have been something of a favourite month for it. Of course there was always a rush to be crowned in those days, the ceremony being seen as conferring legitimacy, so much of this is pure coincidence and results from the accession dates of the monarchs concerned.
Peter

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[marburg-41] 

                                               The portal of St Elisabeth’s Church, Marburg

21st December

1308: Heinrich I, Landgrave of Hesse, dies. He was not only the first Heinrich to be Landgrave of Hesse, he was the first Landgrave of Hesse full stop. A younger son of Hendrik II, Duke of Brabant, Heinrich was born from that ruler’s second marriage, to Sophie of Thuringia. Brabant went to his elder half-brother Hendrik III, eventually to pass to the Dukes of Burgundy by marital inheritance, but Heinrich had his own claim through his mother, to the powerful and important Landgraviate of Thuringia.

The Ludowingian line had ruled much of the area since the 11th century, being elevated to Landgraves early in the 12th, in which century also they had inherited large portions of Hesse, adjacent to Thuringia on the west. The combined territories made a formidable power base, but Heinrich of Hesse’s uncle Heinrich Raspe was the last to rule them together. With his childless death the male line of the Ludowingians became extinct, and three competing claimants would join in the 17-year-long War of the Thuringian Succession.

Sophie of Thuringia was the daughter and heir by primogeniture of Landgrave Ludwig IV, Heinrich Raspe’s elder brother, and claimed on behalf of her minor son Heinrich; Sophie’s cousin Heinrich III, ‘the Illustrious’, Margrave of Meissen, was the son of Jutta, a sister of Ludwig IV and Heinrich Raspe, and claimed as the latter’s designated heir; and the Archbishop of Mainz claimed the lands of Hesse had reverted to him as feudal suzerain.

The eventual outcome shaped the central portion of the German lands for centuries to come. Thuringia went to the Wettins of Meissen, who would use this substantial addition to their territories to rise to the Electorate of Saxony, and Hesse went to the House of Brabant in the person of Heinrich I, progenitor of its Hessian and before long only surviving branch, and of the Landgraves of Hesse who would rise to their height of power and influence with the Reformation leader Philip the Magnanimous, and whose line continues today, as indeed does that of Heinrich III of Meissen, a male-line ancestor of the present Queen.

Marburg in Hesse was the retirement place of Sophie of Thuringia’s mother the famous St Elisabeth of Hungary, and Heinrich I was buried there in the church dedicated to his grandmother, whose descent survives to today only through him. So too were the Landgraves of Hesse right up until the 16th century and the Reformation. Philip the Magnanimous then had the relics of St Elisabeth removed, not wanting Protestant Marburg to continue as a Catholic pilgrimage site, but her descendants lie there still, Heinrich I the first among them.

1549: The death of Marguerite of Angoulême, Queen Consort of Navarre as wife of Henri II, and sister and only full sibling of François I of France. Her brother was greatly devoted to her, as indeed all who came into her orbit appeared to be. The famous theologian Erasmus wrote to Marguerite ‘I have long cherished all the many excellent gifts that God bestowed upon you; prudence worthy of a philosopher; chastity; moderation; piety; an invincible strength of soul, and a marvellous contempt for all the vanities of this world’, and she evoked similar admiration from persons both eminent and humble wherever she went.

She left a literary legacy in the form of the celebrated Heptaméron and a number of other works, and her living legacy was her daughter and only child to survive infancy Jeanne III of Navarre, leader of the French Reformation and mother of Henri III, who as Henri IV would be among the greatest Kings of France.

22nd December

1095: The future Roger II of Sicily is born in Mileto, Calabria. The youngest son of Roger I, Count of Sicily and conqueror of the great island from its Muslim rulers, he would raise the county to a kingdom and be ancestor of all its future monarchs bar two. One of whom, the usurping Charles of Anjou, was displaced by the other, Pero III of Aragón who was married to the island’s heiress Constance.

