Royalty has been infamous for marrying within its own from time immemorial; in fact, this was a way for royal families to ensure their longevity as the ruling class and their birthright to rule intact. Not only was this a way to ensure the purity of the so-called royal bloodline, but family disputes could be resolved by arranging marriages between family members. Throughout history, royal children’s mortality rates were far higher than those of children born in regular households. We will go through a list of royals that had medical and genetic issues caused by inbreeding, giving you an idea as to why being royal has not always been what it is cracked up to be.
Spain’s King Charles II Could Not Eat Or Speak Properly
The House of Habsburg was one of the most powerful and distinguished royal houses in Europe once. It would not be wrong to say that the massive inbreeding in the royal house is what brought it to its knees: the royal line was plagued with mutations and genetic disorders, the worst of which manifested in Charles II.
King Charles II of Spain, also known as El Hechizado or the Bewitched, was plagued by awful genetic disorders. At eight years old he could barely walk and needed help with moving around. He was constantly drooling and spoke and ate with great difficulty. Even though Charles II got married two times, he could not produce an heir, dying issueless in November 1700. He was only 39 when he died and his death put an end to the reign of the Habsburgs in Spain.
Austria’s Ferdinand I Suffered From Several Neurological Problems
Ferdinand I, the Emperor of Austria from 1835 until his abdication in 1848, was also a Habsburg who suffered from his family’s inbreeding. His parents Emperor Franz II and Marie-Therese were double first cousins. Ferdinand I was born with the Habsburg jaw, epilepsy, and hydrocephalus, which causes an accumulation of fluids in the brain, which can lead to brain damage.
As ruler of Austria, Ferdinand was also President of the German Confederation, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia. He did not directly get involved in running his empire due to his myriads of illnesses, and the empire was being controlled by his various regents and counselors, Ferdinand I would find ways to amuse himself: one such thing was for him to sit down into a trash can and roll around on the floor while inside. Ferdinand abdicated in 1848, and lived in Prague until his death in 1875.
European Royalty’s Hemophilia Originated From Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert were first cousins, thereby their marriage was consanguine. It is speculated that Queen Victoria’s hemophilia, a rare blood disorder in which blood does not clot properly, arose spontaneously. Prince Albert, her husband, must have also carried this gene as well for it to be passed on to so many descendants of theirs.
This, again, was a direct effect of the inbreeding rampant within the royals. The fact that this is a genetic disorder and that a lot of her children went on to become part of various royal houses and families meant that Victoria effectively was the cause of hemophilia spreading amongst these families. The last Tsarina of Russia for example, Tsarina Alexandra, was Victoria’s granddaughter, and her son's hemophilia was one of the causes of the fall of the Romanov dynasty.
Tutankhamun Also Suffered From The Effects Of Inbreeding
Inbreeding originated in Egyptian mythology, where the goddess Isis married her brother Osiris to maintain the “purity” of their bloodline. A lot of pharaohs also married their siblings to maintain their royal bloodline’s purity. Even the famous King Tutankhamun was born to siblings, and was most probably a sick and weak child.
Modern scans done on his mummy indicate that he had persistent malaria, an elongated skull, a cleft palate, and a club foot. All combined, these disabilities must have made his life difficult and made him as close to an invalid as an Egyptian king could be. It is speculated that he died not due to any outside forces, but due to all the genetic illnesses brought on by the inbreeding in his family. The Boy King also married his sibling, but unfortunately his children died early on.
Inbreeding May Have Caused Britain To Lose Their American Colonies
King George III of England was a royal from the House of Hanover, which was known for its inbreeding practices, and was the ruler of England when the American colonies declared their independence. The king reportedly suffered from porphyria, an inherited disorder that, along with causing one’s urine to turn bluish-purple, has psychiatric symptoms.
These included hysteria, anxiety, depression, phobias, psychosis, delirium, and altered consciousness ranging from drowsiness to coma. While under one of his manic phases, it is reported that he would talk at length until his mouth started foaming, or would write in writing different than his own with sentences going up to 400 words each. He was given ice baths and put into straitjackets as part of his treatment. At the end of his life, he also developed dementia.
