The Habsburg Jaw and Other Royal Inbreeding Deformities

Funerary mask of King Tutankhamen, Egypt's boy king, also known as King Tut. He was frail and very young when he died. His parents were also brother and sister.
Funerary mask of King Tutankhamen, Egypt's boy king, also known as King Tut. He was frail and very young when he died. His parents were also brother and sister. | Source

The Longterm Effects of Incest and Inbreeding

In some places in the United States, folks make jokes about inbreeding. My own mother was from West Virginia, and some of her friends would often make “pumpkin head” jokes about the inbred folks where she came from. (It is true that her parents, my grandparents, were second cousins; however, both my mother and her brother were adopted.)

For a long time, the dangers of inbreeding or having children with a close relative weren't completely understood. The biggest problem with inbreeding is that when close relatives choose to mate, it results in homozygosity, which can increase their offspring's chances of being affected by deleterious recessive traits for all kinds of physical and cognitive disabilities, including ailments like hemophilia and cystic fibrosis as well as deformities like the Habsburg jaw. These incestual pairings also run a greater risk of...

  • Reduced fertility (both for the related parents and in their offspring)
  • Lower birth rate and higher infant mortality
  • Congenital birth defects (including facial asymmetry)
  • Certain kinds of cancer
  • Suppressed immune systems
  • Smaller adult size (pedigree collapse)

These days, we have genetic testing and other valuable research tools to help us determine what may happen if we have kids with someone who is biologically related to us. But up until just a few centuries ago, it was common practice for people to marry their cousins and even their brothers and sisters (and in many remote rural regions, the practice continues today).

Historically, family line relations were often formed in royal houses to secure political alliances, strengthen the lines of succession, and ensure the noble purity of the bloodline. This practice caused a host of ailments and deformities that can still plague descendants of these royal houses to this day.

Charles II of Spain in his twenties. You can clearly see the Habsburg Jaw, and this portrait was likely being kind.
Charles II of Spain in his twenties. You can clearly see the Habsburg Jaw, and this portrait was likely being kind. | Source

Charles II of Spain and the Habsburg Jaw

Also called the Habsburg Lip and the Austrian Lip, the Habsburg Jaw is a physical condition known by the modern term mandibular prognathism. It is characterized by a jutting lower jaw that is often accompanied by an abnormally thick lower lip and sometimes a tongue that is abnormally large.

It is believed that the Habsburg Jaw originated in a family of Polish royals, and the first person to have been known to have it was Maximilian I, a Holy Roman Emperor who ruled from 1486 to 1519. Many portraits of this monarch feature a pronounced underbite.

Through generations of royals marrying each other and therefore closing the ranks of their gene pools, the Habsburg Jaw manifested itself just about everywhere in Medieval Europe. The House of Habsburg, which is named after the Habsburg Castle in Switzerland, is associated with the Habsburg Jaw because so many of its members had it.

Charles II, the last Spanish Habsburg, was feeble-minded and physically deformed as a direct result of his limited gene pool. His ancestor, Joanna of Castile, actually appears in his family tree no less than fourteen times because of first and second cousins intermarrying. It is said that Charles II's genetic makeup was more muddled than it would have been if his parents had been brother and sister.

Charles II's mandibular prognathism was so pronounced that it was said that he could not chew his food and that the size of his tongue caused him to drool significantly. He also had mental issues and was considered mildly retarded. He didn't learn to talk until he was four and couldn't walk until the age of eight. As an adult, his speech was so poor that he was, for the most part, unable to be understood.

Charles II was also sterile, and when he died just shy of his 39th birthday, the country went to war to decide on an heir. The War of the Spanish Succession lasted for thirteen years, and Philip V began the House of Bourbon at the end of the war.

King Juan Carlos I, the current ruler of Spain, is a distant descendant of the House of Habsburg, although he does represent Philip V's House of Bourbon. He has the Habsburg Jaw, but only slightly.

Other Habsburgs with the pronounced jaw deformity included Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, as well as countless others.

Alexei Nikolaevich, son of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia. He was a hemophiliac, a trait that came from his great-grandmother, England's Queen Victoria.
Alexei Nikolaevich, son of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia. He was a hemophiliac, a trait that came from his great-grandmother, England's Queen Victoria. | Source

Royal Hemophiliacs

Hemophilia has hit the royal houses of Europe pretty hard. Hemophilia isn't necessarily the product of inbreeding, but because these different monarchies intermarried to secure territorial and familial alliances, and because many were carrying the gene for hemophilia, they spread the disease throughout Europe.

