those unhappy Habsburgs

Ferdinand I, (1793-1875) like many royals, was the son of first cousins. His father, Emperor Francis, had a prodigious sexual appetite and married four times. He was known as the “wife killer” as it was rumoured he rogered his first three wives to death with his awesome libido.

Ferdinand found here

Poor Ferdinand was born with a hydrocephalic head and suffered from epilepsy. His tongue was too large for his mouth, making it almost impossible for him to speak coherently though he was once recorded as saying “I am the Emperor and I want dumplings”.

Felt dumpling found here

The Emperor’s idea of a good time was to wedge his backside in a wastepaper basket and roll around the floor in it.

Charles (Carlos) II (1661-1700) of Spain was the product of a marriage between Empress Maria Anna and Emperor Ferdinand III. Maria Anna happened to be her husband’s niece as well as his wife so she was both Charles’ mother and first cousin. 

Maria Anna found here

He was born physically and mentally disabled, and disfigured. Possibly through affliction with mandibular prognathism, he was unable to chew. His tongue was so large that his speech could barely be understood, and he frequently drooled.

Charles II found here

A sickly four year old when he succeeded his father, he reigned for 35 years. When he came to the throne he was still being breastfed by relays of fourteen wet nurses. His first wife spoke of his premature ejaculation, while his second spouse complained about his impotency. The French ambassador even managed to get a pair of Charles’ drawers examined by surgeons for traces of sperm, but the doctors could not agree about their findings.

image found here

Over the years Charles grew steadily worse. He was lame, epileptic and bald at the age of 35. His hair had fallen out, his teeth were nearly gone and his eyesight was failing. In 1698 he had three fits and became deaf. The doctors put freshly-killed pigeons on his head to prevent dizziness and applied the steaming entrails of mammals to his stomach to keep him warm, but he died nevertheless.

image found here

Charles’ successor was Philip V who was unfeasibly oversexed even by the royal standards of the day. He was a religious maniac yet a complete slave to his libido. His minister even said of him “all he needs in life is a couch and a woman“. His first mental breakdown occurred in 1717. He refused to see anyone except his wife, and only saw her because he required sexual intercourse. Philip then kept Marie Louise at his side day and night to such an extent that their bodily functions were made to synchronise.

woman and couch found here

However, four pregnancies, sleepless nights and icy rooms proved too much for Marie Louise. Doctors filed past the dying Queen and examined her from a distance, because etiquette forbade them to touch her. Philip V was not a considerate husband; until the last minute he wanted to enjoy those delights, which he would not know again for a long time. He had to be torn from her deathbed.

Marie Louise found here

Philip’s day was well ordered. He imposed an eccentric timetable on the court, which remained unchanged for most of his reign. The King went to bed about 8 o’clock in the morning, rising at midday to have a light meal. At 1 o’clock he dressed and went to mass, then received visitors, and spent the evening looking out of the window, playing with his clocks, or being read to, until it was time for a musical or theatrical entertainment. Sometime after midnight he called in his ministers to transact business, until 5 o’clock in the morning, when supper was taken with the windows closed.

(world’s most expensive?) clock found here

By 1727 his mental state had deteriorated so badly that his second wife effectively took over the rule of Spain. He refused to change his clothes and wandered the palace in filthy stinking rags, biting his arms and hands while screaming and singing. He suffered from delusions, believing that he could not walk because his feet were of different size. For a while, he believed he had turned into a frog. He spent entire days lying in bed in his own excrement, refusing to have his hair or toenails cut or his beard shaved. Pen and paper were kept out of his reach, because an impulsive abdication was feared. This unhappy life was finally brought to an end by a stroke on July 9th, 1746.

read about the transparent frog here

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47 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. His tongue was too large for his mouth

    The Jamie Oliver of his day?

    • LMAO!

  2. Great blog about the members of congress of the USA

  3. That felt dumpling is adorable — which isn’t a word I thought I’d ever use to describe a picture here.

    • It looks more like a Cornish pasty to my experienced eye ……

      • I was going to say it looks like an empanada to my Puerto Rican eyes :)

      • I thought it looked like a potsticker. Or maybe a samosa. Also, I’m really hungry now.

      • I’d say it’s more of a Japanese gyoza

  4. I tried the bum-in-the-wastebin thing, but it set my dogs to barking madly. I’ll have to try it when they’re asleep, it sounds great fun.

    • I’m with Cindy on this. Wouldn’t it be so much simpler if we could get our kicks from sticking our bum in a waste bin.

