Top 10 Most Insane Royal Family Members


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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Infante Afonso of Portugal and a black page (c. 1653), by José de Avelar Rebelo. Currently in Museu de Évora, Portugal.

Infante Afonso of Portugal and a black page (c. 1653), by José de Avelar Rebelo. Currently in Museu de Évora, 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!

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  1. It’s funny you put Afonso VI of Portugal in here, when the stories about Sebastian (which include, according to some rumors, bestiality) are way wackier.

  2. Charles VI of french was known as Charles the beloved before his insanity later he was named charles the mad. The stories of his insanity were crazy example: Mr glass. It is a sad tale as he was a good friend indeed.. Search it up on google you sure would know what I mean of the crazy stuff his been through. Charles the mad..

    • He was horrible mental ill and delusional, not crazy as in irrational behavior and complete lack of common sense yet he had chronic periods of irrational behaviour. Even if mental disorders are 80% the presentation of insanity, they aren’t 100% related to insanity.
      He behaved somewhat exactly like a mature man, but he couldn’t control his insanity. He obviously had an unhealthy life which he didn’t care to change because of his sloth which was a product of his mental disorder.

      But Ludwig II….he was the incarnation of what we call insanity… He probably didn’t have any real contact with the outside world which explains his eccentric childish behaviour, his total lack of common sense, his extreme shyness and his tragic chaotic irrationality. He was a real-life Kefka Palazzo from Final Fantasy 6. Chaos, destruction and madness.

  3. It is a myth that King Ludwig II.was “disposed of”. His cabinet tried to dispose him by declaring him insane. After that, he drowned himself along with the doctor who declared him insane. A much more interesting only recently discovered fact is, that he was obsessed by Edgar Allen Poe. He appearantly built some of his rooms according to Poe’s stories, and the only press interview he ever gave was to a American journalist about Poe.

  4. Afonso VI of Portugal was known as “the Victorious” and not as “The Glutton”. But he was, indeed, mad and not fit to be king

  5. What about Count Dracula? Of course, now what we know of him is that he was a sadistic "vampire", but actually he was a bog time creep. And if you look him up, there are some very insane things that he did….

  6. King George III was a good King of Britain. Besides his military successes he gave great amounts of money to the Royal Academy of Arts and presented it his own personal collection, he put a large amount of money into funding astronomy and Uranus was originally named after him in his honor (Georgium Sidus), he bequeathed his personal library to his people in his will and after his death the Kings Library became the founding piece of the British Library.

    George was a plain man who shunned the life of an aristocrat to live a life more suited to a country squire than a king. He was far more interested in agriculture and improving the farming system of Britain than playing host to dignitaries and hob-nobbing with the elite. Under George the British Agricultural Revolution reached it's peak and many advances were made in the field.

    He was noted for being approachable and for caring about his people and family. George held his duty to his people as King to be second only to his duty to his family as father and husband.

    For a King who, when possible, did all he could to improve the lives and the education of his people his was a sad end. He became blind from cataracts and was in pain from rheumatism and suffered long bouts of insanity, he became increasingly deaf and was never told of the death of his wife, he spoke nonesense for 58 hours a week and for the last few weeks of his life he was unable to walk.

    His legacy in improving Britain agriculturally and intellectually is most often forgotten as all he is remembered for is his insanity and being the "tyrant" mentioned the America's declaration of independence.

    A sad end and an unfortunate legacy for a good man.

  7. i'm really surprised that Christian VII of Denmark is not on this list.. He was truly crazy.. look him up