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Today marks the Anniversary of the Death of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, who died on this day in 1985. The second daughter of Grand Duke William IV of Luxembourg and Infanta Marie Anne of Portugal, her older sister, Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde, had succeeded their father in 1912, but was forced to abdicate in 1919, allowing for the accession of the 22-year old Grand Duchess Charlotte. Later that year, she married her first cousin Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma and the couple had six children, including Grand Duke Jean. After Luxembourg neutrality was violated during the Second World War, the Grand Ducal Family fled first to France, then Portugal and the United States before setteling in Canada, with the family of her sister-in-law, Empress Zita of Austria, while the Grand Duchess set up a government in exile in the United Kingdom, becoming a symbol of the resistance through her broadcasts. After the liberation of Luxembourg and her return, Grand Duchess Charlotte worked to raise Luxembourg’s profile on the international stage until her abdication in 1964, remaining in retirement at Schloss Fischbach until her death from cancer in 1985.
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Wow! What’s with all this inbreeding? Marrying your first cousin? The royal gene pool isn’t the healthiest or smartest!