Queen Victoria’s Hemophilia Indirectly Contributed To The End Of The Russian Empire
As mentioned, Queen Victoria passed on her hemophilia to a large chunk of European royalty, so much so that the disorder came to be known as the “royal disease”. One such royal person was Alexei Romanov, the young son of the last Tsar of Russia.
The hemophiliac Alexei Romanov had a lot of bleeding incidents, some of them even life-threatening. Desperate to heal her son, Tsarina Alexandra turned to the mystic Rasputin for help. It was through the guise of helping Alexei live that Rasputin slowly and surely started influencing the Russian royal court. His notoriety caused a lot of resentment amongst the aristocracy and the common Russians, as he came to symbolize all the decadence that the common folk ascribed to the royal family. It was discontent that was some of the driving force behind the Russian Revolution.
Maria I Of Portugal Was Called Maria The Mad
Maria I, also called Maria the Pious and Maria the Mad, was the first undisputed queen regnant of Portugal along with being the first monarch of Brazil. The inbreeding in her family was pretty rampant; in fact, she also contributed to the inbreeding by marrying her uncle, making her son João technically also her cousin.
The Queen was known to suffer from melancholia and religious mania; some experts say that her mental illness was caused by porphyria. Her mental illnesses led her to howl and shriek within her whole estate, making animalistic noises. Her religious mania also played a part in her mental breakdown, especially in 1791 after her confessor died. Queen Maria started having bouts of wailing and screaming afterward as she felt she was destined to be damned without her confessor there.
Elisabeth of Bavaria’s Mental Illnesses Had a Lot To Do With Inbreeding
Elisabeth of Bavaria belonged to the House of Wittelsbach, another family infamous for inbreeding and mental illnesses. She was a product of a cousin marriage and also wedded a cousin of hers, Franz Josef. She was renowned for her beauty, although, coming from an inbred family, she was not mentally sound and suffered from both anorexia and depression.
A fussy eater, Elizabeth often abstains from eating completely, which has led certain experts to believe she suffered from anorexia. She was also obsessed with exercising, often engaging in it for hours every day. Elisabeth had to go through the traumatic suicide of her son, who many surmise may have also had some sort of mental illness. After this incident, she was quite inconsolable and decided to travel around the world. She died in 1898 at the hands of an Italian anarchist.
King Ludwig II Of Bavaria Lost His Throne To Madness
A cousin of Empress Elisabeth and a member of the House of Wittelsbach, King Ludwig II of Bavaria was far removed from reality thanks to his mental illness. As a child, Ludwig II was very imaginative and loved to dress up. He took over the reign of Bavaria when he was 18, so he was obviously, green around the ears.
He soon became the patron of Richard Wagner, the famous composer, and built a space of ostentatious palaces and artistic expression around himself. The King was anything but sensible about spending money: he decided to build large, ostentatious palaces to escape whatever reality surrounded him. It would be fair to say that Ludwig II did not live in the real world. He was eventually deposed from his throne in 1886 and died mysteriously a few days later.
The Hawaiian Princess Nahienaena Was Outcasted For Her Incest
Nahienaena was a high-ranking princess in the early nineteenth century of the Kingdom of Hawaii. This was a time when some of the ruling class converted to Christianity and Protestant missionaries were pretty active in Hawaii.
Nahienaena was in love with her older brother, who was King Kamehameha III, and the Hawaiian chiefs were in favor of this marriage. The royals of Hawaii often indulged in incest, again, to keep their bloodline pure, so this was not a scandalous thing per se. However, the missionaries called it incest and a sin. The princess married her brother in 1825, which resulted in ex-communication from the church.
Joanna Of Castile’s Mental Illness Ruined Her Life
Joanna of Castile was the older sister of Catherin of Aragon, the first wife of England’s King Henry VIII. She came from another inbred royal house: Trastamara, which had for centuries engaged in cousin marriages. Her own parents were also second cousins.
Growing up, Joanna was a diligent and clever child who was also an excellent student. She was married off to Philip the Handsome, the son of the Holy Roman Emperor, in 1496. Joanna became the heiress to the Spanish kingdoms after her older siblings John and Isabella, along with their respective children, died. The deaths coupled with her husband’s philandering caused Joanna to show signs of mental illness, including stabbing a mistress of Philip’s in the face. Upon his unexpected demise, Joanna kept Philip’s corpse in her room so that she could sleep next to it each night.
