The newest member of the House of Windsor is here and the new son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has arrived on a day with plenty of royal history attached to it. As we all celebrate the new royal baby, here’s a look at the royal story of April 23rd.
It’s already got royal brownie points as a birthday. This new little prince shares his birthday with Lady Gabriella Windsor who was born on April 23rd 1981 at St. Mary’s Hospital, London and given the full name Gabriella Marina Alexandra Ophelia.
If you fancy a bit of history, some of it vague, then back in 1141, the future King Malcolm IV of Scotland arrived on this date. Well, possibly. His date of birth is given as being between April 23rd and May 24th which is covering just about every option going. Much more definite is the birth of King Afonso II of Portugal who arrived on April 23rd 1185 in Coimbra. But don’t expect either name to make it on to the list of baby possibles for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
In 1464, April 23rd was the date that King Louis XI of France and his second wife, Charlotte of Savoy, welcomed a daughter called Jeanne. She was briefly Queen of France herself, as consort to Louis XII, but ended up as a nun and was canonized in 1950. Take a deep breath for the next one because she racks up the names. Princess Charlotte Amalie Wilhelmine of Schleswig-Holstein-Plon arrived on April 23rd 1744. As the latest baby is a boy, we’re not taking any inspiration from those names.
It’s also a date associated with several other royals but for less jolly reasons as they passed away on the date. Childebert III, King of the Franks (711) and Wihtred, King of Kent (725) both died on April 23rd as did Aethelraed of Wessex (871), Aethelraed the Unready (1016), King Alexander I of Scotland (1124) and Adeliza of Louvain, queen consort of England (1151). Let’s spare a thought, too, for Joan of Acre, daughter of King Edward I and his queen, Eleanor of Castile, who passed away on April 23rd 1307.
In other royal news, it’s also the date that Edmund Ironside is succeeded his father, Aethelraed the Unready, as King of England. That passage of power took place in 1016 and ended really rather unhappily as he died in November of the same year with several chroniclers claiming he was murdered while answering a call of nature.
In a smooth moment of medieval PR, King Edward III announced the creation of his new Order of the Garter on St. George’s Day in 1348. See, spin is nothing new. Talking of which, Charles II chose April 23rd for his coronation in 1661 marking a whole new start for the Monarchy following the Civil War, the execution of his father, Charles I, and the Interregnum. And all on the feast day of England’s patron saint.
To that royal roll call, we now add the safe arrival of the latest member of the House of Windsor.
Photo credit: KensingtonRoyal Twitter