When someone is talked about as being crazy, they usually aren’t the ones calling the shots. However, there have been a few notable cases of these mad men or women, all of royal blood, ruling countries, much to the chagrin of their subjects or much to the delight of their parents who act as regents. Luckily it hasn’t happened all that recently – can you imagine the posh padding required to hold an insane royal? Only the finest 1,000 count Egyptian cotton for the cell walls and a straight jacket made of the best royal purple silk and tied with gold roping.
And hopefully these 10 wackos will stay in the recesses of history and not pop up again – you know the whole history repeating itself?
10. George III of the United Kingdom
King George III ruled Great Britain and Ireland for some 59 years of his life. While he was somewhat gifted in the military campaign aspect defeating France in extended engagements once during Napoleon’s reign and once during the Seven Year War, his biggest loss, besides his marbles, was that of the American Colonies. Born in 1738, he didn’t start losing his mental health until later in life, supposedly from arsenic poisoning. If someone was trying to kill him, they should have tried harder.
9. Peter III of Russia
Less well known than his wife who took his throne, Peter III was Emperor of Russia for about six months in the mid 1700s. But he held questionable, at least to the court nobles, allegiances while his wife Catherine II courted those same nobles and took his throne in a bloodless coup. It was said that he was insane but that he was also relieved to no longer have the throne – perhaps he really was crazy. Whether he was crazy can be disputed; however, along with a couple other people who could potentially question Catherine’s ascension to the throne, Peter was found a few months later mysteriously dead.
8. Princess Alexandra Amalie of Bavaria
This German daughter of King Ludwig I of Bavaria never married and was quite an accomplished literary figure in her homeland. While not clinically insane, she did display OCD tendencies and thought she swallowed a glass piano. It was probably the crinoline under the period dress of the mid 1800s that caused her hips to look big, not the piano.
7. Ludwig II of Bavaria
Insanity runs in the family, just ask Princess Alexandra’s nephew, Mad King Ludwig II of Bavaria. While he was declared clinically insane by his cabinet members in 1886, it was doubted as to whether he was actually bonkers. He did have troubles with shyness, childish behavior and flights of fancy including building many castles such as Neuschwanstein Castle. And though his sanity was questioned, his common sense was definitely lacking when he decided it not best to flee when his cabinet members tried to depose him not once but twice.
6. Otto of Bavaria
Ludwig II’s brother, Otto, became King of Bavaria at the age of 38 after his older brother was deposed and died a day later. However, Otto was confined to Fürstenried Palace due to his actual mental illness; meanwhile a regent ruled in his stead. Supposedly the Wittelsbach family were all rather eccentric, some more so than others as in the case of Otto, Ludwig and Alexandra.
5. Juana of Castile
Joan the Mad was crazy about her husband, Phillipe the Handsome. She was known as being obsessed with her husband even after his death. Perhaps this was why she never actually ruled Castile – because she was crazy and a necrophiliac. While she was busy mourning her husband, continually caressing his rotting corpse, which she brought with her on a tour of Spain in the 1500s, her father and son wanted to rule for her. She was rendered essentially powerless and locked away for the rest of her life. Love will drive a person mad!
4. Charles VI of France
Known as Charles the Mad, many historians think King Charles VI of France suffered from schizophrenia. Shortly after an attempted murder of a friend in 1392, Charles took an army after the supposed perpetrator only to turn on his knights killing one and injuring others before being dragged off his horse and falling into a coma. Because he acted bonkers, he was later removed from power but not dethroned since he lived for some 30 years after his first fit of the crazies.
3. Carlos II of Spain
Inbreeding can only make genetic and mental defects stronger as in the case of Juana the Mad’s descendant King Carlos II of Spain. He was severely disfigured from birth with a huge elongated head, a misshapen body and a jaw that could not close so he could eat. Meanwhile, he was relegated to being an idiot from birth since he was hardly taught anything and only went from an infantile brain to idiocy in his older years. Carlos’ relatives all died leaving him the throne and an over-bearing mother to rule in his stead. However, he thought of himself as bewitched because of his suffering, while in today’s world most of what he suffered would have been recognized as being cause by inbreeding.
2. Afonso VI of Portugal
“The Glutton” took ill at the age of three and was left partially paralyzed on his left side as well as mentally unstable for the rest of his life. Afonso was delighted when he saw his older two siblings die as teenagers declaring “Hurray! Now I will be King of Portugal!” Unfortunately the future King was a little loose in the head loving savagery and loving food to the point of being called a glutton. In his final days like many of the other monarchs on this list, he was confined – it was said he wore a groove in the floor from pacing since he couldn’t do anything else.
1. Charles IX of France
Unlike Afonso, King Charles IX of France actually took out his savagery on others in his court, including once on his sisters as well as on other humans and animals. Due to a disfiguration, he was dubbed the Snotty King and was given to fits of rage and sadism though he was a Mama’s Boy. In 1561 at the age of 10, Charles took the throne after all the other eligible heirs died – through no fault of his. Like Carlos, it was his overbearing mother that ruled long after her regency ended when he came of age. Never cutting the strings might drive any man crazy!