King Chulalongkorn Of Siam Married Multiple Cousins
King Rama V or Chulalongkorn of Siam, now Thailand, was tutored by the British educator Anna Leonowens. This is the same Anna who had stories written and movies made about her, such as Anna and the King and The King and I. Cousin marriages were the norm in the Chakri dynasty, to which Rama V belonged. The dynasty also encouraged marriages amongst other family members as well.
The Siamese kings had large harems that held many of their children who in turn grew up to marry one another. Since he moved around with Western leaders, he knew his large harem would not be viewed as acceptable. So, he only went out in public with one of his wives, Queen Saovabha. Moreover, he also knew that the Western leaders will look at his harem in distaste as it consisted of quite a few women who were biologically related to him. Although publicly Rama V insisted that he only took one wife out as that was the custom of Siamese royalty.
Inbreeding May Have Caused Emperor Nero’s Infamous Madness
Nero was the last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. His reign was during the beginning of the end of the fall of the great Roman Empire. A lot of research has been done about the Roman Empire and its emperors, who were very erratic and whimsical to the point of almost bordering on insanity. None of them stands out in this regard as much as Nero. He is notorious for playing his fiddle while the city of Rome burned; what is more he is also accused of incest with his own mother. Bear in mind, many historians claim that incest and inbreeding was common amongst the Roman emperors, causing insanity and other genetic disorders.
Caligula’s Cruel Streak Might Have Been Stoked By His Inbred Background
Caligula was another Roman Emperor known for his excesses, sexual perversions, cruelty, and sadism. He was accused of many things including having sexual relations with his own sisters, although this claim cannot be verified. What is more, just like Nero, Caligula’s background was also filled with inbreeding and consanguineous marriages. A lot of historians have painted Caligula as an insane tyrant based off of his reign.
Since Caligula was the son of the famous Roman general Germanicus, who was popular and much loved, the Roman citizens had high hopes from Caligula when they coronated him emperor. However, after the first six months of his reign, Caligula dashed all the hopes of the Roman citizens and proved that he was nothing like his father. During his reign, he invented cruel punishments like forcing parents to watch as their children were tortured and killed in front of them. He then further went on to claim divinity and ordered a bridge to be built between his own palace and the Temple of Zeus so that both gods could convene easily. He was eventually killed by a group of conspirators in the year 41 while he was at a sporting event.
20+ Royals With the Weirdest Quirks in History
King Charles VI of France
You know that you're pretty eccentric when you have a nickname like "Charles the Mad." We're not making this up; this is the moniker King Charles VI of France was given way before he even assumed power. During his younger days, Charles VI had constant bouts of delusional and paranoid behavior.
The King was convinced that his body was made of glass and that he could shatter at any moment. That's quite an interesting proposition; weirdly enough, he was not the only royalty to think that. Later, it was determined that Charles VI suffered from schizophrenia. Now it all makes sense as to why he'd come up with all these strange ideas about having a glass body.
Oh, the great Nero. The Roman emperor was famous for a lot of good things that he did, like initiating positive political reform, but he was also pretty insane and homicidal. He got rid of anyone he thought threatened his power, including his mother and his wives.
As if that wasn't enough, Nero was polygamous and married different people simultaneously, including a slave boy whom he forced to dress as a woman because he resembled his second wife, whom he'd also terminated. Nero didn't also spare the Olympic games; he introduced poetry and singing so that he could participate.
King Ludwig II of Bavaria
Without this guy, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, any list of weird royals wouldn't be complete. The royal developed a penchant for music and arts as a way to escape his tough childhood, and when he ascended to power when he was 18, he couldn't stop consuming the art.
As such, he neglected military and politics and chose to build magnificent castles and have operas and plays curated just for him. After a while, his peers removed him from power by reason of insanity, and a few days later, his remains were found floating in a river. Coincidence? Your guess is as good as ours.
Anyone who has followed world history knows who Vlad III is. The ruler is one of the most violent leaders, with his eccentricities earning him the nickname Vlad the Impaler. He redefined what gruesome meant, getting rid of anyone who stood in his way by hunting them like trophies with spears.
