02 May 2015

Happy Birthday, Princess of Cambridge!

By Ricky Wilson via Wikimedia Commons
The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a much-anticipated baby girl this morning at 8:34 a.m., which was 3:34 a.m. for those of us on the U.S.-Canada Atlantic Coast. After the long wait, the big news happened while we were sleeping. Perhaps some of you West Coasters were still awake! Congratulations to the happy family!

Here are all my posts about what they might name the baby:
Cambridge Baby #2 Names
Unusual Name Choices for the Cambridge Baby
Final Baby Name Predictions

Now, let's take a look at other significant births on May 2.

via Wikimedia Commons
The most significant is undoubtedly the birth of an insignificant German princess named Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst in 1729. Despite her relatively low birth, she became one of the most powerful women in history. Politics led the Prussian king to marry off his subject to the heir of Elizabeth Empress of Russia, daughter of Peter the Great. With no children of her own, Elizabeth adopted her nephew Peter as heir and renamed his new wife Catherine after her own mother, Empress Catherine I. Peter while was a cruel idiot. He didn't rule long before the Army rose in a coup supporting Catherine as Empress. Considered one of the "enlightened despots" of the 18th century, Catherine sought to introduce many reforms into the "backwards" Russian nation, seeing herself as the true heir of Peter the Great. She was disappointed in trying to end serfdom, but did expand the empire and is remembered today as Catherine the Great.

Another girl born on this day also later changed her name to Catherine, Born in France in 1806 as  Zoe, St. Catherine Labouré adopted her new name when she became a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. After she had a vision of the Virgin Mary, the Miraculous Medal of the Virgin, which many people wear today. Her vision also reinforced a growing belief in the Immaculate Conception of Mary that was later incorporated as official doctrine by the Roman Catholic Church. The popular Pope John Paul II even used some of the imagery from the medal as part of his coat of arms. Today, the uncorrupted body of St. Catherine Labouré can be viewed in Paris.

via Wikimedia Commons
In 1890, Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark was a born. A great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, she grew up to marry one of the least responsible princes of the 20th century. If Britain's King Edward VIII is the most famous throne-shirker, his cousin King Carol II of Romania is actually the worst. Married illegally to a Romanian, whom he had divorced before marrying his royal bride, Carol later ran off with another lowborn Romanian and surrendered his throne. Then, he later returned to take the throne from Helen's only child, King Michael, who is still living today although he permanently lost the throne after World War II. Although three decades older, Helen was a first cousin of Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh, our new baby's 93-year-old great-granddaddy.

Other famous people born on May 2:
Child psychologist Dr. Benjamin Spock (1903-1998)
Fiddler on the Roof actor Theodore Bikel (1924- ), 91 today
Famous actor Engelbert Humperdinck (1936- ), 79 today
Model, actress, and famous ex-wife Bianca Jagger (1945- ), 70 today
Much-banned singer-songwriter Judge Dread (1945-1998)
Detective Hercule Poirot actor David Suchet (1946- ), 69 today
Founder of the Dyson Company, James Dyson (1947- ), 68 today
Gardener and presenter Alan Titchmarsh (1949- ), 66 today (known to royalwatchers for his Golden Jubilee special)
"I Don't Want to Live Without You" singer Lou Gramm (1950- ), 65 today
American actor Christine Baranski (1952- )
Donatella Versace (1955- ), 60 today (OMG she looks older to me!)
Celebrity chef Phil Vickery (1961- ), 54 today
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (1972- ), 43 today
French pop singer Lorie (1982- ), 33 today
Singer actor Lily Allen (1985- ), the big 3-0 today

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