Top 10 Insane Monarchs and Rulers

It is perhaps more common than you’d think for the members of ruling class royal families to go completely insane. History, in particular that attributed to European nations, is packed full of examples, and this list intends to showcase some of the most utterly troubled of those. There are many theories as to why.  I had so many options when compiling a ‘Top 10’, ranging from pressure of the job driving Kings and Queens up the wall to the issue of inter-breeding which, believe it or not, has been common practice among ruling families for millennia.


10. Queen Maria I of Portugal

Born in December 1734, Queen Maria sat in Portugal’s throne at a time of great European exploration and expansion. A century or so on from the first major resettlements in the New World, Portugal had staked and maintained her claim on the Kingdom of Brazil in the southern Americas. Crowned in 1777, scholars maintain that the troubled Queens problems commenced with the death of her husband/uncle (told you!) nine years later in 1786. Things didn’t really ease up for her majesty when her only daughter and eldest son + heir followed suit just a short while after- leading to a complete collapse of Maria’s mental well being  It is commonly reported that the Queen spent the rest of her days in relative solidarity driving everyone mad with her constant screaming. She died in 1816 at the age of 81.


9. King Charles IX of France

For those of you who have read or watched ‘Game of Thrones’, a little light reading about this particular medieval French King and you’ll agree it seems almost certain that King Joffrey of house Baratheon is based on him. Taking the throne unexpectedly in 1560 aged just 10, Charles was prone to fits of agitated rage upon animals, court members and family alike, possessed a twisted sadism and was a complete mommas boy. Yup, definitely sounds like Jofrey!


8. King George III of the United Kingdom

An intriguing and relatively well known monarch, George ruled Great Britain with relative success between 1760 and 1820. The King responsible for disposing of Napoleons ambitions as well as driving his colonial subjects to rebel in the Americas in the 1770’s, George ruled with an iron fist and was widely considered to be a brilliant military attribute. In later life however, tragedy coupled with failing health drove the King to madness. Though some accounts state the rabid deterioration of his mental state was down to a non-lethal consumption of arsenic, it is known that he developed dementia too.


7. Mustafa I of Turkey

Whereas there are some cases of madness which can be pinpointed as inescapable or inherited, some are simply unlucky enough to be literally driven to insanity. Such was the case for Mustafa, who- having been locked away for the entire 14-year reign of his brother in coherence with the Ottoman tradition of ‘Kafes’, was freed and allowed to rule himself following said bros death at the hands of typhus in 1617. This was until he was deposed in favor of his nephew just months later and cast back into lockdown. Being set free once again four years later when the new King was assassinated, Mustafa found himself on the throne again. By this point however, he was completely nuts and could be found running around the palace screaming in insistence that his nephew return to rule Turkey. I don’t blame the guy.


6. King Charles VI of France

Yet another French King to find himself on the throne as a child, Charles VI was 11 when crowned in the midst of the 100-years-war in 1380. Unlike his later namesake however, this Charles was less prone to fits of brutality than he was to severe delusion. Insisting that his bones were made of glass, the King had all of his clothes produced with iron rods sewn in. Enough said really. Despite this obvious crazy talk, Charles enjoyed a fairly long reign- occupying the throne until his death in 1422.


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