In what is maybe one of his memorable, ruthless events, after defeating the Ottomans at war, Vlad ordered that the 200,000 victims be impaled on wooden stakes outside the village as a show for the incoming Ottoman army. That's pretty vile and we don't think it gets any more vicious than this.
Sultan Ibrahim I of the Ottoman Empire
Speaking of the Ottomans, they also had a peculiar leader of their own, Sultan Ibrahim I of the Ottoman Empire. During his reign, he also earned the nickname "Mad" owing to his frequent tirades, which are believed to have stemmed from several mental illnesses. Growing up, the royal was locked up in a dark room, which we bet contributed to his unstable state.
Ibrahim was more often than not quite erratic, many people would be tortured under his watch, and whenever he wanted, the residents' houses were looted for clothing and other goods. Apart from that, he also had many concubines who were not spared from his violence.
Ivan the Terrible
Sometimes, people start developing their quirks when they're young, and Ivan IV is the perfect example. Ivan, the first and the most renowned Russian tsar, is speculated to have had some strange habits in his childhood, torturing and killing small animals.
It seems like the ruthless habit didn't stop in his younger years, and as soon as he assumed power, anyone who stood in his way was never heard from again. When his wife passed on, Ivan the Terrible fell into depression, and it is said that the grief led to the most memorable period of his reign, unleashing terror in Europe for two decades.
Tsar Peter III of Russia
Tsar Peter III of Russia was a stark comparison to his wife, Catherine the Great. While Catherine was courageous and would take leadership head-on, Peter was very different, and some describe him as a child in a man's body. The tsar was obsessed with his toy soldiers, and Catherine's memoir sheds more light on the weird infatuation.
Apparently, a rat bit off the head of one of Peter's soldiers, and he held a military court martial for it before hanging it on tiny gallows for treason. Historians speculate that Tsar Peter III was so into his toys that he and Catherine the Great never consummated their marriage.
By virtue of their stature and powers, in the old days, if a person from the royal family had some bizarre habits or personality, it made the life of those around them very difficult. One such was Princess Amalie of Bavaria. Otherwise a gorgeous lady, she had an eccentric personality, to say the least.
Much like King Charles VI, Princess Amalie had glass delusion. People with this condition tend to believe they are made of glass and can shatter into pieces. On top of that, she also suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, and things could never be clean enough for her. Since it is easier to spot dirt on it, she always wore white.
Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, better known by his nickname, Caligula, was the third Roman Emperor whose rule lasted only four years. Despite his short rule, he established himself well as an extremely weird ruler. What was so bizarre, you ask? Brace yourself.
He was ruthless beyond all thinking and took pleasure in finding new ways to inflict pain on the people around him, ultimately killing them. Yet, torture and killing wasn’t his only interest, as he even had a special "fondness" for animals. It was so hard to put up with him that his own guards ultimately put an end to his life and everyone’s misery.
King George IV
The journey of King George IV towards bizarre was a slow ascent. While he had his issues from the onset, it was the later part of his rule that stood out the most for its weirdness. Firstly, when George became king after his father, he had back-shattering debt from his Prince Regent days. He also married a Catholic woman, though the law prohibited it.
Afterward, he married his cousin, Caroline. Yet, the couple ended up hating each other to the core, as George went to great lengths to keep her from becoming a crowned queen. Towards the end of his rule, he became truly eccentric, having an obsession with wars against Napoleon. He even started believing that he had fought in those wars.
Qin Shi Huang
From finding new ways to shorten the lives of their cupbearers to pursuing immortality for themselves, royals have had all kinds of unsettling obsessions. Qin Shi Huang, the first ruler of China, was the kind who indulged himself in the latter and went to great lengths to achieve immortality.
Qin was so fascinated by the idea of longevity that he convinced himself he could outrun his demise. He was always slurping potions that would allegedly prolong his life, but the reality was completely different because these potions were rich in mercury and eventually led to his demise. His tomb was then filled with terracotta replicates of his army and other advisors.