It all began with England's Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1901. So many of her children and grandchildren married into royal families that she is sometimes referred to as "the grandmother of Modern Europe." It is believed that she inherited the gene that causes hemophilia (haemophilia is the British spelling) from her father, Prince Edward, and not her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. According to some historians, however, there is a possibility that hemophilia hadn't been introduced into the royal bloodlines before Victoria because Prince Edward may not have been her biological father.

What happened with Queen Victoria's descendants, however, is well documented. Victoria passed the hemophilia gene to her son, Leopold, and some of her daughters who, in turn, passed it to their sons and daughters. The effects of this hereditary disease caused disastrous consequences in the lives of Victoria's descendants:

  • Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany - Queen Victoria's son, he died at the age of 31 after a brain hemorrhage caused by a fall.
  • Prince Friedrich of Hesse and by Rhine - The son of Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and Princess Alice of England, Queen Victoria's daughter, Friedrich also died of a cerebral hemorrhage from falling out of a window twenty feet to the ground below. His injuries were not severe enough to have killed him; he died because his body could not stop bleeding. He was two and a half years old.
  • Prince Waldemar of Prussia - The son of Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine, who was the daughter of Princess Alice of England, Queen Victoria's daughter, died in 1945 at the age of 56. During World War II, he desperately needed a blood transfusion, which does help hemophiliacs. His doctor had been diverted to help the victims of a concentration camp, and Prince Waldemar died awaiting his return.
  • Lord Leopold Mountbatten - His mother was Princess Henry of Battenberg, known before her marriage as Princess Beatrice, a daughter of Queen Victoria. He died on the operating table during surgery for his hip. He was 32.
  • Prince Heinrich of Prussia - Great-grandson of Queen Victoria through his mother and father, the little prince died at the age of four after a fall. His brother was Prince Waldemar of Prussia. Their brother, Sigismund, did not have hemophilia.
  • Infante Alfonso and Infante Gonzalo of Spain -These two guys, both princes of Spain, were descended from Queen Victoria by way of their mother, Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, who was the Queen's granddaughter. Both of them died after car accidents that they could have survived if they had not had hemophilia. Alfonso was 31, Gonzalo was 19.
  • Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich of Russia - Alexei's story is a sad one. He inherited hemophilia from his mother, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. His father Nicholas was the last Tsar of Russia and the whole family—mom, dad, four daughters, and Alexei—were murdered during the Russian Revolution of 1918. Some say that this civil war came about in part because of Alexei's parents' patronage of a man named Rasputin, whom history still calls "the mad monk." Because he was able to control Alexei's hemophilia symptoms, Rasputin was also called upon for advice in other areas which, in turn, angered the Russian people.

Bust of Ptolemy II, who married his sister Arsinoe.
Bust of Ptolemy II, who married his sister Arsinoe. | Source

Children of Egypt: Elongated Skulls of King Tut and Family, a Video by Brien Foerster

Egyptian Royal Inbreeding Disorders

Philadelphia may be the City of Brotherly Love, but the ancient Greek word philadelphoi was used to describe a whole different kind of thing. It was a nickname given to the brother and sister marriage of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe. In fact, Ptolemy II's name is often given as Ptolemy II Philadelphos.

The ancient Egyptian royal families were expected to marry their brothers and sisters and it happened in virtually every dynasty. There were not only brother and sister marriages, but there were what was called "double niece" marriages, where a man married a girl whose parents were his own brother and sister. This may have been done because of the ancient Egyptian belief that the god Osiris married his sister, Isis, to keep their bloodline pure.

King Tutankhamen, more widely known as King Tut or the Boy King, was the product of a marriage between brother and sister. It is also possible that Tut's wife, Ankhesenamun, was either his full or half sister or his niece. Tests on the mummies of two stillborn children found in Tut's tomb have confirmed that Tut was the father and that the mother and father were related.

Cleopatra, the last pharaoh, was at one time married to her own brother before she (may have) had him killed.

Because of close marriages like these, stillbirths were common in the royal families, as were birth defects and genetic disorders. By the same DNA testing that identified Tutankhamen's children, we also now know that Tut himself was plagued by illnesses and disorders caused by his limited gene pool. Tut had a cleft palate, a club foot (as well as missing bones in his feet), and scoliosis, all of which either occurred or were worsened due to his parentage.

Unfortunately, many other deformities were present in almost every dynasty because of inbreeding. All through the 18th dynasty, we see huge overbite problems as well as elongated skulls in almost all of the royals, evidence of the shallow gene pool.

