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sad royal childhoods

Lady Jane Grey, the Nine-day Queen

 Lady Jane Grey, the Nine-day Queen

For a very short time between Edward VI and Mary I, Lady Jane was, at least nominally, Queen of England and Ireland. See more »

Sophia Duleep Singh, Part 1: Princess In Exile

 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. See more »

Christina of Sweden

 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. See more »

King Eric XIV of Sweden

 King Eric XIV of Sweden

A handsome playboy who once courted Queen Elizabeth I, Eric started his time as king with focus and ambition. But his paranoia and led him to alienate the aristocracy, fall into violent rages and stab a captive noble to death. See more »

Crown Prince Sado of Korea

 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). See more »

Sei Shonagon and the Heian Court

 Sei Shonagon and the Heian Court

Thanks to the pillow book of lady-in-waiting Sei Shonagon, we have a first-person account of court life in Heian Japan. It’s part diary, part commonplace book, part essay collection, and thoroughly fascinating. See more »

 Emperor Rudolf II of Austria

He was an art patron. He loved science. He spoke many languages. He was also known for a dark temper and instability, and his poor decisions as a ruler are credited with leading to the Thirty years War. See more »

The Princess who Swallowed a Glass Piano

 The Princess who Swallowed a Glass Piano

Princess Alexandra Amelie of Bavaria was part of the House of Wittelsbach. The princess was frail, and she exhibited unusual behavior. She told her parents that she had swallowed a glass piano as a child, and was afraid that she would shatter. See more »

Why was Juana called "la Loca"? Part 2

 Why was Juana called "la Loca"? Part 2

In this second part of our series, Juana has become her mother’s unlikely heir. Just a few years after inheriting Castile, she is declared insane and imprisoned. But was she actually mad? And why didn’t her son free her when he came to power? See more »

Why was Juana called "la Loca"? Part 1

 Why was Juana called "la Loca"? Part 1

Juana of Castile has gone down in history as “Juana la Loca." But Juana’s mental state was likely not as bad as it seemed. Was she instead the victim of conniving relatives? In this episode, we discuss Juana’s youth, her marriage and more. See more »