royalty

Charles VI of France: The Mad King

France’s mad king Charles VI reigned in the middle of the Hundred Years War between England and France. While his early reign hinted at greatness, things soon spiraled downward.

Sophia Duleep Singh, Part 2: Suffragette Princess

Sophia Duleep Singh's education was focused on turning her into a proper lady, in line with her status as a princess. But she also became deeply involved in the Women's Social and Political Union, a radical arm of the women's suffrage movement in Britain.

Sophia Duleep Singh, Part 1: Princess In Exile

A princess of the Sikh empire, Sophia Duleep Singh grew up in Great Britain, and was Queen Victoria's god daughter. But her childhood was not exactly a charmed one, and her family, caught between two worlds, experienced great upheaval and tragedy.

Charles IX of France

Much like many of the other mad royals that have been discussed on the podcast through the years, Charles IX of France was prone to fits of rage so intense that people at court feared for their lives.

Christina of Sweden

Christina was a smart, learned woman, but not a particularly good ruler. Her entire life was marked by being kind of a contradictory, restless character - starting basically from the moment she was born. Read the show notes here.

Crown Prince Sado of Korea

Crown Prince Sado of Korea -- sometimes called Korea's "Coffin King" -- has been described as insane, depraved and sadistic, but when you examine his short life, it's more complicated than a list of acts of savagery (though there are plenty of those).

Marguerite-Louise d'Orléans was the grandchild of the King of France, cousin of Louis XIV and eventually betrothed to Cosimo III de Medici. Her marriage was (to say the least) unstable. But how did she finally find herself back in France?

Sophia Dorothea of Celle married her cousin, George I of Great Britain. Sophia had an affair with a Swedish count, and her in-laws decided to stop the couple from running away together. The ensuing events became known as the Königsmarck Affair.

The warrior queen Nzinga used wily tactics to maintain her kingdom's independence during colonization. Born in the Ndongo Kingdom, Nzinga staged a coup, harbored runaway slaves, and kept a harem of men. Tune in to learn more about queen Nzinga.

In 1120, the heir to the throne, three of the king's other children, and many of the kingdom's youths drowned at sea. This left a woman named Matilda as heir. Yet her cousin Stephen seized the prize, triggering 19 years of battle called "The Anarchy."