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From the Emperor’s Desk: Today is my birthday and we’ll examine different lives and events in Royal History on this date.

1383 – The male line of the Portuguese House of Burgundy becomes extinct with the death of King Fernando, leaving only his daughter Beatrice. Rival claimants begin a period of civil war and disorder.

1721 – Russian Empire is proclaimed by Tsar Peter I after the Swedish defeat in the Great Northern War.

Emperor Peter I the Great of Russia

Soon after peace was made with Sweden, he was officially proclaimed Emperor of All Russia. Some proposed that he take the title Emperor of the East, but he refused. Gavrila Golovkin, the State Chancellor, was the first to add “the Great, Father of His Country, Emperor of All the Russias” to Peter’s traditional title Tsar following a speech by the archbishop of Pskov in 1721.

Peter’s imperial title was recognized by Augustus II of Poland, Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia, and Fredrik I of Sweden, but not by the other European monarchs. In the minds of many, the word emperor connoted superiority or pre-eminence over kings. Several rulers feared that Peter would claim authority over them, just as the Holy Roman Emperor had claimed suzerainty over all Christian nations.



955 – Qian Weijun, king of Wuyue (d. 991)

1071 – William IX, Duke of Aquitaine (d. 1126)

1197 – Juntoku, Japanese emperor (d. 1242)

king (d. 1750)

1689 — João V (October 22, 1689 – July 31, 1750), known as the Magnanimous and the Portuguese Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Braganza who ruled as King of Portugal during the first half of the 18th century. João V’s reign saw the rise of Portugal and its monarchy to new levels of prosperity, wealth, and prestige among European courts.

João V’s reign saw an enormous influx of gold into the coffers of the royal treasury, supplied largely by the royal tax on precious metals) that was received from the Portuguese colonies of Brazil and Maranhão.
Disregarding traditional Portuguese institutions of governance, João V ruled as an absolute monarch. In keeping with a traditional policy pursued by previous monarchs of the House of Braganza and which stressed the importance of relations with Europe, João V’s reign was marked by numerous interventions into the affairs of other European states, most notably as part of the War of the Spanish Succession.

Maria Amalia of Austria, Holy Roman Empress

1701 – Maria Amalia of Austria (Maria Amalie Josefa Anna; October 22, 1701 – December 11, 1756) was Holy Roman Empress, Queen of the Germans, Queen of Bohemia, Electress and Duchess of Bavaria etc. as the spouse of Emperor Charles VII. By birth, she was an Archduchess of Austria, the daughter of Emperor Joseph I and Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Maria Amalia had seven children, only four of whom lived through to adulthood, including Maximilian III, Elector of Bavaria.

1781 – Louis Joseph, Dauphin of France (d. 1789) Louis Joseph Xavier François (October 22, 1781 – June 4, 1789) was Dauphin of France as the second child and first son of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. As son of a king of France, he was a fils de France (“Child of France”). Louis Joseph died at the age of seven from tuberculosis and was succeeded as Dauphin by his four-year-old brother Louis Charles.

Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, German Empress and Queen of Prussia

1858 – Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (October 22, 1858 – April 11, 1921) was the last German Empress and Queen of Prussia by marriage to Wilhelm II, German Emperor.

Augusta Victoria was born at Dolzig Castle, the eldest daughter of Friedrich VIII, future Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, and Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, a great-niece of Queen Victoria, through Victoria’s half-sister Feodora. Augusta Victoria grew up at Dolzig until the death of her grandfather, Christian August II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, in 1869. The family then moved to Castle Primkenau and the estate her father had inherited. She was known within her family as “Dona.”

1859 – Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria (October 22, 1859 – 23 November 23, 1949), was a member of the Bavarian Royal House of Wittelsbach and a General of Cavalry. Following his marriage to Infanta María de la Paz of Spain, the third surviving daughter of Queen Isabella II of Spain and her husband Infante Francisco of Spainhe was also created an Infante of Spain.

Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria, Infante of Spain

Prince Ludwig Ferdinand was the eldest son of Prince Adalbert of Bavaria (1828–75) and Infanta Amalia of Spain (1834–1905). He was a paternal grandson of King Ludwig I of Bavaria and his wife Princess Therese of Saxe-Altenburg. His maternal grandparents were Infante Francisco de Paula of Spain and his wife Princess Luisa Carlotta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.

Ludwig Ferdinand’s paternal uncles were King Maximilian II of Bavaria, King Otto I of Greece and Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria. His maternal uncle was King-Consort Francisco of Spain (1822–1902) and maternally his first cousin was King Alfonso XII of Spain (1857–85), two years his senior. Ludwig Ferdinand was born in Madrid, but his younger siblings in Bavaria, where they had returned. Ludwig II, Otto I and Ludwig III, Kings of Bavaria, were his first cousins. Alfonso XIII (reigned 1885–1931) was a first cousin’s son.


741 – Charles Martel, Frankish king (b. 688)

842 – Abo, Japanese prince (b. 792)

1383 – Ferdinand I of Portugal (b. 1345)

1751 – Willem IV, Prince of Orange, Hereditary Stadtholder of all the United Provinces of the Netherlands. (September 1, 1711 – 22 October 22, 1751). As Prince of Orange he was ruler of the Principality of Orange-Nassau within the Holy Roman Empire.

Willem was born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, the son of Johan Willem Friso, Prince of Orange, head of the Frisian branch of the House of Orange-Nassau, and of his wife Landgravine Marie Louise of Hesse-Cassel (or Hesse-Cassel). He was born six weeks after the death of his father.

Willem succeeded his father as Stadtholder of Friesland and also, under the regency of his mother until 1731, as Stadtholder of Groningen. In 1722 he was elected Stadtholder of Guelders. The four other provinces of the Dutch Republic:, Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Overijssel had in 1702 decided not to appoint a stadtholder after the death of the last stadtholder Willem III, (William III-II, King of England, Scotland and Ireland) issuing the history of the Republic into a period that is known as the Second Stadtholderless Period. In 1747 those four provinces also accepted Willem IV as their stadtholder, becoming the first Hereditary Stadtholder of all the United Provinces of the Netherlands.

On March 25, 1734 Willem IV married at St James’s Palace Anne, Princess Royal, eldest daughter of King George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach.

1761 – Louis George, Margrave of Baden-Baden (b. 1702)

2002 – Queen Geraldine of Albania (b. 1915)