April 26

April 26th 1478 
The Pazzi attack Lorenzo de’ Medici and kills his brother Giuliano during High Mass in the Duomo of Florence

Like the Medici family, the Pazzi's were a rich family of bankers, think of them as the JV version of the Medici's varsity team. Basically they were sick of being second class to the Medici's and they decided to try to take over control of Florence by plotting against the Medicis. The Medicis had a lot of enemies - it comes with the territory of being the de facto rulers of a city - among them was Pope Sixtis IV (probably not a good idea to make an enemy of the Pope) and it was actually the Pope who sought to destroy the dominion of Medici - they had grown too powerful for his liking - and it was for this purpose he created an antimedicei group, lead of course by the Pazzi who had replaced the Medici's as the Pope's personal bank. 

On Sunday April 26th 1478 while attending High Mass in the Duomo, before a crowd of 10, 000 they attacked. There had been rumors of assassination of various members of the Medici family - the would be assassins weren't very good at keeping it under wraps - and of course Lorenzo de' Medici found out and of course made appropriate precautions. I guess he didn't think that they would attack in the House of God so he left the Duomo unprotected. Oops. Lorenzo, these are assassins, they don't care about murdering in the House of God, what were you thinking! Honestly man! They even had the POPE's blessing - that is like having permission from God himself!

Lorenzo's brother Giuliano was stabbed 19 times by Bernardo Bandi and Francesco de' Pazzi. While Giuliano lay bleeding to death on the cathedral floor, Lorenzo was able to escape to the sacristy with serious, but non life-threatening injuries. The coup d'état had failed and at the same time it enraged the Florentines - who dared to hurt their beloved Medicis! The Florentines seized and killed the conspirators - Jacopo de' Pazzi was tossed from a window then dragged naked through the streets and thrown into the Arno River by an angry mob; Francesco de' Pazzi and Bernardo Banid were hung all despite Lorenzo's pleas to the people of Florence not to exact their revenge. 

The Pazzi family were stripped of all their possessions in Florence, very remnant of their name was erased and banned as well as their family crest. In the aftermath, Pope Sixtus IV forbid Mass and communion in Florence for the execution of the Salviati archbishop. I guess he was a little ticked off that the conspiracy failed and that the Medici's remained in power . . . although Florence did kill an archbishop, but he was trying to kill their rulers.  

April 26th 1923
The Duke of York (George VI) weds Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Westmister Abbey

When the Duke of York married his bride Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923 he was merely the younger brother of the Prince of Wales, the second son of King George V. Fast forward thirteen years when Edward VIII abdicates and low and behold the second son, Albert, Duke of York is made King George VI and his lady Duchess became Queen - and she eventually became the beloved Queen Mum.

It took Elizabeth, a while to accept Bertie's proposal - he proposed on 3 different occasions! He must have really loved her to keep on asking (and being turned down twice)  and eventually his persistence paid off. His choice in a bride caused some controversy considering he was an heir to the throne and she was legally a commoner by birth - princes were expected to marry princesses of course or at the very least a girl from a noble family. But Bertie would have none of it - he only wanted Elizabeth. 

Like all royal weddings, it was a grand affair however it was clearly a ceremony fitting a prince and not a future king (after all Edward was still alive and kicking and he had not yet made the decision to marry a divorcée). There were a total of eight bridesmaids and Elizabeth's dress was made from deep ivory chiffon moire and it was embroidered with pearls and silver thread - in fact it was designed to match the traditional Flanders lace which was provided by her future mother-in-law Queen Mary. After the ceremony the happy newly weds took off on their honeymoon which ended with Elizabeth catching the "oh so romantic" whooping cough during their stay in Scotland.

Happy Birthday to . . .

Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor
(121 – 180)

William Shakespeare
(1564 – 1616)

Marie de’ Medici, wife of Henry IV of France
(1573 – 1642)

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