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Women in History: April 19th


797 – Empress Irene of the Byzantine Empire deposes her son Constantine VI, who is blinded and who dies shortly afterwards. She assumes the title of Basilissa, the female form of Basileus (“Emperor”).



1713 – Although lacking a male heir, Charles VI Holy Roman Emperor issued the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 which enabled his female children to assume the Habsburg throne. His daughter was Maria Theresa, the matriarch of a dynasty and mother to Marie Antoinette, the French Queen.



1770 – Marie Antoinette is officially married to Louis XVI in a proxy wedding.


1927 – Mae West was sentenced to 10 days in jail for her outrageous play, Sex. She was sent to the workhouse on Roosevelt Island and fined $500 for the obscenity of her play.


1956 – Famous American actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco are married.


Born on this day in…

626 – Eanflæd (d. 685) was a Kentish princess and Queen of Northumbria. She married Oswiu, King of Northumbria in 642 and their children were: Ecgfrith, Ælfwine, Osthryth, and Ælfflæd. When her husband passed away in 680, Eanflæd retired to the monastery at Whitby, a place that was renowned for its ties to the Northumbrian royal family. After her kinswoman Hild had passed away, Eanflæd and her daughter Ælfflæd became co-abbesses. She is recognized as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church and her feast day is November 24th.

843 – Judith of Bavaria (b. between 797 and 805) was Queen of the Franks and Empress of the Romans, wife to Louis the Pious, King of the Franks and Emperor of the Romans. She was a leading figure in the Carolingian dynasty. With her husband she produced two children, Gisela and Charles (who later became “Charles the Bald”). All throughout the last year of her life, she was sick and suffered from spells of dizziness. After her death, she was interred in Basilica of Saint Martin in Tours, France.


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