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tiaraprin 05-30-2004 01:14 AM

Who Has Been The Most Insane Royal In History?
 
I recently acquired a book called Royal Misbehavior: Crazy Kings and Kooky Queens by David Randall.

Who do you think has been the craziest royal in history and why??? I am curious to hear if any of the responses match my book--there are some in here I never knew ;)

hrhcp 05-30-2004 02:01 AM

King Ludwig of Bavaria.
- he had this obsession? to build castles, and basically bankrupted his country into joining Prussia at the end of the Danish War of the early to mid 1860's.

Second would be the mad cousin that Queen Elizabeth II has/had?, who it was found out in the late 1980's was locked up in a mental asylum in England.

royal_sophietje 05-30-2004 03:33 AM

Well, what about Sissi, with all her traveling....

carlota 05-30-2004 05:00 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by royal_sophietje@May 30th, 2004 - 2:33 am
Well, what about Sissi, with all her traveling....
that's true, royal sophietje! it was said by a group of psychiatrists (included hans asperger) that she could have had a serious mental disorder. she really had a lot of manias, and suffered some diseases because she wanted to be thin and beautiful all the time.

tiaraprin 05-30-2004 10:50 AM

In my book, there is a "royal" who claimed to be the "Emperor of the United States" Now that is funny :lol:

Layla 05-30-2004 11:57 AM

Emperor Nero of Rome and I would say Marie Antoinette of France, although she was more careless/selfish/childish. How about Napoleon?

tiaraprin 05-30-2004 12:26 PM

I wanted to reproduce here what was written about "Sissi" in the book, so here goes an abridged version:

Elizabeth (1837-1898). Empress of Austria and a stunnng royal beauty. Yet her looks, however striking, were not nearly so breathtaking as the lengths she went to in order to improve and preserve them. Not for her the half-hearted diet or the quick going-over with soap and water; instead she subjected herself to every cosmetic torture known to a woman--and a few that had hitherto not even been imagined. As a result, she held for decades her position as the most attractive and stylish royal in the world--a kind of nineteenth century Princess Diana.

As with that lady, nature had been more than kind to Elizabeth. She had a magnificent head of chestnut hair, finely proportioned features, a lustrous complexion and an extraordinarily trim figure. It was this slender shape that at heart was her most outlandish obsession. Trim was not good enough; nothing less than perfection, with an 18-inch waist and everthing else to match, would ever satisfy Elizabeth. To achieve this, her diet verged on the self-destructive. . . with glasses of meat juice, dry biscuits, and raw eggs. . .

Elizabeth supported these outrageous efforts with a fearsome programme of exercise. She took a daily walk of anything up to 20 miles. . and had gymnastic equipment installed in her private apartments at Laxenburg . . She bathed daily in distilled water but if she felt her body was in danger of losing its unique suppleness, she would immerse herself in warm olive oil. . in an effort to maintain her waist, she slept with wet towels around her middle.. . . There was nothing ordinary about the way she washed her hair--the shampoo was 20 bottles of the best French brandy mixed wth yolks of a dozen eggs and Elizabeth forbade the use of any artificial drying method. . . . .

Indeed, as one who had always inspired admiration rather than love, she increasingly became a rather lonely figure as she moved from haunt to haunt. She had never been very willing to play the public role of the Emperor's wife and by her mid-forties she had effectively ceased to act out the part in private either. Nor could she count on the love of her two children. . .she had taken little interest in their upbringing. . she did suggest that the nerves of her son Rudolph might be trained to withstand shocks by having pistols fired off suddenly near his ear.. .

So as she moved into late middle age, Elizabeth's life was more and more that of the introverted and wealthy tourist. . .In September 1898, an Italian anarchist with a grudge against royalty. . . .stabbed her in the chest. Somehow she managed to stagger a hundred yards, but the weapon had pierced her heart and she collapsed and died, aged 61.

