Sad Royal Childhoods

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?

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.

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.

Empress Elisabeth of Austria, better known as Sisi, is often considered the public's "favorite" member of the Habsburgs. She only reluctantly carried out her duties, but her murder created an outcry across Europe -- and the story doesn't end there.

Maximilian, Mexico's Habsburg Prince

For a time, Mexico was ruled by a Habsburg prince: Ferdinand Maximilian. While Maximilian was unwelcome, he upheld liberal reforms and modernized the government. As his support dwindled, Mexico's rightful president worked to take back the country.

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."

From hemlock to cyanide, poison has unfortunately played an integral part in many of history's great sagas, But in 17th-century France, the scandal over poisoning reached an unprecedented level. Tune in and learn more.

Centuries after the fall of their line, the Medici remain one of history's most powerful -- and notorious -- families. In this episode, Sarah and Katie trace the unfortunate and mysterious deaths of Medici family members.

Ivan VI was still an infant when he was proclaimed the Emperor of Russia. In this episode, Katie and Sarah explain how this strange ascension occurred -- and how Anna Leopoldovna became the power behind the throne.