1135: The simultaneous accession and coronation of Stephen, only bearer of the name to be King of England. A grandson of William the Conqueror, he was neither the senior male nor the senior heir among the latter’s descendants, but seized the opportunity created by the death of Henry I and a general reluctance to accept his only surviving legitimate child the Empress Matilda as heiress to take England for himself. Normandy he was unable to secure, and his grasp on England often became tenuous during the near nineteen years of his reign, dominated by Matilda’s attempts to obtain her father’s legacy.

Stephen’s reign did end with him at peace and undisputed King, but this was not because he had triumphed but because he had conceded that his heir at death would be his cousin once removed (the link is calculated in a way that shows another interesting relationship between the two), Matilda’s son the future Henry II, rather than his own son William. After a gap of 172 years Stephen’s blood would return to the English throne in the person of Edward III, whose wife Philippa of Hainaut was also of the descent. Every English and British sovereign ever since has had the dual descent, which over the generations became many times multiple.

1708: Hedvig Sophia of Sweden, Duchess of Holstein-Gottorp by marriage to her and her father’s cousin Friedrich IV, dies of smallpox. Her brother Karl XII, far away on campaign, did not receive the news until July, and so deep had been his love for his sister that this was the only time he was ever seen to weep. Hedvig Sophia’s death left her son Karl Friedrich, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp in succession to his father, as theoretical heir to the unmarried Karl XII, but when the latter died swift legal manoeuvres by his mother’s younger sister Ulrika Eleonore placed her rather than her nephew on Sweden’s throne.

Ulrika Eleonore though married was as childless as her brother, but nevertheless neither Karl Friedrich, who anyway predeceased his aunt, nor his son Peter, now sole legitimate descendant of the Kings Karl X and Karl XI, ever succeeded to Sweden’s throne. Peter however is better known as Peter III, Emperor of All the Russias through maternal inheritance, and after his usurping wife and second cousin Catherine II all the Emperors of Russia were of his and therefore his grandmother Hedvig Sophia’s blood, as are the Danish, Swedish, Dutch and Spanish monarchs today, plus the Prince of Wales, a future British monarch.

[Stepan_Blois] 
                                                                 Stephen of England
Peter

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[L%C3%A9gended%27Henri_III] 

                                           The murder in the King’s presence of Henri I, duc de Guise

23rd December

1173: Ludwig I, Duke of Bavaria is born. His father Otto I had in 1180 become the first Wittelsbach Duke of Bavaria, and in 1214 Ludwig would obtain the enfeoffment of the Palatinate of the Rhine, which remained a Wittelsbach possession until 1918. See Blood Royal II post #19 for the rather involved story of the Palatinate inheritance.

1588: Henri I, duc de Guise, is stabbed to death by soldiers of the royal bodyguard in the presence of the King, Henri III. Next day a similar fate befell his brother Louis, Cardinal Guise, and the threat the House of Guise posed to the French throne was ended. Brave, charismatic, capable, affable to all, popular and implacably opposed to the succession of the Protestant Henri of Navarre, Henri of Guise could have so easily become King. He had the royal blood of France through his mother, being a second cousin of Henri III, and while not a Capetian he was of the ancient House of Lorraine and a French nobleman. Later in the French Wars of Religion the Catholic side would actually proclaim a non-French, non-Capetian woman as sovereign, the Spanish Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia, so evidently for them the laws and succession order of France had become an irrelevance.

In the end Guise’s ambitions did not stretch quite that far. Nor did his descent stretch very far; he had as many as 14 children, but the death in 1705 of his last descendant, a great-granddaughter, made his entire posterity extinct. His collateral posterity, and the whole posterity of his father François, duc de Guise, another assassination victim, is through his brother Charles, duc de Mayenne, also a prominent player in the politics of the time but a more emollient figure who accepted Henri IV as King upon his conversion and did much to calm continuing opposition to him.

