Considering all of their portraits feature them clad in ridiculously pimpin’ robes carrying golden scepters with a crown full of jewels atop their head, you’d imagine that the majority of British Monarchs died comfortably on a bed stuffed with swan necks while a servant beat a poor person to death with a sack of diamonds for their amusement. Luckily for online list writers and fans of occasional scatological humor, many British Monarchs died in decidedly more humble ways, like…
10. King Henry VIII
Henry VIII is best known as the king who executed a third of his six wives because they weren’t able to give him a male heir. King Henry was also effectively bedridden during his later years when he injured his leg in a horse-riding accident at the exact same time he discovered ham wasn’t just a breakfast food.
According to contemporary reports, the King probably weighed about 400 pounds when in his last few months and was suffering from a host of ailments including piles, weeping bed sores, and pus-filled ulcers all of which, as you can imagine, didn’t smell very nice. When he died, the King’s bloated corpse was so large that it had to be placed into a specially made lead-lined coffin, which fortunately stopped anyone from being injured when the King’s corpse detonated a day later. That’s not hyperbole by the way, the King’s body literally exploded after being placed in the coffin, causing “putrid matter” to leak from the seams, which was quickly set upon and eaten by a passing hoard of stray dogs.
Which to be honest, is probably how he wanted to die.
9. King Henry I
A direct descendent of William the Conqueror, Henry the First ruled England with a limp, sweaty fist from 1100 to 1135 AD, the year of his death.
According to historians, the King died when, against the direct advice of his personal physician, he decided to eat a giant plate of lampreys while visiting France. For anyone who isn’t aware of what a lamprey is, according to Wikipedia it’s a “jawless fish of the order Petromyzontiformes” which is the “I know science” way of saying, a disgusting snake fish that lives on the blood of other animals and the tears of children.
After consuming a “surfeit” of lampreys, which is the “I know English” way of saying “enough to choke a dolphin”, he succumbed to food poisoning and died clutching his stomach, crapping out pieces of parasitic vampire fish. Something the King arguably should have seen coming considering he was A) eating weird food in France and B) the physcians he paid to look out for his health told him not to eat them.
8. King James I
History tells us that King James the First died by being violently stabbed to death by assassins while ankle deep in poop and cowering in a sewer. Which by itself is pretty embarrassing, but here’s the best part: King James knew that assassins were coming to kill him ahead of time and tried to escape through the sewer thinking it was safe.
However, the King forgot that just a few days earlier, he’d personally ordered that the exit to the sewer be sealed permanently because he was annoyed with losing his balls down there. Tennis balls, to be exact. In other words, the King was stabbed and left to bleed out while several of his own turds floated on by like tiny, wrinkly submarines because he didn’t want to send one of his servants out to buy him more tennis balls.
7. King John
King John is perhaps best remembered as the English King who helped draft the Magna Carta in 1215, which among other things, granted English people the right to speak in whatever silly accent they wanted. At least we think that’s what it said, anyway. We’ve never actually read it.
Personally though, we think King John should be remembered as the King who died crapping himself to death after somehow managing to lose all of his belongings, including the crown jewels, in a swamp. To try and comfort the King in his final few hours, his servants stuffed him full of peaches while he continued to spew fecal matter all over what remained of his possessions.
In an attempt to give the King some semblance of dignity, his servants buried him in the most expensive, non-poop covered robes they could find and put a sword in his hand, presumably in a vain effort to convince future archaeologists that the King died fighting instead of while gorging himself on three pounds of soft, fuzzy fruit.
6. King George II
King George II is notable for being the last British Monarch to be born outside of the borders of Britain as well as for having enough mistresses to cosplay as 30 pimps. Now you’re probably thinking King George II died after succumbing to the effects of super chlamydia or something like that, but no. The 76 year old King actually died when part of his heart exploded due to extreme physical exertion.
Which isn’t that funny until, that is, you realize that the trauma that killed the King was actually caused by the King trying, and ultimately failing to force out a poop of such unimaginable size, his body simply ceased to function.
In other words, the King’s body opted to give up rather than finish his morning poop.