  5. Oh my, Nursie, you’ve really got me laughing! Little Charles II looks like a pedigree Cocker Spaniel.

    • He does doesn’t he?!

  6. I almost felt sorry for the little abnormal sperm. Bless their two little heads.

    Proof though isn’t it that life goes on in spite of the most unbelievable obstacles (in this case, a man who really couldn’t do much at all can still root like a rabbit. There’s just no keeping that biological urge in check, even if most of your sperm probably have more than two heads).

    I’m sure my response to this post breaches several bounds of good taste and sections of the equal opportunity legislation but I went ahead with it anyway, may God strike me down.

    • The gimcrack regularly breaches several bounds of good taste so you’re in fine company here

  7. I forget. Inbreeding preserved the royal jelly how…?

  8. Philip V a Hapsburg? Was the whole War of the Spanish Succession fought for nothing? He was the grandson of Louis XIV, though to be sure by Hapsburg wife; and it seems a bit hard to make the Hapbsburgs carry the blame for a libido that was well attested among Philip V’s Bourbon ancestors.

    • Ferdinand and Charles were Habsburg’s, Philip succeeded to the throne after Charles’ death. I didn’t mean the title to refer to all three of them

  9. In moments of extreme boredom I have been known to use the wastepaper basket trick myself – so what!

  10. ‘He had to be torn from her death bed’ conjures a wonderful image

  11. Isn’t there something mouth-gapingly handsome about Ferdinand?

  12. Wow, Philip V WAS a loon. I thought George III was nutty.

    “Rogered.” Interesting verb. I wonder if that’s what Yello was talking about in their song, “No More Roger.”

  13. I frequently drool, too.
    I hope this doesn’t make you think any less of me, N.M. :)

  14. The only good thing I ever got out of the Hapsburgs was a penny minted in the 1700’s with their seal on it, found while cleaning a 300 year old attic in northern Germany.

    Thus ends my tale :)

  15. And we think the British Royal Family are a bit eccentric! By comparison with that lot, they’re models of propriety. But who knows, maybe Prince Charles sticks his bum in a waste bin and rolls around the floor when nobody’s looking….

  16. Wow. I thought some of the characters I’ve created in my stories were weird, but this goes beyond fiction. I mean, if the dude weren’t real, I would make him up. What a mess. I wonder what its like to have your bodily functions synchronize with someone? Not that I want to know personally.

    • When I was at boarding school all six girls in my dorm eventually ended up having synchronised periods.

  17. It’s enough to put you off royalty forever isn’t it. I’m still hoping that Pippa’s arse will somehow get into the gene pool – it might save lives…

    Otherwise she can bring it down here to the antipodean court, yes in fact it’s wasted on those Brits.

    The King

    • If you lay one finger on Pippa’s arse….!

      • You can blog about it!

        The King

  18. i tried to read this entire post. i really tried. but the thought of being rogered to death by a habsburg has given me a bad case of the heebie-jeebies….

  19. Anna-Maria’s hairstyle is amazing. It looks like a velodrome.

    • Excellent comparison Mitzi

  20. I like that Philip thought he’d turned into a frog. By the time I’d read about all the freaky stuff up until then, thinking you were a frog seemed pretty tame.

  21. I tried the ‘freshly killed pigeons on the head’ trick too, it did nothing for my dizziness….

  22. And they say inbreeding is a bad thing!

  23. Head pigeons sounds quite nasty. Is it on the National Health?

    I think I may be coming down with them.

    And just for the Aussies – Abbotabad. Pyneaworse. Morrisonaworst.

  24. Would have commented earlier, but I’ve been stuck in the wastepaper bin rolling around on the floor

  25. Wouldn’t it have been more noteworthy if he’d rolled around the floor with a wastebin stuck in his backside?

  26. Gah you could have stuck them all in a sideshow and charged a dollar a gawk!

  27. Yeah, a lot of these ancient portraits lack sparkle. I oft wonder if it was the subject or the artist or the king who didn’t fancy a smile.

  28. It’s perhaps for the best that Wills married a commoner. Although it’ll make for far less colorful stories.

  29. Mmm, Philips final days sound like the daily happenings of my roommate.

  30. The noodle-lover was a different Ferdinand: not Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, 1503-1564, but Ferdinand I, Emperor of Austria, 1793-1875, known to the Czechs as Ferdinand the Good.

    • Good Lord! That was a terrible mistake, thanks for pointing it out. I’ve amended the incorrect dates and image now. I think when I was looking for them I just typed in Ferdinand and Habsburg and clicked on the first entry that came up. thanks again.

  31. Thanks for the referral to my transparent frog article!


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