It’s easy to have rose-colored lenses on when thinking about royalty. If we’re talking about modern day, there are plenty of examples that perpetuate the fantasy with massive estates, afternoon tea, and an easy life filled with the finest luxuries we can imagine. But they haven’t all been Princess Diana, the Queen of Jordan, or the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. A look at history tells quite a different story.
Once upon a time, scandals, murders and the abuse of power ruled the land. So take off your glasses. It wasn’t always great to be the queen, or the recipient of a lavish gift. You’ll be glad you did not live under the rule of these people (or share their castle!)
Mental stability would come in handy when ruling a land, so what happens when an insane king takes the thrown? Charles VI of France ruled from 1388 until his death in 1422. Known as “the Beloved” to start, his image was soon tainted after he tried to kill his friend and adviser. Once, while traveling with his army, he went crazy, murdered four of his men, and nearly killed his brother. During his bouts of mental illness, he frequently forgot who his wife and children were and once refused to take a bath or change his clothes for five months. At his lowest point, he could not remember his name or that he was king, and ordered that various devices be constructed to protect his bones, believing that they were made of glass!
It seems many rulers had a hard time escaping emotional turmoil and Sultan Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire, who ruled during the 17th century, was one who battled his anger and outrageous impulses, earning him the nickname, “Ibrahim the Mad.” Favoring indulgence, he had a harem of girls and raised eight concubines, one who became his wife. He wanted all Christians in his empire to be exterminated, but the pressures from his ministers forced him to compromise by only killing all Catholic priests. On one occasion, his wife became angry that the Sultan favored one of their slave’s sons more than his own. In a rage, he grabbed his son and threw him into a pool. Fortunately, his son was rescued and lived with only a permanent scar on his head.
Before the Sultan was executed, he ordered 280 of his concubines to be drowned.