Tsar Paul I
There have been many weird royal characters in history; however, very few reached a level that made commoners snap and become the harbinger of their end. It seems that eccentricity ran in Tsar Paul's family because all members of the Romanov clan were weird.
He was extremely erratic and had an obsession with the uniforms of his royal guards. He would mercilessly condemn his guards to flog for minor imperfections in their uniforms. On top of that, he would throw unnecessary military parades whenever he was in the mood for one, making the lives of those in a uniform a living hell. Ultimately, he was served with a painful demise while his eight-year-old son was downstairs.
Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg
When it's your job to produce an heir, having a female child isn't something you can celebrate. For Maria Eleonora, the queen of Sweden, her daughter Christina was a disappointment. When the latter came into the world in 1626, Maria Eleonora had already been married for six years with no surviving kids, and rejected her newborn baby girl.
Nonetheless, Gustavus Adolphus, her husband, recognized little Christina as his heir apparent before riding into the battle that year. At the time of his eventual passing in 1632, the queen took custody of his heart. She also stayed beside the lifeless body for days, delaying its burial for eighteen months.
Princess Alexandria of Bavaria
Since childhood, Alexandra of Bavaria believed she had a glass grand piano lodged in her body. The princess was so convinced of this fact that she would walk sideways through doors and corridors, afraid of shattering this instrument. Scholars held that the young woman suffered from what Robert Burton called "the glass delusion" in his psychological study The Anatomy of Melancholy.
Back then, Burton established that people living with the mental condition were concerned about their bodies being too fragile for everyday tasks. Interestingly, this disorder was popular only among monarchs or nobles raised with a certain level of delicacy and finery.
Elagabalus was the Roman Emperor from 218 to 222 AD, and his reign was one of the most bizarre in all of history. He was a minor who only came to power at 14 after the assassination of his predecessor. Right off the bat, the teenage king started showing signs that he had a different attitude toward rulership.
At first, he ditched his wife in favor of Aquila Severa, a sacred virgin. Later on, Elagabalus frequently called for gladiator games, during which he released serpents to bite the unsuspecting crowd. His rule lasted just four years before the palace guards eliminated him.
Prince Sado learned the most brutal tactics from his domineering father, King Yongji. From a tender age, the former had begun to have terrifying nightmares, which made it harder for him to go about his daily activities. To top it all off, there was the need to sacrifice youthful happiness in order to satisfy the monarchy's demands.
As expected, Sado reached his breaking point soon enough. The heir's rebellion went from purchasing outrageously expensive clothes to drinking alcohol and encouraging others to join him. At the height of it, Yongji locked his son in a huge chest where he crossed the border of eternity.
Joanna of Castile
'Juana la Loca,' also known as 'Joanna the Mad,' is one of the most fascinating figures from the Middle Ages. She was born in 1479, her father being King Ferdinand of Aragon, while her mother was Queen Isabella of Castile. The family tree gets pretty complicated from there, so we'll skip to 1496, when Joanna married Philip I, Duke of Burgundy.
Even in death, the love between the couple was so strong that it was considered insane. After her husband's sudden passing, she refused to be separated from his body. She kept it in her room and even traveled with it to Castile in 1506.
Erik XIV of Sweden
As a crown prince and good-looking man, Erik attempted to marry Elizabeth I of England, but his plan didn't work out. Also known as the butcher king, Erik was immoral and a perpetrator of numerous infamous acts in royal history. We could say his bloody reign was sufficient to justify his tragic end. He was crowned in 1560 and dedicated his early years of kingship to marking his territory and fighting his brother.
Erik was a power-hungry man who thought of only himself. Due to his insecurity, he imprisoned his brother together with his bride and eliminated John's loyal servants. Eventually, John was released, himself and Eric wept at the sight of each other. Slowly, Erik's mind began to fade as he started showing signs of schizophrenia and went out of control.
Justin II was the successor who took over the Eastern Roman Empire in 565 AD. As a member of the imperial family, Justin got thorough education and enjoyed lots of benefits. Sadly, his reign was known for stress-induced madness, and he would act insanely around the palace, during which he attempted to bite others who came near.
The emperor was aware of his failure and would always demand organ music be played to calm his nerves. He was pulled through the palace on a wheeled throne and held down during his rage. The last four years of Justin II were spent in tranquil obscurity while empress Sophia took over political office.
