Facts About Kings, Queens And Other Royalties
Every queen named Jane has either been murdered, imprisoned, gone mad, died young, or been dethroned.
At the court of Louis XIV, prestige was measured by the height of the chair one was allowed to sit in. Only the King and Queen could sit in chairs with arms.
King George I of England couldn't speak a word of English. His native tongue was German (he came from Hanover, Germany); he communicated with his cabinet in French.
John Hancock signed his name in extra-large letters on the Declaration of Independence not out of self-esteem but so that King George III, notoriously poor-sighted, could read it without the aid of spectacles.
Louis XIV of France, the Sun King, had Jewish blood. It came to him through the bloodline of the Aragons of Spain, to whom he was related.
The Japanese emperor Hirohito is the 124th holder of his title. The same family has held the throne in Japan since the sixth century A.D. Hirohito has published several books on ichthyology (the study of fish) and is considered an expert on the subject.
Cleopatra was married to her own brother, Ptolemy.
Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn, had six fingers on one hand. She wore special gloves all her life to hide her deformity.
Louis XIV owned 413 beds.
The longest indoor corridor in the world is the Grande Galerie in the Louvre, built in 1607 by Henry IV of France. On rainy days the King would clear the entire passageway, move trees, rocks, and grass turf inside, and stage a fox hunt with his entire court down the middle of the corridor.
The Pekingese dog was considered sacred among Chinese Royalty. At the court of Li Hsui, one of the last Manchu queens, all court Pekingese had human wet nurses. Each dog had its own eunuch to protect it from other dogs; some even had private palaces, complete with servants.
An elevator was installed in the palace of Versailles in 1743. Run by a series of hand-operated weights, gears, and pulleys, it was used by Louis XV to go from his own apartments to those of his mistress, Madame de Chateauroux, on the floor above him.
An average dinner eaten by King Louis XIV of France; four plates of soup, a whole pheasant, a whole partridge, two slices of ham, a salad, mutton with garlic, pastry, fruit, and hardboiled eggs. At his death it was discovered that the King's stomach was twice the size of a normal stomach.
Cleopatra tested the efficacy of her poisons by giving them to slaves.
In the harem of Mughal kings in India, ladies of royal blood changed their garments several times a day and never put them on again. The once-used costumes were given to the slaves.
Queen Elizabeth I of England was completely bald. She lost her hair after suffering smallpox at the age of twenty-nine. To disguise her loss she always wore a wig, thus creating a vogue for wigs in Europe that lasted several hundred years.
Peter the Great of Russia was almost 7 feet tall.
Elizabeth I of England owned 3,000 gowns.
The sixteenth-century Indian emperor Akbar often used real dancing girls as chess pieces and an entire garden as a chessboard. Akbar sat high in a marble tower calling each move from his throne and watching the beautiful living pieces whirl from square to square. Two centuries later, in Madras, India, visitors witnessed an equally remarkable sight in the court of the maharajah—chessmen over 25 feet tall, mounted on wheeled platforms and pulled across a giant chessboard by teams of fifty men.
When Louis XIV and Marie-Thérèse were awakened in the morning, if the Queen sat up after the curtains had been parted and clapped her hands, the servants knew that the King had performed his royal duty the night before—intercourse with the Queen.
Berengaria, Queen of England and wife of Richard the Lionhearted, never set foot in England. She lived in Italy most of her life while her husband was off on adventures and crusades.
Jahangir, a seventeenth-century Indian Mughal ruler, had 5,000 women in his harem and 1,000 young boys. He also owned 12,000 elephants.