When Royal Inbreeding Went Horribly Wrong

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When we talk about inbreeding we are referring to reproducing with someone who is closely related in terms of genetics. We see this happen a lot when dogs are bred, and many people are critical of it. You see, when a pooches’ mum and dad are not genetically related that puppy gets diverse genes. This is a good thing as if both were the same or similar and carried a faulty gene the puppy would also get that fault. With a mix, it has more choice and can override the bad gene. As one dog breeding website puts it, some inbred dogs are “born sick and die sick.” With that in mind, how does inbreeding bode for humans? That’s what we’ll find out today, in this episode of the Infographics Show, When Royal inbreeding went wrong. So, we know if you have offspring with someone genetically close to you like a sister or a cousin, it might mean that the child inherits two recessive genes. Sibling to sibling we are told is far riskier than reproducing with a cousin or aunt or perhaps for some strange folks, grandmother. One scientist says this is really not a good idea. It might be harmful to that child, but that is not always the case. We’ll give you a rundown of things that might happen. The child may have genetic disorders It might be short It may lack immune system protection Have an asymmetrical face Have a badly functioning heart Or might die soon after birth Let’s now have a look at some people that took the risk and what happened to their kids. We chose royals because it was sometimes the nobility that believed inbreeding was good because they mistakenly thought mixing with their own kind would produce a kind of super-offspring of pure blood. Another thing is that people who are royal blood don’t exactly have a massive pool of people they can choose to procreate with. Usually they must stick with their own kind. King Tutankhamun This is the Egyptian pharaoh that ruled from 1332–1323 BC. King Tut was one of a kind because his mother was not just his father’s wife, she was also his father’s sister. We know this because of tests on mitochondrial DNA. How did that work out for Mr. Tut? Well, scientists tell us he went through hell, that his life was perpetual suffering. It’s said he spent most of his life sitting because he suffered from something called Kohler’s disease. This is a rare disease that starts in childhood and it basically means the bones in the feet die and the foot just collapses. It’s also extremely painful. He had some aesthetic setbacks, too, in a large overbite and feminine thighs. Add to that a cleft palate and a bent spine. We are also told that he didn’t move his head well because seven of the vertebrae in his neck were fused together. “We know that this man had 130 walking sticks and that he used to shoot arrows while he was sitting," said secretary general Zahi Hawass of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. Ok, so now you can see why you probably shouldn’t inbreed. King George III The English king is sometimes called Mad King George, and it’s thought his madness might have been the result of inbreeding. It wasn’t even thought he would survive as little George came out two months prematurely. The House of Hanover was notorious for cousin to cousin marriage, sometimes first cousin, sometimes second or third. It was happening all over Europe, with one essayist in 1802 writing that “every hereditary monarch in Europe was insane.” It’s said the “mad king who lost America” suffered from a genetic blood disorder called porphyria. This made him ache a lot but also turned his urine blue. It’s also said sometimes he just couldn’t stop talking and other times he would have convulsions. When he got older he was almost blind with cataracts and had terrible rheumatism. In 1801 George was taken to hospital in a straight-jacket and he was not seen again in public. He died crazy and didn’t know who he was. Charles II of Spain Now we turn to Habsburg inbreeding, a house with a very shallow gene pool. We should mention again that inbreeding between European nobility was very common, but not all offspring ended up badly made. This wasn’t the case for Charles II, whose father and mother were uncle and niece. This had a nasty effect on his appearance and he was nicknamed “The Bewitched.” One historian writes that not-so-bonny king Charlie was “short, lame, epileptic, senile and completely bald before 35, always on the verge of death but repeatedly baffling Christendom by continuing to live.” It took him until four years old to talk and he didn’t walk until he was eight. He could barely speak because he had something called the “Habsburg Lip.” This meant the lower jaw stretched out way further than the upper part, making him look quite horrendous. He also had a very large tongue, which didn’t help matters at all when it came to speaking. It is blamed on royal intermarriage and historians tell us the Habsburgs were the inbreeding champions of Europe. He died at just age 39 after being sick since birth. One writer said, “We are dealing with a man who died of poison two hundred years before he was born.” He was referring to two centuries of inbreeding. The physician that did the autopsy wrote that Charles “did not contain a single drop of blood; his heart was the size of a peppercorn; his lungs corroded; his intestines rotten and gangrenous; he had a single testicle, black as coal, and his head was full of water.” Did inbreeding kill the Habsburgs off? That’s what a lot of people say. Papers have been written about this. One such paper says, “This data suggests that inbreeding depression for infant and child survival could be occurring in the Spanish Habsburg families as a consequence of prolonged consanguineous marriages.” King Chulalongkorn’s big family The great king of Thailand born in 1853 was responsible for modernizing the country and so is very much revered. He abolished slavery, reformed government, built modern hospitals and introduced a modern system of law. He also had four wives, all half-sisters. This was a busy man as he also had 32 consorts and it’s thought 116 concubines (the numbers differ from source to source, but who’s counting). In total he had 33 sons and 44 daughters. Many of those kids lived long lives, but many others were sickly and lived very short lives. Princess Nahienaena’s short-lived child It’s said in Hawaii incest was a privilege and this princess married her brother Prince Kauikeaouli. The Christian missionaries took a dim view of this. They had a child and it died shortly after being brought into the world. The princess never recovered and she died not long after that. Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich Little Alexei was the heir to the throne of the Russian Empire, but his life was not a long one. The youngest of five children, he was born with hemophilia (when blood doesn’t clot). Now, it’s thought that the reason for this disease was because the young boy was a descendent of Queen Victoria. In fact, lots of people related to the 19th century British queen bled out. It was even called the “Royal disease.” It spread of course because all these royals were inbreeding and as we said at the start, that doesn’t go down well as recessive genes with recessive genes means faulty kids. Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Leopold, died at 31 of a brain hemorrhage. Her grandson, Prince Friedrich of Hesse and by Rhine, met a similar fate. Her great grandson, Prince Waldemar of Prussia, bled to death. As did Lord Leopold Mountbatten, grandson of the great queen. Great grandson Prince Heinrich of Prussia went the same way, as did two of her descendants, Infante Alfonso and Infante Gonzalo of Spain. Why or why did these people not venture a bit further when looking for a suitable mate? Queen Maria I Another mad royal, Maria I of Portugal, was said to go into fits of hysteria quite often. During her rule from 1777 to 1816 two of her kids died of smallpox, which didn’t help her condition. She would stay alone howling and crying and it’s said that many people in this family suffered from mental diseases. The blame is said to be all the inbreeding that went on. Both her grandfathers suffered from mental problems, too. Maria ended up marrying her uncle and one of her sons married his aunt. Enough said. Elisabeth of Austria This is another member of the family-loving Habsburgs. Elizabeth, aka, Sisi, married at just 16-years old. The groom was her cousin. But as you know, for a Habsburg this was the norm. The Habsburg family tree looks more like a family branch. She came from the very inbred House of Wittelsbach. She suffered from depression most of her life and became obsessive about her looks to the point of starving herself. She was eventually murdered. Things got better over time, especially in Europe, and nobility started to practice outbreeding. However, the practice is still common in some parts of the world, notably Africa and the Middle East. The New York Times wrote a piece in 2003 stating that in Saudi Arabia people were just starting to see how bad this practice could be. Many kids born to cousins who had married cousins were born with all kinds of disease, from spinal muscular atrophy to other serious genetic disorders. “Across the Arab world today an average of 45 percent of married couples are related,” said a doctor the Times interviewed from the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh. Public health officials in the country warned of disorders that might occur due to inbreeding, including anemia, hemoglobin deficiency, deafness and even muteness. It seems things haven’t changed much, either, as in 2017 reports stated that inbreeding was still costing Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health millions of riyal. It didn’t just happen in the Middle East. There is a famous story about inbreeding in Kentucky, USA, about the Fugate family in the 19th century. A rare disease happened in this family called methaemoglobinaemia, which turned people’s skin blue. One writer states, “As a result of a coincidental meeting of recessive genes, intermarriage and inbreeding, members of the Fugate family were born with a rare condition that made them visibly discolored.” We guess these blue people couldn’t exactly hide the fact they were the result of inbreeding. After hearing all this, would you take the plunge and dare breed with, say, a third cousin? Do you think people should take no risks and look for partners far from their genetic circle? Tell us in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video Are you Related To The Royal Family. Thanks for watching, and as always, please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.
Channel: The Infographics Show
Views: 4,371,703
Rating: 4.8416233 out of 5
Keywords: royal, royal inbreeding, the royals, royals, royal family, the queen, the king, queen, king, prince, princess, british royal family (family), royal blood, royalty, King Tutankhamun, Tutankhamun, King George III, Charles II of Spain, Charles, George, Family, Nahienaena, Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, Queen Maria I, Elisabeth of Austria, charles ii, top 10, genetic disorders, united kingdom, british, education, educational, the infographics show, infographic, infographics, show, video
Id: obt__HtqvAQ
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Length: 10min 35sec (635 seconds)
Published: Sat Nov 17 2018
Reddit Comments

i put your post back up :)

👍︎︎ 3 👤︎︎ u/alexCDG 📅︎︎ Aug 20 2019 🗫︎ replies

But Gachas are definitely not royals

👍︎︎ 2 👤︎︎ u/CarlosTheGodSlayer 📅︎︎ Aug 21 2019 🗫︎ replies

I kinda learned a lot form it lel

👍︎︎ 1 👤︎︎ u/Ari-the-random-humon 📅︎︎ Aug 23 2019 🗫︎ replies
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