As I did in the 16th December 1614 entry above for Eberhard III of Württemberg, I will show the two main conduits of descent from Mayenne and the elder Guise by tracing them to the Emperor Franz II, later Emperor of Austria as Franz I, the first through his father the Emperor Leopold II and the second through his mother Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain. Incidentally, both these routes also carry descent from one of history’s great villainesses, Lucrezia Borgia, though she has always seemed to me to have been unjustly maligned. Lucrezia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI, was the great-grandmother of Henri of Guise and Charles of Mayenne through their mother Anna d’Este.

1750: The birth of Friedrich August of Saxony, who would be Elector of Saxony as Friedrich August III and then its first King as Friedrich August I, reigning also as Duke of Warsaw. He had been named King of Poland in succession to Stanisław II Poniatowski, but declined what was by then the nominal honour of the Polish throne. It is often thought that the now dynastically defunct Albertine line of the House of Wettin had a continuing claim to Poland because of this, but it did not; the succession was specifically to Friedrich August and the heirs male of his body, or those of his daughter Princess Maria Augusta, and neither had any, so the entitlement expired.

1864: Princess Zorka of Montenegro is born, eldest daughter of the Prince and future King Nikola I. She would marry Prince Peter Karađorđević, also a future monarch as Peter I of Serbia, but dying aged only 25 she was never Queen. Her son Alexander I and grandson Peter II were however successive Kings of Yugoslavia, and her great-grandson Crown Prince Alexander II today claims the Serbian throne.

Peter

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[800px-Elena_Pavlovna_of_Russia] 

                                              Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna of Russia

24th December

1166: The future King John is born at Beaumont Palace in Oxford, the youngest child of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. His brother Richard had also been born there nine years earlier, but was to spend little of his life or reign in England, which he disliked. John’s loss of the bulk of the French possessions meant that in contrast he was the first King since the Conquest, the ineffectual Stephen aside, to reside mainly in England. His barons and people came to see this as a mixed blessing, but it nevertheless benefited the realm long-term.

1257: The death aged 39 of Jan I, Count of Hainaut. He was the eldest son of Margaret II, Countess of Flanders in her own right, but his inheritance from her was by no means straightforward. Her marriage to Jan I’s father Bouchard IV d’Avesnes had been condemned (though apparently not formally dissolved) on unclear grounds by Pope Innocent III, and Margaret remarried, possibly bigamously, to Guillaume II of Dampierre (a closer relative than her first husband, so presumably the grounds for objection had not been consanguinity, though you never know). One might expect then that the legitimacy of the children of the second marriage would be challenged, but instead it was those of the first who found their position questioned.

The inevitable succession war followed, with the outcome being that Flanders went to Guillaume III of Dampierre, son of the second marriage, while Hainaut went to Jan I, son of the first. He married Adelaide of Holland, and after her death their son Jan II inherited Holland through her. Jan II’s son Willem III, Count of Hainaut, Holland and Zeeland, was the father of Philippa of Hainaut, consort of Edward III of England, and also of an elder daughter Margaret, through whom the three counties eventually passed into the capacious maw of the Dukes of Burgundy, rejoining Flanders, an earlier meal for the Dukes.

1281: The death of Henri V, Count of Luxembourg. First of the Limburg line to rule there, he had inherited Luxembourg from his mother Ermesinda. He would be succeeded by his son Henri VI and he by his Henri VII, who coincidentally kept the same numeral as the Emperor Heinrich VII, first of three Emperors of the Luxembourg/Limburg line.

1389: The birth of Jean VI, Duke of Brittany, also numbered Jean V. His paternal grandfather Jean, Count of Montfort, had claimed the Duchy as Jean IV in succession to his elder half-brother Jean III, son of Arthur II by his first wife Marie of Limoges, while the younger Jean’s mother was Yolande of Dreux, previously Queen of Scots as wife of Alexander III. Jean IV’s claim was contested by Charles of Blois, husband of Jeanne of Penthièvre, daughter and heiress of Guy, Count of Penthièvre, a younger full brother (and therefore elder to Jean IV) of Jean III. After the many complicated manoeuvres of the War of Breton Succession that ensued, Jean VI’s father Jean V triumphed, the later canonised (and still later uncanonised) Charles of Blois dead in battle.