Royal wedding: William and Kate on their big day. Fortunately, they're no biologically closer than 11th cousins.
Royal wedding: William and Kate on their big day. Fortunately, they're no biologically closer than 11th cousins. | Source

Outbreeding Saves European Royals

Today, we understand the dangers and consequences of inbreeding. Most societies have attached taboos and stigmas to marrying inside one's family, and it is rarely done. In fact, today there are only a few places where marrying within the family is still condoned, mostly because of the remoteness of those locations (and their relatively small populations).

The term "outbreeding" is the exact opposite of inbreeding and has become the norm, even amongst royals. As people became aware of the damage they were causing their descendants, they began to reach further for potential mates and, in some cases, brought commoners into the royal bloodlines.

Morganatic marriages, which occur when a royal marries someone of a lesser status, are becoming increasingly common and necessary to inflate the gene pool. Prince Charles and Princess Diana were seventh cousins, once removed, but their marriage was considered morganatic because Diana was not royalty (she was nobility, but not royalty). Prince Charles and his second wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, are ninth cousins, once removed. Their marriage is also morganatic.

When Prince William, son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, married Catherine Middleton in 2011, many people spent days digging up ancestry charts to see if the two shared any relatives. If they had, then any children they had could have had serious issues with recessive genes or a myriad of diseases and disorders. Fortunately for these two, their closest possible connection would be as eleventh cousins.

Fortunately, royal inbreeding is now virtually non-existent. Although it is still practiced in a few societies, technology and awareness are catching up. The days of the Habsburg Jaw may be over.

© 2012 Georgianna Lowery

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Comments 69 comments

44044 41 hours ago

FDR and Elenor were second cousins

Mark 5 weeks ago

Interesting article -- I'm currently reading "The Accursed Kings" series from Maurice Druon, and he frequently touches upon the topic of incest, pederasty and other deviant mating methods of aristocrats. However, I'd disagree with your statement that people in the olden days didn't know about the dangers of incest or pederasty. On the contrary! Both pedophilia and incest are banned in the Bible; Paul mentioned that promiscuity and homosexuality resulted in disease and was therefore unnatural and sinful.

The Carmina Burana frequently talks of older men liking young girls, and how such a relationship was frowned upon by society. Doctors DID exist back then, and understanding that incest/ pedophilia is wrong is part of basic human instincts. It's a bit extreme to say that without microscopes and neurosurgeons people are fundamentally retarded and will mate with the first thing on two legs :/ People don't change, really. Technology changes, politics change, economy change, but people's behavior doesn't change (Darwin already explained that evolution does not affect humans physically or behaviorally, but manifests itself through technology and political understanding -- Le Bon and Lenin confirmed this, and so far nobody's been able to disprove it, but countless books and paintings from bygone centuries appears to actually further cement these theories).

grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 3 months ago from Philippines

I used to wonder why those guys like King Tut had such big heads. I thought it might have been a head-like hat to add to his dignity. What way to live. The commoners had it better, it would seem.

dgduhon 4 months ago

I would like to point out that neither one of Prince Charles' marriages were morganatic, because morganatic marriages don't exist in the UK

CYong74 profile image

CYong74 4 months ago from Singapore

Actually I always wondered how Cleopatra really looked like. Given, hmm, they pretty much perfected the whole royal concept of it.

Dom 5 months ago


ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 5 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

Interesting article on incest and the consequences of the practice. There was plenty of inbreeding in this country also. Large farms had to stay in the family. It went on in Indiana for years.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

what a well written and researched hub on a topic that is relevant well beyond the royals.

Sahanadas73 profile image

Sahanadas73 5 months ago from India

Very interesting and enlightening read. Came to know lot of unknown facts about different royal families.

Sarah Haworth profile image

Sarah Haworth 6 months ago from Ottawa, Canada

This is very interesting and not looked at enough in school!

jobsmart profile image

jobsmart 6 months ago

Great explained it well on a topic i have little intrest in....

thewritingowl profile image

thewritingowl 6 months ago from Ireland

Very interesting article. It is also of note that there has been suggestions of autism within the British royal family, I spoke of this a bit in my own article, t whereas King Edward VIII may have had Aspergers Syndrome, there was no doubt that his younger brother Prince John, was epileptic and also said to have a more severe form of autism. Little is known about him as he was sent away to live with a maid and never allowed in the public eye. While autism is sometimes genetic, it often isn't but it is thought that susceptible genes can enhance the possibility of it developing. Also dysfunctions of the immune system can play a significant role also. Also of note is the fact that none of the royals are ever vaccinated which again indicates they are aware of their genetic susceptibilities.

emge profile image

emge 6 months ago from Abu Dhabi

Bbrilliant hub on the dangers of inbreeding. Unfortunately, even now there is cousin marriage in Islam, but people are awakening up to this danger

Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 6 months ago from Houston, TX USA

Incest began about 70,000 years ago according to the Toba Catastrophe Theory.

