Throughout history, there have been countless monarchs who proved just how far removed they are from the real world due to their sheltered and pampered upbringing. Whether they were cruel, sadistic, selfish or simply eccentric, many of these monarchs certainly made a name for themselves and it certainly wasn’t due to their amazing leadership skills. From Caligula to Charles VI of France and Juana I of Spain, here are some of the strangest monarchs to ever rule.
1. Caligula – Reign: AD 37-AD 41
During his brief four-year-reign, Caligula racked up quite the reputation for himself as a man-child who thought nobody else. Nobody, except his favorite horse, Incitatus, who he treated better than most people around hum. Incitatus lived a very pampered life and Caligula housed him in a marble stable with his own personal handlers who fed him the best food and ensured that the lavish blankets kept him warm. He was even invited to eat from the table during dinner parties. It is said that Caligula had plans to make Incitatus an official citizen of Rome, and later a Consul and priest.
2. George III of England – Reign: 1760-1820
It is now recognized by historian scholars today that England’s George III was most likely a victim of schizophrenia, as seen by his delusional and frantic state of mind. His doctors were often at a loss to diagnose the king, let alone treat him. During the first outbreak of his illness, it is said that King George III developed an obsession with a woman named Elizabeth Spencer to the point of believing that they were married and that his wife Queen Charlotte was an imposter who plotted his demise.
3. Charles VI of France – Reign: 1380-1422
Charles VI of France, also known as “Charles the Mad,” was another king whose psychosis and paranoia was a clear indicator of what we now call schizophrenia. His episodes first manifested in 1392 when he suddenly became frantic and disoriented before attacking his own men. From then on his behavior only worsened and according to Pope Pius II, there was a time when the king became convinced that he was made of glass and could shatter at any given moment. Out of fear, Charles refused to be touched and took to wearing padded clothing at all times.
4. Ludwig II of Bavaria – Reign: 1864-1886
Ludwig II of Bavaria was an odd and eccentric lad who had an obsession with building enchanting and whimsical castles. It is often speculated that his peculiar personality was a coping mechanism he developed as a child due to his troubled family life which led to the future king immersing himself in arts, music and fantasy worlds. Today, Ludwig is best remembered for his many elaborate fairy tale castles all over Bavaria which, at one point, almost bankrupted the kingdom.
5. Juana I of Spain
“Juana the Mad” was sort of the female equivalent of “Charles the Mad, though she may not have actually been crazy, just overly jealous and hysterical. She became the first Queen of the Hapsburg dynasty upon marrying Philip of Burgundy in 1496. Juana was known for her extreme jealousy towards Philip who was said to be very promiscuous. Her way of combating her husband’s infidelity was by either chasing after any attractive lady of the court, or by hiring only old and unattractive women in her retinue. Her desperation also led to her consulting sorcerers who provided her with love potions.
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