The peace agreement however included a provision that while the succession to Brittany would be in the Montfort male line, if that failed the Penthièvres would have the reversion. They were not however willing to wait, and in 1420 kidnapped Jean VI. His wife Jeanne of France rallied support and managed to free her husband, who declared the peace agreement nullified and the rights of the Penthièvres extinguished. This had the consequence that when in 1488 Jean VI’s grandson François II died without male heirs his daughter Anne inherited, and by her marriages to first Charles VIII then Louis XII the last of the great independent feudal domains became absorbed into the Crown of France.

The War of Breton Succession is somewhat tangentially discussed in the latter part of the 1517 note on posterities and, in the context of descent from Jeanne of France’s father Charles VI, the note for 1415 shows that she and Jean VI were universal ancestors of the sovereigns of today. One of the routes shown in that note for James I of Scotland demonstrates the same thing in a different way, and yet a third way is shown by the 1492 note and the last footnote to that for 1517 in combination. So I think this point can be regarded as sufficiently established.

1597: The birth of a son to Hercule, Seigneur of Monaco. Aged six the boy succeeded as Honoré II, and later would become the first to use the title Prince of Monaco, maintained by his successors ever since. He switched his small but strategically-sited domain’s allegiance from Spain to France, being granted in consequence the titles Duke of Valentinois and Marquess of Baux by Louis XIII, titles still used in the family today. Apart from Monaco’s present Prince Albert II, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg is a descendant of Honoré II; a verifying link can be found in the 1330 note on posterities part II, in the context of showing descent from the Eastern Emperor Andronicus III.

1634: Archduchess Mariana of Austria is born. Daughter of the future Emperor Ferdinand III, she would be Queen of Spain as wife of her uncle (among other things) Felipe IV, and mother of Carlos II, last Habsburg King of Spain. The latter’s well-known disabilities and deformities are usually attributed to the quasi-incestuous marriage habits of the Spanish Habsburgs, and no doubt this was the cause, yet with exactly the same ancestry as her brother Mariana’s daughter Infanta Margarita Teresa was perfectly fine and normal in every respect. As evidence that hope springs eternal, possibly also that some people never learn, Margarita Teresa in turn was wed to her uncle (among other things), the Emperor Leopold I.

1660: Mary, eldest daughter of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, dies of smallpox at Whitehall Palace, where she was visiting her recently-restored brother Charles II. She was the widow of Willem II, Princess of Orange, and the mother of Willem III, who would become King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland as William III and II. Mary was the first ever bearer of the title Princess Royal, adopted in imitation of the French title Madame Royale given to the King’s eldest daughter. The title was not revived until the reign of George II, who awarded it to his eldest daughter Anne, coincidentally also a Princess of Orange by marriage.

1784: The birth in St Petersburg of Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna of Russia, a daughter of Grand Duke Paul, the later Emperor Paul I. Called Elena because her mother thought she was as beautiful as Helen of Troy, she would marry Friedrich Ludwig, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and by him is an ancestress of two current sovereigns, Margrethe II of Denmark and Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. For links, see the first part of the 1848 note on posterities.

1837: In Munich, capital of Bavaria, a daughter is born to the non-reigning line of the Dukes in Bavaria. Christened Elisabeth, she would be famous as the consort of Franz Joseph I of Austria, and her often tragic and troubled life would end at the hands of an assassin, inflicting yet more tragedy on her husband.

1845: Prince Vilhelm of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg is born in Copenhagen. Aged six he would become Prince Vilhelm of Denmark, and aged 17 George I, King of the Hellenes. His bringing the Ionian Islands as an accession gift guaranteed his popularity (the islands were a British protectorate, and Vilhelm/George was a younger brother of the Princess of Wales, so family influence came into play), which was further cemented by his learning Greek and his choice of an Orthodox bride, Grand Duchess Olga Constantinevna of Russia.