Christian VII Of Denmark
In 1766, Christian VII succeeded the throne after his father's death. Shortly after becoming the monarch, it became apparent that Christian VII was quite abnormal. According to royal physician John Friedrich Struensee, Christian's consistent masturbation was another factor that contributed to his mental illness.
Soon, the royal physician saw his illness as an opportunity to usurp power from Christian VII. He manipulated the king to make him a privy cabinet member. Struensee got the real power and restructured the whole administration in the kingdom. He had an adulterous affair with the queen (Christian's queen) but was later overthrown and executed in 1772.
In 1505, he took the throne at only fourteen years old and became the eleventh emperor, starting the Zhengde era. Despite being privileged to have high-level education and preparedness to rule, the emperor had little or no interest in power, let alone handling the Ming Dynasty. At a young age, he showed much potential and intelligence but didn't carry out most of his responsibility.
The dynasty's affairs went smoothly with or without the young ruler's presence. Officials and administrators like the eunuchs would make decisions on his behalf, even standing in for Zhengde while he would fulfill his pleasurable desires. Often, the young emperor would spend his time hunting, fishing, meeting women, and partying. Eventually, his passing away was caused by an illness he contracted in the waters of the Yellow River.
Mustafa I was the perfect example of an Ottoman ruler who lived a toured existence from childhood. He had an elder brother; hence, Mustafa probably knew the fate awaiting him after the passing away of their father. Eventually, the long-awaited moment came, and Ahmed ascended the throne of the Ottoman Empire in 1603; he strayed away from Ottoman tradition and did not have his brother executed to satisfy the public. Instead, Mustafa was held captive in a cage within the Sultan’s residence and ensured nothing happened to his brother.
When Ahmed passed away in 1617, Mustafa was able to ascend the throne, but his mental illness had gotten out of hand, and he could not manage the dynasty. Sultan Mustafa I was dethroned three months after his ascension and was replaced by the eldest son of Sultan Ahmed I.
Whether Insane or Inept, Murderous or Malfeasant, These Are the Worst Rulers in World History
The lengthy timeline of human history has been littered with bad rulers. Whether they were bloodthirsty or insane, the world has suffered many times over from horrible leaders. Some killed for no reason. Some completely ignored their duties and instead focused on immoral activities. Some had no leadership ability and relied on harmful advice to combat their own ineptitude. And some were just downright insane.
Either way, they all were a disaster waiting to happen to their countries. But, many of these horrible rulers have been forgotten about and a majority of people don’t realize how bad they really were. So, let’s take a trip back through time and learn about the crazy and ruthless leaders who were more than likely not in your high school history textbooks.
When you think of Roman emperors who were decadent and crazy, you usually think of Caligula or Nero. But another less-known Roman emperor who fits the bill is Elagabalus. Elagabalus was fourteen years old when he took the throne and to say that he was sexually confused would be putting it lightly. Soon after he took the throne, he realized that he could engage in all kinds of behaviors without repercussions.
He began to have sex with strangers of both genders as often as he liked. Most of the time, he would usually find his next sexual partner by dressing up in a disguise and pretending to be a whore at brothels. Elagabalus married five different women and later divorced each one. It is also said he married two men and many believe that he was transgender. There is even a rumor that one of his wives was a Vestal Virgin who was supposed to be celibate for 30 years. Needless to say, he didn't get much ruling done.
Commodus is pretty well-known thanks to the movie Gladiator. However, even though the movie portrayed him as evil, he might have been even more ruthless than Gladiator let on. Much like Elagabalus, Commodus loved to indulge in his desires. However, instead of sexual desires, Commodus indulged in bloody desires. In fact, he thought of himself as an incarnation of Hercules and made sure to show off how great of a fighter he was.
In the arena, he would fight exotic animals, but from an elevated tower to ensure his safety. Even worse, Commodus would fight injured soldiers and people with disabilities or who were amputees. It is said that Commodus always won his fights (we wonder why) and would even charge the city of Rome an excessive amount for his fights. He said it was because watching his fights provided the people with “pleasure.”
