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A Weird History of Royal Inbreeding

at 6:20 pm | By

Cause Baby Now We’ve Got Bad Blood

Since ancient times, some individuals have risen up from the masses to claim their alleged god-given right to rule over the rest.

Following the first to claim the title of leader, chief, pharaoh, king, or emperor across the ancient world’s many cultures and civilizations, families and entire dynasties followed in their footsteps, some lasting hundreds—if not thousands—of years, both uplifting and subjugating their countrymen and subjects, filling the pages of history with conquests, defeats, and their great family names.

Naturally, to keep themselves and their posterity in power, royal monarchs tried to keep their bloodlines pure by marrying within the family, a practice that, until the 20th century, was believed to be healthy and even the best possible means by which to produce dutiful heirs.

Turns out they couldn’t have been more wrong. From King Tut’s clubfeet to the Habsburg Jaw and the infamous royal hemophiliacs, these are some of the most obvious and dooming examples of royal inbreeding.

inbreeding victoria


Was marrying immediate family members worth it to keep the throne?