He reigned for 49 years and, almost uniquely for a Greek monarch, was never deposed or even threatened with the same. He too met his fate at the hands of an assassin but this appears to have been a lone madman without political motivation, and George I died as loved as he had lived. The King of Spain is his descendant, and the British sovereign for the next four generations at minimum will be of his direct male line.

1879: The birth of Duchess Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, a great-great-granddaughter of Elena Pavlovna above. She would marry the future Christian X of Denmark and be the country’s Queen through both World Wars. Her granddaughter Margrethe II reigns today.

[Prince_Vilhelm_of_Denmark%2C_later_King_of_the_Hellenes] 

                                                           Prince Vilhelm of Denmark, aged eight

Peter

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Reply with quote  #26 

Resuming after what turned out to be quite a lengthy hiatus, I meditated doing a summary of the missed days but decided against. While there were events I would have covered only one stirred any great genealogical interest, and that one (the December 28 anniversary of the birth of Margaret, Duchess of Parma) needs more of an essay than a paragraph or two, so I have marked it down as a future Blood Royal II topic. December 30 though was quite a busy and interesting day for royal anniversaries, so I will be writing about that before I move on to today. This note is by way of putting myself under obligation to actually do it rather than just think about it; the writing is hard work, and a habit much easier to break than it is to get back into!

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No problem, do enjoy this time to be with those beloved to you and when time comes for you to pick up the pen I will be waiting upon your every word.
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Peter

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Thanks, I'm flattered! I've actually been home since Tuesday morning, but was too tired then to write anything and too indolent yesterday. Anyway, December 30th will be along in a few minutes, though I suspect December 31st will also be a day late. If it is I will try to catch up with myself by doing New Year's Day tomorrow as well, its proper date after all. Speaking of which, I wish everyone who reads this a very Happy New Year.
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[uk_-_858006] 

30th December

1371: Vasily I of Moscow is born. He would be the last Grand Prince of Moscow from whom known descent survives to the royalty of today, or indeed to anyone; see the third part of the 1453 note on posterities for details.

1460: The death at the Battle of Wakefield of Richard, Duke of York, who initiated the Yorkist claim to the throne and thus the Wars of the Roses, and also of his 17-year-old second son Edmund, Earl of Rutland. His eldest son Edward, Earl of March, eventually triumphed and became Edward IV. Descent of course survives from him, indeed he is a universal ancestor of today’s sovereigns, and also from his siblings Anne, Duchess of Exeter and George, Duke of Clarence, both of whom are ancestors of the present Queen (Anne I, Anne II; Clarence I, Clarence II), Clarence also of the King of Belgium and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg (stage I, stage II; the latter stage goes to their grandfather Léopold III of Belgium) and Anne of the Prince of Monaco (stage I, stage II).

Unsurprisingly, it does not from the teenage Edmund, who never married and had no children, but it does, and quite interestingly, from his possible slayer. The Duke of York had been killed in the fighting, his head subsequently displayed over the gates of York alongside that of his son. The latter possibly also perished in the battle, but another account is that he was apprehended fleeing the field, and on being identified was stabbed in the heart by John, 9th Lord Clifford, with the words ‘Thy father slew mine, and so will I do thee and all thy kin’. This was harsh if so, for Clifford’s father had died in the earlier First Battle of St Albans, as opposed to being murdered in cold blood.

Clifford himself would meet his death in combat, leaving a son Henry, 10th Lord Clifford, called ‘the Shepherd Lord’ as he had grown up in hiding, literally tending sheep, until with the final Lancastrian victory it was safe for him to reemerge. Among his and his father’s descendants are the Queen (stage I, stage II as Anne II above), the Prince of Monaco (stage I, stage II) and a noble lady who some allegedly think ought to be Queen instead of Elizabeth II.