According to the Toba catastrophe theory (Noah's flood), a massive volcanic eruption changed the course of human history by severely reducing the human population. This occurred around 70–75,000 years ago. The Toba caldera in Indonesia underwent a category 8 or "mega-colossal" eruption on the Volcanic Explosivity Index. This may have reduced the average global temperature by 3 to 3.5 degrees Celsius for several years and may possibly have triggered an ice age and a world wide flood.

This massive environmental change is believed to have created population bottlenecks in the various species that existed at the time; this in turn accelerated differentiation of the isolated human populations, eventually leading to the extinction of all the other human species except for the branch that became modern humans.

Incest within small surviving populations is suspected. That would be the cause of mental and physical illnesses which we have today.

6 months ago

good article except for the fact that elongated skulls in ancient egypt are only found during the armana period, when akhenaten reigned...

Cherye norris 6 months ago

Very interesting article especially about the intermarriages between ancient Egyptian Royalty.

Cherye norris 6 months ago

This was a ver y well written and researched article. Especially interesting to me was the part about the intermarriages between the ancient Egyptian Ronald.

marieryan profile image

marieryan 6 months ago from Andalusia, Spain

Thanks for a very informative article...

However, I am a bit surprised reading that Prince Charles and Diana were cousins 7th once removed, and he and second wife Camilla Parker-Bowles are as close as 9th cousins. But more surprised to know that Prince William and Catherine Middleton are cousins, even if only 11th! Still cousins and still related!

HELP ME 7 months ago

is there a bibliography for this?? also does anyone have any good primary sources on charles V jaw?? I need it for a report and if this doesnt have a bibliography im back to square one

billz 7 months ago

a lot of disinfo and lies, many poeple still marrying with relations and find no problems

Tatiana Ho profile image

Tatiana Ho 7 months ago from New York, New York


DK Spenser profile image

DK Spenser 8 months ago from Australia

I found this hub fascinating and very educational. Excellent writing had me hooked from start to finish, great hub.

HawkenJ 9 months ago

A genetics expert, Professor Gonzalo Alvares, on a 2015 BBC series on Spain said his view is that the Hapsburg Jaw is not the result of inter-breeding, although it is hereditary. His team studied 3000 Hapsburg relatives over 16 generations.

Anne Harrison profile image

Anne Harrison 11 months ago from Australia

A fascinating hub - amazing how marriage, intermarriage and fertility (or lack of it!) has affected the history of so many nations.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 11 months ago from USA

The article makes me feel a little sad for the royals of that time. It also debunks the idea that aliens came down to mate with the Egyptians. The History Channel tries to claim that is why they had elongated heads. This is an interesting and informative piece of reading.

Chantelle Porter profile image

Chantelle Porter 15 months ago from Chicago

Fantastic article. Absolutely fascinating.

Lynn Weisen profile image

Lynn Weisen 17 months ago from South Amboy

People in power controlling language is the rule, the exception was the English language, who refused to speak the language of the Romans, the French and other invaders. I always admired the English people for that, and the Welsh, Irish, Picts, and Scots that had the Romans building a wall to keep the native back from their settlements.

Lynn Weisen profile image

Lynn Weisen 17 months ago from South Amboy

I learned of your article by some commenters on Pinterest. They said it was great and informative, and it is that and and more. Like most people, genetics is sooo over my head. You made it so easy to follow and drew me in... I had started collecting images of people in my family tree that had a genetic defect called blepharoptosis (drooping eyelid) that is why they thought I would be interested in your article as it ran down the same lines of inherited. She told me she read it last week. Thanks for not taking it down, I'm going to recommend this to everyone who will listen... LOVED IT (that is pronounced ble pharo tosis)

aesta1 profile image

aesta1 20 months ago from Ontario, Canada

Interesting. Now that we are aware of the effect of marrying within the family, there is less danger of this.

toptengamer profile image

toptengamer 20 months ago from The Game

I am interested in the idea of Egyptian royalty interbreeding caused them to have elongated skulls. I wonder what other things like this have happened through out history.