**Copied from David Randall's Crazy Kings and Kooky Queens.

moosey60 05-31-2004 09:05 PM

What about "Crazy King George" of the United Kingdom? I think it was George III...Don't know much about him except that he was mentally unstable.

hillary_nugent 05-31-2004 09:15 PM

hahahaha...definitely King George the III...lol King Lear by Shakespeare was not allowed to be played during his rule so society wouldn't get funny ideas about him ^___^

tiaraprin 05-31-2004 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by hillary_nugent@May 31st, 2004 - 8:15 pm
hahahaha...definitely King George the III...lol King Lear by Shakespeare was not allowed to be played during his rule so society wouldn't get funny ideas about him ^___^
While George III did act quite strangely, I don't consider him insane. It is now been pretty much proven that he suffered from Porphyria, a physical disease that affects the nervous system and creates psychotic behavior in individuals with severe cases. Here is a quote from David Randall in Crazy Kings and Kooky Queens:

"What is certain is that the King's insanity has been totally misrepresented for the last two centuries. He was not even mad in the conventional psychiatric sense, but suffering from a hereditary disease called porphyria. This condition disturbs the process which creates red pigment in the blood and, in chronic cases such as George's, the entire nervous system, including the brain, becomes poisoned" (David Randall).

He was not continually insane; he had long interludes of sanity until old age creeped in and the porphyria took over:

"This illness was not the perpetual shadow over his reign that it is often thought to be. He had a brief attack in 1788 but until he was over 70 he had been incapacitated for no more than a total of six months. Only in 1810, when he had been on the throne for 50 years, did he become 'permanently insane'" (David Randall).

There are also indications that porphyria has been passed down the royal line to the present day. It is believed by some that George IV and Edward, Duke of Kent (Queen Victoria's father) were afflicted. In modern times, it has been asserted that Princess Margaret had it, although no official admission has ever been made.

sara1981 05-31-2004 11:51 PM

what about Princess Diana? and Sarah,Duchess of York?

Sara Boyce

tiaraprin 05-31-2004 11:53 PM

Sara, it has never been proved that either Diana or Sarah were insane. They had certain emotional problems, but these are far cry from out and out insanity!!

royal_sophietje 06-01-2004 05:38 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Layla@May 30th, 2004 - 4:57 pm
How about Napoleon?
Oh yeah, our dear Nappie!!!

That strange habit with his hand..... (was he constantly seeking for his wallet or what??) and his drive for power.....

royal_sophietje 06-01-2004 05:41 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by carlota@May 30th, 2004 - 10:00 am
that's true, royal sophietje! it was said by a group of psychiatrists (included hans asperger) that she could have had a serious mental disorder. she really had a lot of manias, and suffered some diseases because she wanted to be thin and beautiful all the time.
Well, I think it became worse after her son Rudolph died. Wasn't Rudolph her most loved one???

But certainly the problems in the marriage affected her mental stability after a couple of years.

Helena 06-01-2004 10:37 AM

my vote goes to the mad empress Charlotte of Mexico.

royal_sophietje 06-01-2004 11:09 AM

hmmm, not her. She couldn't happened that she became crazy. It was after the shooting of her husband, so that will be with no doubt the reason.

Lord Williams 06-01-2004 04:03 PM

my vote goes to the mad empress Charlotte of Mexico.

I AGREE, Carlotta of Mexico was indeed insane after the death of Maximillian.

There is a great book at Barnes and Noble about her, Farewell, Empress I think it is called. Has her coronation portrait on the cover, fascinating.

sara1981 06-01-2004 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by tiaraprin@May 31st, 2004 - 10:53 pm
Sara, it has never been proved that either Diana or Sarah were insane. They had certain emotional problems, but these are far cry from out and out insanity!!
OH!

Sara Boyce

Jackswife 06-01-2004 04:27 PM

You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone loonier than Ludwig, although the Roman Emperor Caligula may be Number One. Sissi I think was not *exactly* insane, although she had her share of emotional problems that, had she never become Empress , would have remained merely eccentric personality quirks. Probably the same can be said for Diana, in that being Princess of Wales exacerbated and magnified her emotional problems much more than if she had been, say, Duchess of __________. I think George's troubles were the result of porphyria. Of course, there is Joanna "the Mad" of Spain, who probably was actually clinically insane, as were Ludwig and Caligula. Catherine the Great's husband Peter was another "nutty" royal figure. A very interesting subject! :grrr:

tiaraprin 06-02-2004 01:05 AM

Did you know Juana of Castile was so unbalanced that after her husband died, she had him transported in a coffin with her wherever she went?? Definitely Juana la Loca!!

I have a couple of more names to throw out to the forum: Caroline of Brunswick (wife of George IV of England) and Princess Andrew of Greece (Prince Philip's Mother and if you want to read the definitive bio on her read Hugo Vicker's book).

And among those who know Ludwig's story, do you think he was murdered or committed suicide???


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