The Shepherd Lord’s grandson Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland, married as his first wife Lady Eleanor Brandon, a granddaughter of Henry VII by his younger daughter Mary. The argument is that the last will of Henry VIII, given statutory force by Parliament, excluded the descendants of his elder sister Margaret, and the more senior descendants of the younger sister Mary were of dubious legitimacy. It ought therefore to have been Eleanor Brandon’s extremely scandalous great-granddaughter Lady Anne Stanley that succeeded Elizabeth I, rather than James VI of Scotland whose claim was through Margaret. And on a strict reading of the law it should, but James was the only practicable proposition so the law was simply ignored.

Anne Stanley’s posterity appears to be extinct, so as explained here the present (arguable) heiress of the ‘claim’ is Lady Caroline Child-Villiers, a descendant of Anne Stanley’s younger sister Frances. As already mentioned, on technical and legal grounds the basis of claim is quite sound. From any realistic point of view though the whole idea is, it must be said, utterly preposterous.

1525: Jakob Fugger ‘the Rich’ dies in his home city of Augsburg. He had raised the family fortune built up by his father Jakob Fugger the Elder to a Europe-wide financial empire, and had bankrolled the elections of two real Emperors, Maximilian I and Charles V. He was without issue, but descent survives to today from his brothers Ulrich and Georg and includes the Prince of Liechtenstein, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and King of Belgium (stage I for all; stage II Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Belgium) and also the King of the Netherlands (stage I; stage II).

1777: The death of Maximilian III Joseph of Bavaria. He had no children and was the last of the male line of the Emperor Ludwig IV, arguments over who was his proper heir being resolved only by the War of Bavarian Succession. On the face of it the question was straightforward, the Bavarian Electorate should pass to the Elector Palatine Karl Theodor, head of the senior branch of the House of Wittelsbach. However, according to the terms of the Peace of Westphalia the two Wittelsbach electorates could not be held jointly, and to succeed in Bavaria Karl Theodor must first relinquish the Palatinate to his own heir Karl II August, Duke of Zweibrücken.

This he was most reluctant to do, and in the meantime the Emperor Joseph II was casting covetous eyes on Bavaria, to which he had no arguable claim but he wanted it anyway. He made a proposition to Karl Theodor to exchange the bulk of Bavaria for a part of the Austrian Netherlands, in which the latter was very interested. Other European powers and German princes were utterly opposed, as was the Emperor’s still-living mother the formidable Maria Theresa. The upshot was that war was declared though only desultorily fought, the peace settlement allowing Karl Theodor to keep the Palatinate and take Bavaria, less a small portion of it surrendered to Austria (where it remains), the junior Palatinate electorate lapsing. The combined territories were subsequently inherited by Karl II August’s brother Maximilian, who as Maximilian I Joseph became first King of Bavaria.

1916: The last ever coronation of a King of Hungary, as IV. Károly takes the traditional vows (though at the Matthias Church in Buda rather than the traditional location Székesfehérvár) and is invested with the Holy Crown and the other royal regalia. A coronation in the midst of war might seem a needless extravagance, but was in fact a practical necessity; until the ceremony had been performed the new King’s powers were severely limited, and he could not for example sign the budget due at the end of the calendar year. The ceremony was filmed, the only Hungarian coronation ever to be so. I would love to think that some day there will be another, but the proposition is sadly unlikely.

1947: Another sad anniversary, as Michael I of Romania is forced to abdicate by the Communist regime that then terrorised the country for decades. There is rather more hope that he will not be the last Romanian monarch, though the succession issues the King has himself created are not helping the cause.

[Karloath]The last Hungarian coronation; IV. Károly wears the Crown of St Stephen

Queenslander

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Reply with quote  #30 
For purely the 'wrong sort of' reasons the Crown Of St Stephen [Hungary} always finds me in nervous laughter with it's apparent lop sided cross atop it. Who knows with the current govt there we might see another?
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