Samprita profile image

Samprita 22 months ago from Indore, India

Nice hub.. Had heard of Hapsburg jaw in college while studying dentistry.. As a Class III malocclusion or mandibular prognathism is also called as Hapsburg Jaw but never knew about its history in this detail... Thanks...

Serenity Faith profile image

Serenity Faith 22 months ago from Grand Rapids, Minnesota

very good article, thanks.

craftybegonia profile image

craftybegonia 22 months ago from Southwestern, United States

Very, very interesting. I have always been a history buff and had read about Queen Victoria before, but did not know any of this. Good research.

Hendrika profile image

Hendrika 23 months ago from Pretoria, South Africa

This is very interesting. What is amazing is that these Royalties did not see for themselves what this inbreeding caused and changed it. I mean, the results must have been clear and even science had not caught up yet they must have realized something was wrong.

Daniella Lopez profile image

Daniella Lopez 24 months ago from Arkansas

Very interesting article! The Habsburg Jaw runs on my mother's side of the family (who emigrated from England), but I had no idea how the disorder came about. Thanks for sharing!

sharonkinman profile image

sharonkinman 2 years ago from My Cabin in the Woods

Nicely written and informative. I enjoyed reading it very much.

inglesj profile image

inglesj 2 years ago

Compliments on your work in this hub. You really did a reat job here!

Jim Breen 2 years ago

My only source is James Michener's 'Hawaii', but it seems that the royal families of Hawaii practiced brother/sister marriages, killing off the 'monsters' in infancy. Apparently it's something of a gamble, in that offspring from incestuous matings, if they aren't imperfect, can be super-perfect. It's also true that the original migrants to Hawaii from Tahiti mostly suffered from a speech defect which made it hard or impossible to produce the 'R' and 'T' sounds, which is why these letters don't appear in the Hawaiian alphabet.

This peculiarity has made me speculate that genetic malfunctions resulting from inbreeding might be mostly represented in oral/facial malformations (cleft palate, the Habsburg Jaw'). This would explain the inability of Hawaiian nobility to produce the 'R' and 'T' sounds.

I've also speculated that the peculiarities of the French language - such as the 'R' sound being produced at the back of the palate, the lack of pronunciation of consonants at the end of words, the proliferation of 'soft' pronunciations (eg 'nzh' rather than 'j') and the use of the soft palate to pronounce the 'N' sound (try pronouncing 'N' without using your tongue against the back of your teeth and your hard palate) - all these and more seem to me symptomatic of a language promoted by a ruling class with an inherent speech defect. And let's face it, the language which is spoken in any country or community is always strongly - if not totally - influenced by those 'in power'.

Anyhow, I Googled 'French aristocracy speech defects', and this is one of the sites which popped up.

Dunno much about cyberstuff, but I'll come back here sometime. If anybody has any information to back up my speculations, they can post it here. I think.

Beaddoodler profile image

Beaddoodler 2 years ago from Lubbock TX

Very interesting. I find it strange that livestock breeders have known for many many centuries that there must be new blood at least every 7th generation and preferably every 3rd, but humans seemed to think they were immune to the hazards of inbreeding.

Jay lmz profile image

Jay lmz 2 years ago from America

a nice hub

poetvix profile image

poetvix 2 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

This was really intriguing! Awesome job on the research and the presentation.

NEM 2 years ago

Related, distantly, through Austrian royalty. I was astounded when Richard III was dug up, to see he had the exact degree of scoliosis that I have.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Georgie.....This is one of the most fascinating and intriguing hubs I've read this year! I was glued to every word. Genetics is a favored topic of study for me and I try to read everything I can get my hands on.

The research you have done is commendable and your writing style made it all that much more interesting.

Thank you so much for this invaluable information. Up+++

Slovenia 2 years ago

The days of Habburg Jaw is not over yet. There are so many of secret children of their own. And nowaday they are recognites by excatly by the Habsburg's Jaw.


carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 2 years ago from Northeast United States

Soooooo interesting :). I could not stop reading :). I had no idea there was such much inbreeding in history. Great hub

NFormedMynd 2 years ago

Poor Princess Diana even stated that she felt she was just a Brood Mare. So sad to be used in such a way.......used for purer English blood than the sitting royals possess themselves.....

MJennifer profile image

MJennifer 2 years ago from Arizona

Georgie, your excellent content here (along with a lot of other hubs) has been stolen and posted on this person's blog.

