01 May 2015

May Birth Dates for Cambridge Baby

In March, I offered possible historic ties for April birthdates for the anticipated second child of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Now that April is behind us with no baby in sight, I thought I would update you on significant dates in the first week of May. (Since the parking restrictions around Kate's hospital have only been extended until May 5th, everyone is crossing fingers for an imminent arrival.)

Margaret of Connaught
By Carl Rudolph Sohn (1845-1908) 
(The Royal Collection) via Wikimedia Commons
May 1:
In 1859, Queen Victoria's seventh child, Prince Arthur, the future Duke of Connaught. Interestingly, several knowledgeable royalwatchers have offered Arthur for the new baby if it is a boy. Thirty-three years later, his daughter Princess Margaret of Connaught, the future Crown Princess of Sweden was born on this day. Her grandson, King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden celebrated his birthday yesterday. Today is also the 51st birthday of The Queen's niece, Lady Sarah Chatto, who coincidentally (or not) named one of her sons Arthur.

May 2:
On this date, 199 years ago, Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg. She was the heir to the British throne who died tragically giving birth to a stillborn son, and her widower eventually became the first King of the Belgians. He named his first daughter for his late wife, but that daughter, who as Empress of Mexico lost her husband to a firing squad, is best known as Mad Carlota. Nevertheless, some royal fans believe the Cambridges could name a daughter Charlotte.

Helena Victoria
Alexander Bassano 
via Wikimedia Commons
May 3:
In 1870, another of Queen Victoria's granddaughters, Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig Holstein, was born. Despite her Germanic title, she lived most of her life in Windsor, where her father was the Ranger of Windsor Great Park, an honor currently held by The Queen's husband, Prince Philip. She dropped her German territorial title during World War I. Also, Cecily Neville, Duchess of York was born on this date exactly 500 years ago. As the wife of Richard Plantagenet, she was the mother of the first Yorkist King Edward IV and his extremely famous brother King Richard III (of recent car park fame). She was also mother-in-law of Tudor King Henry VII. I have not seen Cecily on many lists of royal baby names, but maybe it could happen. Readers of historical fiction will definitely recognize Cecily from the many, many books about the Wars of the Roses.

May 4:
In another Wars of the Roses link, King Edward IV defeated the Lancastrians on this date in 1471 and killed their heir, Edward Prince of Wales, whose widow Anne Neville later married Edward IV's brother, Richard III.

May 5:
This date is not a happy one for the British monarchy. In 1215, the barons renounced their allegiance to King John, which ultimately led to the Magna Carta, which limited the power of the sovereign. A good reason why perhaps few British since then have been named John. Then, 435 years later, King Charles I, dissolved the Short Parlimanent. His insistence on his Divine Right as king eventually caused Parliament to behead him. Although his son Charles II restored the monarchy after a couple of decades, their shared name fell into disuse. Most people were quite surprised when The Queen chose it for her first son, Prince William's father, The Prince of Wales.

Princess Margaret
William Timym
via Wikimedia Commons
May 6:
Ninety-five years ago, The Queen's grandfather became King George V upon the death of his father King Edward VIII. She called him Grandpapa England and he enjoyed romping in the floor with her. I can say with certainty, however, that the new baby will not be called George! In 1960, The Queen's sister Princess Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones. Their turbulent marriage ended in divorce in 1978, and Margaret died in 2002. However, The Queen has remained very close to Margaret's children and grandchildren.

May 7:
Oddly, I don't know of any significant British royal events that have happened on this day. Perhaps our new royal baby will make it significant!

No comments:

Post a Comment