The things royal families are willing to do to secure their right to the thrown will shock you. One of the ways royal families secured their rightful claim was to ensure bloodlines stayed ‘pure’ by resolving to inbreeding. Yes! These families of insist were so set upon passing their throne down from generation to generation that they ignored all the genetic disadvantages their future generations might endure. Many of these children of incest were born with severe deformities, illnesses and some were stillborn. While on their journey to secure their rights to the throne, many ended up terminating themselves.
10.The Monomotapa of Zimbabwe
The Monomotapa tribes of Zimbabwe were extremely active in polygamy. One of the kings had over 3 000 women as wives. Many of his preferred wives were his sisters or daughters. Those who attempted to marry one of his sisters or daughters were punished with death. The king’s incest tradition is illustrated in the Balovedu Tribe’s Rain Queen Lineage.
The Rain Queen is known as a powerful ruler with the capability to bring rain in draught times. Her story began when she was shunned upon for birthing a child with her brother (in some cases documented as her father). The public wished to have her and the newborn executed so her husband (brother or father) bestowed rain-making power on her and aided in her escape.
She is one of the most famous rulers in the Western culture. Shakespeare plays, films and operas were based on Cleopatra’s romances and power. In order to remain their claim to the throne, the Ptolemy family resolved to intermarriage. Only six individuals filled the 16 great-grandparent roles on Cleopatra’s family tree. Obesity ran in Cleopatra’s family and many ruminate that the disease was a result of inbreeding.
There were a lot of rivalries between family members for the throne and many of them resolved to murder to maintain their status. Cleopatra was married to two of her brothers. In the end, Cleopatra killed two of her brother-husbands and her sister to ensure her claim to the throne.
8. Nahienaena Of Hawaii
In Hawaii, incest was a privilege for the royal family only. Princess Nahienaena and her brother Prince Kauikeaouli or Kamehameha III were deeply in love since childhood. When they announced their marriage, Christian missionaries who were gaining influence in the kingdom, protested greatly. The missionaries persuaded them to marry other people but regardless of the new marital arrangements, they married each other anyway. A sickly daughter were born but died shortly after birth. Nahienaena was devastated by the loss and died less than a year later.
7. Incan Incest
The general population was prohibited from marriage between blood relatives. Nobles, however were above human law and thus exempted from this rule. At first the marriage of half-sisters was common so the grandfather’s line would be strengthened. The rulers tended to have more than one wife, mistress and concubine which resulted in rivalries between successors. People soon believed that children of two royal blood parents would have a stronger claim to the throne and so when emperor Thupa was selected he married a full sister to strengthen the rights for future sons. The change did not have a lasting effect since the lineage was lost to civil ware one generation later.
6. Maria Of Portugal
She was the first queen regnant to rule her country and was nicknamed, Maria the Mad. In 1778, Maria married her uncle Pedro who was later crowned and renamed to Peter III. Peter III was Maria’s father’s youngest brother and 17 years older than her. Their heir and son, Joseph, married his aunt (Maria’s sister) Benedita who was 15 years older than him.
The couple could not have children and Benedita miscarried twice. Joseph died of smallpox two years after his father and resulted in the collapse of Maria’s mental state. Her second son ruled in her place but the family was overruled by Napoleon and forced out of Portugal to Brazil. Years later Maria II was betrothed to her father’s brother.
5. Elisabeth Of Austria
Elisabeth’s mother, Ludovika of Bavaria was married to a cousin and was one of 13 children born to Prince Maximillian of Bavaria. Sophie, Ludovika’s sister married Archduke Franz Karl of Austria and birth a son named Franz Joseph who later became Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary. Ludovika insisted that Franz Joseph marry her daughter Helene but he instead fell in love with her other daughter, Elizabeth and quickly proposed.
The marriage was a disaster as Elizabeth hated court life and had a contentious relationship with Franz Joseph’s mother Sophie. Her health declined as a result of the Emperor’s affairs. It was rumored that he had given her a venereal disease by cheating. Elizabeth suffered from depression and was obsessed with her weight and diet. She suffered a nervous breakdown. Elisabeth’s daughter married her second cousin, Leopold.
4. King Rama V
Tradition dictated a fruitful reign and King Rama V took it very seriously by fathering 77 children with an estimated 153 royal consorts, concubines and wives. He was married to his four half-sisters. He installed Western tutors for all his children and sent many sons to college in Europe. He was aware of how the world shunned upon incest and for this reason only formally portrayed with Queen Saovabhaas his wife as the rest of the women in his life were merely “due to custom.”
3. Princess Victoria Melita
She married two first cousins and was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria who was married to her own father, Alfred the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Princess Victoria Melita had a daughter and stillborn son but later caught her husband (and cousin) in bed with a male servant. They fought volatile and divorced after Queen Victoria died.
Princess Victoria then married another first cousin who was the love of her life. Kirill was a Russian grand duke but was banished from Russia for nearly five years because his marriage was not approved by Tsar Nicholas II. They were allowed back in Russia after a series of deaths in the Russian Royal family but the relationships between him and Tsar were never restored.
2. Queen Victoria
It was believe that intermarriage between European royalties could guarantee peace. Queen Victoria and her husband Albert were first cousins and their decedents also married among themselves. It was rumored that this was how the affliction of hemophilia spread. Five grandchildren and one child of Victoria’s died due to complications of hemophilia.
Her granddaughter Tsarina Alexandra’s treatment for the afflicted Alexis, heir to the Russian throne, was most disastrous for the world at large. During World War I, Tsarina kept a self-described mystic healer named Rasputin as one of her most trusted confidants. Nobles and laypersons grew suspicious of Rasputin’s growing power and Tsarina’s dependence on him to save her son. The entire Imperial Family were murdered when Tsar was forced to abdicate the throne.
1. Ancient Rome
The famous ruler Nero was rumored to wander the street to murder innocent citizens at random. His mother, Agrippina, tried to reign in his terrible behavior and ended up being murdered by Nero. Agrippina was married to the Emperor Claudius, her uncle, to strengthen Nero’s right to the throne. She arranged for Nero to marry his step-sister Octavia and then murdered Octavia’s father through mushroom poisoning.
Nero was now the leader of the Roman Empire at age of 16. Agrippina was romantically involved with Nero. Acte, Nero’s lover warned Nero about Agrippina’s affections toward him as incest was unacceptable and offensive to the gods. Agrippina grew jealous of ActePoppaea Sabina (who bore a striking resemblance to Agrippina) and eventually caused her own demise.