I posted a back-link to your page. Loved your article and was sad to see someone scraped it.

Best - MJ

Georgie Lowery profile image

Georgie Lowery 2 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA Author


I have heard about this, it's one of the theories on why King Henry VIII's wives had so many miscarriages. It's definitely interesting!

Maevie 2 years ago

Do you have any thoughts about the RH Neg (bloodtype) connection? I know many European royals are RH Neg. Could this be the cause of some problems as the Rh pos or neg was not discovered until the 1940s, Rh Neg women have trouble having healthy Rh pos babies (unless it's the first child or they have had the Rogam shot (which is a 20th century discovery), otherwise childlren may be stillborn, sickly or die from RH disease complications). Another reason "first borns" were important? I have been trying to trace ancestry, Rh Neg and the Habsburg Jaw run in my family (fortunately I did not inherit that underbite, although it is obvious in other relatives).

esatchel profile image

esatchel 2 years ago from Kentucky

This was a very interesting and informative article. I appreciate all the work that went into it!

Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

How informative. Thank you for an very interesting hub.

Joshua Robertson profile image

Joshua Robertson 2 years ago

This was absolutely genius! Very glad to come across this information.

JG11Bravo profile image

JG11Bravo 2 years ago

Outstanding. Very well done.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

Very well researched and written. I think that even very primitive societies understand the dangers of inbreeding, so it is amazing the crowned heads of Europe allowed this. It certainly helped lead to the downfall of royalty.

Resident Weevil profile image

Resident Weevil 3 years ago

I, as well, am pleased that the royal family tree now has branches.

ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

What a fascinating article.

MJennifer profile image

MJennifer 3 years ago from Arizona

Fascinating subject, Georgie, and beautifully presented. Despite having read a few biographies of Queen Victoria, I didn't realize the royal hemophilia link began with her. What a tragic life she had in so many ways. Thanks for this wonderful hub!

Georgie Lowery profile image

Georgie Lowery 3 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA Author

Lady Guinevere:

WV can be a pretty big joke in VA, where I'm from. There's tons of "how many West Virginians does it take to change a light bulb" jokes. Ha. I guess I shouldn't think they're funny, because I technically am half West Virginian. :)

Thank you for the comment and the compliment. :)

Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 3 years ago from West Virginia

Very well written and informative. Though we are not born or raised in WV, we live here now and my husband who works as a social worker has had experience with the inbreds here. Rated up and will share it too.

Georgie Lowery profile image

Georgie Lowery 3 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA Author


Thank you!


I guess I'm pretty morbid, this stuff fascinates me! There's no end to the stuff my twisted brain can come up with!

Alastar Packer:

I had to Google David Icke just now, never heard of the guy! I will have to look up his theory, thanks for the info!


I figure we all share some of the same genetics, but these folks took it way too far!

Glimmer Twin Fan:

I don't remember most of the stuff I learned (read as: slept through) in school. Thanks for the votes!

Millionaire Tips:

Thanks, Shasta! :)


A lot of the folks back then were sterile and there was very high infant mortality rate, especially among royals who had access to health care.

Thank you all for the comments! :)

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 3 years ago from Upstate New York

Interesting. You'd think the inbreeding amongst the royals would make them sterile.

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA

This is very interesting Georgie. Great research. Voted up.

Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

Up, interesting and shared! I love this hub. I've always been a fan for trivia like this and remember hearing about the Hapsburg jaw in high school. Loved learning about the others as well. Thanks for this great read!

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California

It's a wonder any royalty survived. Friends from Egypt tell me it is still common for first cousins to marry there. It is a sad state of affairs.

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 3 years ago from North Carolina

Eye-catching title Georgie, very well done, good subject. The royal lines knew of these problems for a long time- what did they know about DNA, genes and such? Why interbreed knowing the monsters it could create. I'm neutral about this but David Icke just filled up Wembly Stadium. He has an out there take on just why these blood-lines like to keep it in the family- an intriguing take if nothing else.

mpropp profile image

mpropp 3 years ago from Minnesota

This was fascinating! I knew to some extent that the royal families interbred, but you gave some really great examples--and results from this way of keeping the throne "all in the family". Great hub!

KerryAnita profile image

KerryAnita 3 years ago from Satellite Beach, Florida

Very interesting article!

Georgie Lowery profile image

Georgie Lowery 3 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA Author


This is what you have me for! :)

Modok profile image

Modok 3 years ago from VA

Very informative and on a subject matter that I would have never found on my own!

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