5. King William I
William I, better known either as William the Conqueror or, more succinctly, William the Bastard, is known for leading the Norman conquest of England before spending the majority of the rest of his rein struggling to maintain his tenuous grasp over the country.
Exactly how William died is a matter of some controversy, though the most popular version of events is that the aging, corpulent King was riding on his horse through France with his massive gut resting across the front of his horse’s saddle. When the horse stopped suddenly, the King was thrown forward, causing the pommel of his saddle to hit him in the stomach, rupturing several of his internal organs, which ultimately resulted in his death.
But at least the King managed to die looking at least somewhat cool, something he may have in common with…
4. King James II
James II of Scotland is generally regarded as a popular monarch among the people, mainly due to his habit of openly socializing with commoners and his subjects, which must have been just mind blowing for them.
James II is one of 14 British Monarchs to have been killed in battle, but he set himself apart from those other posers by being the only King to be killed by an exploding cannon. Which normally would have found James II being placed on a list of the 10 most metal deaths of British Monarchs through history, if it wasn’t for the fact James II was killed by his own cannon.
You see, King James was besieging Roxburgh Castle while standing next to one of his giant cannons, when he ordered his men to fire it for no other reason than he wanted to show off in front of Queen Mary, who was also in attendance that day. The cannon responded by violently exploding and shearing the King’s thigh bone in two. He bled out before he could find out if Queen Mary thought the explosion looked sort of badass or not.
3. King George V
Ruling for 26 years between 1910 and 1936, the death of King George V is noteworthy because he was killed not by a disease or even a piece of falling masonry, but by his own physician, Bertrand Dawson, who euthanized him with a massive injection of morphine and cocaine.
Now you’re probably thinking that Dawson euthanized the King because he was in crippling amounts of pain, and had requested to die tripping insane amounts of balls or something. However, according to Dawson himself in his personal diaries his decision to effectively murder the King of England was motivated not by pity for the King’s condition (he was suffering badly with pulmonary disease at the time) or to see if he could get away with it, but because he wanted the King’s death to be reported by the morning paper, instead of an evening one, something he described as “less appropriate,” and he got away with it.
Yes, this man got away with regicide just because he decided that the King would rather have had his death reported by the morning paper, you know, instead of spending his final few hours of life with his family or something like that. What a jerk.
2. King William II
As the son of the aforementioned William the Conquerer, you probably don’t have high hopes that William II left this world in a way that was any less embarassing than his father, what with this entry being closer to the top spot and all. And of course, you’d be right, because you, dear reader, are amazing and great and probably reasonably handsome.
Chroniclers state that William II died in a way that would make Robert Baratheon proud, by which we mean he was killed while hunting in a forest near the village of Brockenhurst, when one of the members of his own hunting party shot him through the lung (or heart depending on the source you consult). The King quickly succumbed to the wound but the indignation didn’t end there, because, for reasons that aren’t really clear, the King’s hunting party, rather than trying to find his body, just went home.
The King’s body was thus left to rot in the woods for several days, during which time we can only imagine it was interfered with by a host of cutesy woodland creatures, before a local peasant found it and took it to be buried. To add insult to mortal injury, William’s killer, Walter Tirel, fled the scene immediately after the King was shot and was never caught or punished for the crime. Which kind of sucks.
1. King Alexander III
A ruler of Scotland in what has been described as a time of relative peace in Scotland’s history, King Alexander’s life was fairly uneventful save for the occasional battle with an angry Norwegian King.
It’s reported that after King Alexander’s first wife and only son passed away, he married another woman called, Yolande of Dreux. While little is known about Yolande, after extensive research we think we can say with some certainty that she probably possessed one of the earliest examples of a butt that wouldn’t quit.
We suspect this because in 1286, Alexander, against the advice of all his friends, tried to ride from Edinburgh to the town of Kinghorn, at night, in a storm, alone, just to visit his wife, a journey which only makes sense if you assume the King was making a booty call. While making the trip, the King was thrown from his horse, perhaps after it was spooked by a bolt of lightning or the King’s royal erection poking it in the back, killing him instantly. Alexander’s body was found the next day by a traveller who’d decided to make the 30 mile journey at a more leisurely pace, just a few miles short of Yolande’s apparently worth-dying-for curves.