Meet the ‘Most Inbred Royal of All Time’ Who had ‘Rotting Insides’

A king who ruled Spain was unable to walk or chew his food because of hundreds of years of inbreeding – and his name was Charles.

Charles II of Spain, born in 1661, suffered a number of serious ailments throughout his life as the House of Habsburg, hellbent on keeping power, refused to marry outside of the family from 1550.

As a result Charles’ aunt was also his grandmother.

At the time of his birth the Habsburgs ruled the Netherlands, Belgium, and parts of Germany as well as Spain.

However after 16 generations of inbreeding, Charles II was considered “too deformed and intellectually stunted” to rule properly.

He came to the throne aged four when his mother acted as regent until he eventually took over. But because of his deformities he was never trusted to rule properly.

Historians Will and Ariel Durant described the poorly monarch as: “Short, lame, epileptic, senile, and completely bald before 35, always on the verge of death but repeatedly baffling Christendom by continuing to live.”

Unable to chew his own food he was impossible to understand because he also had an enormous tongue.

Papal nuncio Millini described him as: “The king is rather short, skinny, but not badly formed, only ugly in the face; he has a long neck, a long face, a long chin and as if it bent upwards; the lower lip typical of the Habsburgs; not very large eyes, turquoise blue, and a fine and delicate complexion.

“He has a look with melancholy on his face and a little astonished.

“His hair is blond and long, and it is combed back so that the ears are exposed. He cannot stand upright unless he leans against a wall, a table, or something else.

“His body is as weak as his mind. Occasionally, he shows signs of intelligence, memory, and a certain liveliness, but not consistently; he usually appears slow and indifferent, seemingly dumbfounded.”

Because of his deformities he did not learn to walk until he was eight and was never educated, relying on others completely throughout his reign.

His first wife was an arranged marriage with Marie Louise of Orleans – his second niece.

In 1679 the French ambassador wrote Mare wanted nothing to do with him, writing: “The Catholic King is so ugly as to cause fear and he looks ill.”

When she died he remarried but could not have children.

His family’s inbreeding meant he was impotent and he died aged 39.

An autopsy read: “[The King’s] heart was the size of a peppercorn; his lungs corroded; his intestines rotten and gangrenous; he had a single testicle, black as coal, and his head was full of water.”

As he was childless there was no successor and his death sparked the War of Spanish Succession which raged for 12 years and the reign of the Habsburgs was over.

Another member of the inbred family was Ferdinand I of Austria, the eldest son of Emperor Franz II and Maria Teresa, who were both related.

Born in April 1793, he had an abnormally large head caused by water in the brain and suffered severe epilepsy.

As a result of his inbreeding he was unable to complete simple tasks such as pouring a glass of water or opening a door.

However he is also said to have an incredible gift with languages and could speak five.

In 1831 he married Maria Anna of Piedmont-Sardinia who was distantly related and became more of a nurse than a spouse.

Their marriage was also childless and he died in 1875.

Original Article

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