As we begin another month, Royal Central takes a look at some of September’s most memorable royal moments:
1 September 1878:
On this day in 1878, Princess Alexandra of Saxe Coburg and Gotha was born in Germany to Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe Coburg and Gotha and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. The Princess went on to have three children with her husband Ernst II and died in 1942 in Germany.
6 September 1997
The funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales was held in Westminster Abbey on this day in 1997. An estimated 2.5 billion people watched the funeral across the globe.
7 September 1533:
On this day in 1533, the second daughter of King Henry VIII was born at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, London. Queen Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry’s second wife, Anne Boleyn and the half-sister of Queen Mary and King Edward VI. Queen Elizabeth would never marry or have any children, becoming known as the ‘Virgin Queen’ and famously stating that she was ‘married to England’. Elizabeth reigned for 45 years, before she died at Richmond Palace in Surrey at the age of 69 in 1603. As there was no heir apparent, the English throne went to King James VI of Scotland who became James I of England.
8 September 1157:
On this day in 1157, King Richard I was born at Beaumont Palace in Oxfordshire, England. Perhaps more famously remembered by the name ‘Richard the Lionheart’, the King had been born in England but spent the majority of his life in France or on crusade. It is believed that he spent as little six months in England as an active monarch and that he used England mainly for financial gain to fund his armies. He was the son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine but was not expected to become King as he was the youngest of several sons at the time of his birth. He was succeeded by King John I. The King is buried in France.
9 September 2015:
On this day in 2015, Queen Elizabeth II overtook her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch in British history. On 13 October 2016, Queen Elizabeth became the longest-serving monarch of all time after the death of the King of Thailand, Rama IX. Her Majesty has also since surpassed celebrating 250,000 days on the throne.
9 September 1087:
On this day in 1087, King William I, otherwise known as William the Conqueror, died in Normandy, France at the age of 59. William famously won the Battle of Hastings in 1066 against Harold Godwinson. King William reigned until his death in 1087 and was succeeded by his son William II. Following an accident involving his horse rearing unexpectedly, he suffered from punctured intestines, which was incredibly painful. On the day of his funeral, his body would not fit into the tomb; given how large his body was and due to the build-up of pressure, his body ‘exploded’, filling the church with putrid intestinal gas.
12 September 1938:
On this day in 1938, Prince Arthur of Connaught died in London. He married his first cousin, Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife, and they had one child, Alistair, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. He was a decorated military man who held the position of 3rd Governor General of South Africa until 1924.
15 September 1984:
On this day in history, Prince Henry Charles Albert David was born at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. Known officially as Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, he is a vocal advocate for reducing the stigma around mental health. The Prince married Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, at St George’s Chapel, Windsor in 2018, and they share a son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. In January 2020, the couple shocked the world when they announced they would be stepping back from their roles as senior royals. They have since relocated to Santa Barbara, California.
15 September 1864:
Prince Sigismund of Prussia was born on this day in 1864; the young royal was the son of Princess Victoria, The Princess Royal and Frederick III, German Emperor. Sadly, the Prince died in 1866 from meningitis. He was the first of Queen Victoria’s grandchildren to die. He is buried in Germany.
16 September 1386:
On this day in 1386, King Henry V was born at Monmouth Castle in Wales to King Henry IV (Henry Bolingbroke) and Mary de Bohun. According to the play, “Henry V” by William Shakespeare, Henry had a riotous youth and often clashed with senior political and religious figures. He married Catherine of Valois and had one son, King Henry VI. The King came to the throne in 1413 and reigned until his sudden death in 1422 at the age of 35, believed to be from dysentery. The King died in France, but his body was interred at Westminster Abbey in London.
16 September 1701:
On this day in 1701, James II died at the age of 67 in France. The King was the son of King Charles I, as well as the younger brother of King Charles II. He was also the father of his successor, Queen Mary II (who reigned alongside her husband William III) and the following monarch, Queen Anne. James II had been born at St James’s Palace in London in 1633 to Henrietta Maria of France. The King married twice and had a total of twenty-seven children, many of which were illegitimate and died at a young age. Parts of the King’s body were removed, such as his heart and brain, and distributed for further scientific study. His body was placed in a tomb in Paris, France.
21 September 1327:
On this day in 1327, King Edward II died at Berkley Castle in Gloucestershire, England at the age of 43. The King was the son of Edward I and Eleanor, Countess of Ponthieu, and a member of the House of Plantagenet. He was born at Caernarfon Castle, Wales in 1284. He is famously remembered for his close and potentially same-sex relationship with Sir Piers Gaveston, as well as for Christopher Marlowe’s play “Edward II.” Edward II went on to marry Isabella of France and had four children together, including the future King Edward III. He also fathered an illegitimate son, Adam Fitzroy, who accompanied his father on a Scottish campaign before his death.
24 September 1950:
On this day in 1950, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine died at Kensington Palace, London. She was the daughter of Princess Alice, daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. She was married to Prince Louis of Battenberg and had four children, two of whom were Princess Alice of Greece and Denmark – the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – and Lord Louis Mountbatten.