Like the two before him on this list, Ibrahim loved to indulge. However, his indulgence came from being imprisoned for most of his early life. Ibrahim was the younger brother of the ruler of the Ottoman Empire, Murad IV. Murad was mad and believed that his family bloodline was cursed. So, he killed all of his brothers except for Ibrahim. He only imprisoned Ibrahim based on their mother’s pleading.
Later, Murad died in 1640, and Ibrahim became the next ruler where he was finally allowed to indulge in the pleasures of life. It is said that he spent his time entertaining hundreds of concubines while his Gran Vizier actually ran the empire. Unfortunately, he almost completely bankrupted the Ottoman Empire with his extravagant lifestyle. When he entered the empire into a war with Venice, there were no funds for the army and the people began to retaliate, and a few of his once-supporters had Ibrahim executed.
Charles VI of France
Charles VI of France was actually pretty well-liked at the beginning of his rule. He was even called Charles the Beloved. Unfortunately, by the end of his time on the throne, he was called Charles the Mad. He didn’t start acting odd until he was in his 20s. During that time, he began to have selective bouts of amnesia where he would forget who he was, as well as who his wife and children were. He even stopped bathing and would wear clothes for many months at a time.
Charles VI was also very paranoid and suffered from a glass delusion - thinking he was literally made of glass. Charles VI would go through great lengths to make sure he would not shatter. He even had iron rods sewn into his clothing at one point.
Joanna of Castile
Juana la Loca became the Queen of Castile after she married the King of Castile, Philip I. Their marriage was an arranged one, but Joanna quickly fell in love with Philip. That makes sense considering he was also known as Philip the Handsome. Philip eventually died a sudden death that Joanna never got over. It is said that she would get people to reopen his tomb so she could spend time with him. It is even said that she would touch and kiss his dead body.
When her son was old enough, he took power from her and then sent her to spend the rest of her life at a nunnery. However, while she was there, she ended up thinking that all of the nuns were out to kill her. Charles once sent a letter to his mother's caretakers that said, “It seems to me that the best and most suitable thing for you to do is to make sure that no person speaks with Her Majesty, for no good could come from it."
Justin II of Byzantine
Justin II ruled over the Byzantine Empire right after his uncle, Justinian I, who had done such a good job as a ruler that he was known as Justin the Great. During his reign, Justinian had taken back most of the territory lost by the Roman Empire and used diplomatic tactics (like money) to keep Persia happy. However, instead of following his uncle’s lead, Justin II decided to fight with Persia instead.
Not only did Byzantium lose its fight with Persia, but Justin was preoccupied the entire time with his throne on wheels. That’s right, Justin was wheeled around on this throne everywhere he went. It is said that his servants built the wheeled throne because it kept him busy and made him less likely to attack or bite them. Justin even referred to his throne with wheels as his “racing throne.”
Farouk of Egypt
King Farouk of Egypt liked to eat. You can even look at a picture of him and tell that. That’s how he got the nickname of a “stomach with a head.” Farouk quickly gained weight and weighed in at over 300 pounds at one point. It is said that he would constantly be eating caviar and chocolate. He even flew in 600 oysters every week from Copenhagen. With this kind of lifestyle, it is no wonder that Farouk died in the middle of eating a meal and collapsed into his plate of food.
Not only was Farouk a glutton for food, but it is also said that he was glutton for items and was rumored to be a kleptomaniac. That is how he earned his second nickname, “the Thief of Cairo.” One time, he stole a pocket watch from Winston Churchill, and another time, he stole a sword from the shah of Iran. It is even said that he would pick-pocket the poor people he ruled over.
Christian VII of Denmark
Christian VII of Denmark was another sexual deviant like many other rules on this list. He was only 16 years old when he took the throne and started down his path of questionable sexual activity. It is said that Christian masturbated so much that his own physician told him that his habits would soon make him infertile. And upon noticing how little work Christian was doing to rule the country, said physician slowly began to take control over Denmark.
If his masturbatory hobby wasn’t bad enough, Christian also enjoyed taking strolls through Copenhagen to stab random people he passed with a spiked club. He was also childish enough to leapfrog off of dignitaries’ backs when they bowed to him during their visit and would slap people in the middle of a conversation for no reason whatsoever.