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September 18, 1964

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The 55th wedding anniversary of King Constantine II of the Hellenes and Queen Anne-Marie (born Princess of Denmark, daughter of King Frederik IX of Denmark and sister to the current Queen Margarethe II of Denmark).

The couple and their children went into exile in 1967 after a military coup and the monarchy was abolished in 1973. Today the couple lives in Greece again.

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September 18, 1872

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Oscar II (Oscar Fredrik; January 21, 1829 – December 8, 1907) was the King of Sweden from 1872 until his death, and was also the final King of Norway from the House of Bernadotte.

Oscar II became King on 18 September 1872, upon the death of his brother, Carl XV. At his accession, he adopted as his motto Brödrafolkens väl / Broderfolkenes Vel(“The Welfare of the Brother Peoples”). While the King, his family and the Royal Courtresided mostly in Sweden, Oscar II made the effort of learning to be fluent in Norwegian and from the very beginning realized the essential difficulties in the maintenance of the union between the two countries.

Oscar II was King during a time when both Sweden and Norway were undergoing a period of industrialization and rapid technological progress. His reign also saw the gradual decline of the Union of Sweden and Norway, which culminated in its dissolution in 1905. He was subsequently succeeded as King of Norway by his grandnephew Prince Carl of Denmark under the regnal name Haakon VII, and as King of Sweden by his eldest son, Gustaf V.

Oscar II is the paternal great-great-grandfather of Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden since 1973. Harald V, King of Norway since 1991, is a great-grandson of Oscar II, through his third son Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland.

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September 18, 1714: King George I arrives in London.

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George I (May 28, 1660 – June 11, 1727) was King of Great Britain and Ireland from August 1, 1714 and ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) in the Holy Roman Empire from January 2, 1698 until his death in 1727. He was the first British monarchof the House of Hanover.

Born in Hanover to its Elector Ernst August and Electress Sophia Sophia of the Palitinate), George inherited the titles and lands of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg from his father and uncles. A succession of European wars expanded his German domains during his lifetime; he was ratified as prince-elector of Hanover in 1708. After the deaths in 1714 of his mother and his second cousin Anne, Queen of Great Britain (r. 1702–1714), George ascended the British throne as Anne’s closest living Protestant relative under the Act of Settlement 1701. Jacobites attempted, but failed, to depose George and replace him with James Francis Edward Stuart, Anne’s Catholic half-brother.

During George’s reign, the powers of the monarchy diminished and Britain began a transition to the modern system of cabinet government led by a prime minister. Towards the end of his reign, actual political power was held by Robert Walpole, now recognised as Britain’s first de facto prime minister. George died of a stroke on a trip to his native Hanover, where he was buried. He was the last British monarch to be buried outside the United Kingdom.

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September 18, 1180

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Philippe II (21 August 1165 – 14 July 1223), known as Philippe Auguste he was King of France from 1180 to 1223. His predecessors had been known as kings of the Franks, but from 1190 onward, Philippe II became the first French monarch to style himself “King of France”. The son of King Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne, he was originally nicknamed Dieudonné (God-given) because he was a first son and born late in his father’s life. Philippe II was given the epithet “Auguste” by the chronicler Rigord for having extended the crown lands of France so remarkably.

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September 18, 1066: Harald Hardrada arrives in England.

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Harald Sigurdsson (Old Norse: Haraldr Sigurðarson; c. 1015 – September 25, 1066), given the epithet Hardrada (roughly translated as “stern counsel” or “hard ruler”) in the sagas, was King of Norway (as Harald III) from 1046 to 1066. In addition, he unsuccessfully claimed the Danish throne until 1064 and the English throne in 1066. Before becoming king, Harald had spent around fifteen years in exile as a mercenary and military commander in Kievan Rus’ and of the Varangian Guard in the Byzantine Empire.

Harald was born in Ringerike, Norway in 1015 (or possibly 1016) to Åsta Gudbrandsdatter and her second husband Sigurd Syr. Sigurd was a petty king of Ringerike, and among the strongest and wealthiest chieftains in the Uplands. Through his mother Åsta, Harald was the youngest of King Olaf II of Norway.

With the truce and the recognition that he would not conquer Denmark, Harald turned his attention to England. England had belonged to Harthacnut, the son of Canute the Great, until he died childless in 1042. Harald based his claim to the throne of England on an agreement made between Magnus and Harthacnut in 1038, which stated that if either died, the other would inherit the throne and lands of the deceased. When Harthacnut died, Magnus the Good (King of Norway from 1035 and King of Denmark from 1042, ruling over both countries until his death in 1047) assumed the crown of Denmark and considered himself the lawful heir to Harthacnut.

When Edward died in January 1066, he was to Harald’s dismay succeeded by Harold Godwinson, a son of one of Edward’s advisors . Harald allied himself with Tostig Godwinson, (c. 1026 – September 25 1066) brother of King Harold Godwinson. After being exiled by his brother, Tostig supported the Norwegian king Harald Hardrada’s invasion of England, and both were killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on September 25, 1066 by the army of King Harold. Harold marched south where he met the army of Duke William II of Normandy at Hastings (near the town of Senlac) and was defeated in battle on October 14, 1066. Duke William marched onto London and was crowned as King of England on Christmas Day 1066.