This Is the Most Inbred King of All Time

The crayons in his box were all the same color, if you know what I mean
This Is the Most Inbred King of All Time

Its no secret that royal families of the past had family trees that were more trunk than doctors suggest. In an effort to produce heirs with “pure" royal blood, breadth of genetic material wasnt always their focus. 

Now, we cant entirely blame them, given that they had very little of the modern knowledge of genetics available to them. If you dont know about recessive genes, sure, maybe youd believe mating royal cousins like you’re playing Barbie would eventually produce some Superking. We know now that it simply produces some super unpleasant birth defects.

One king in particular, though, bore the brunt of an entire lines history of inbreeding in a single, highly unpleasant package. He didnt get away with webbed feet or a weirdly long head as the cost of the throne either. He instead was a barely walking checklist of ailments, a thoroughly copy-and-pasted Punnett square that defied medical odds just by existing. 

This sad, pitiable sack was Charles II of Spain.

Charles II was the last king of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. If you have even a passing interest in history, youll know that being a Habsburg near the end of their reign wasnt a good sign for your medical health. Thats because their jersey (crest?) is hanging in the family-fucking rafters. They even have a birth defect, the Habsburg Jaw, named after them

So if the Habsburgs were the Michael Jordan of inbreeding, Charles II was their flu game.

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Looking unwell, king!

According to calculations by Gonzalo Alvarez of the University of Santiago de Compostela, a whopping 25 percent of Charles genes were identical, or homozygous. On the non-microscopic scale, this manifested itself in a serious cornucopia of physical and mental handicaps. He obviously had the classic Habsburg Jaw, but his was so pronounced he was said to have trouble chewing. Couple that with an unusually large tongue, and there are records saying that it was almost impossible to understand him. Others mention that he had difficulty standing up without assistance, and was the owner of an unusually long head.

As such, two historians, Will and Ariel Durant, described Charles II less-than-sympathetically: “Short, lame, epileptic, senile and completely bald before 35, always on the verge of death but repeatedly baffling Christendom by continuing to live.” 

Which is true — Charles did live remarkably long keeping in mind the litany of congenital issues he inherited. That said, given that he was probably wheezing his way through it like a French bulldog, it’s probably not the most inspiring story. (Its worth mentioning that some historians think his physical defects have been exaggerated, but given that hes the Crown Jewel of the Habsburgs single-roof genetics project, its not that unreasonable.)

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Even the dog is like, “This child smells wrong.”

Charles did eventually die, as is the human way. Unfortunately, he left no heir, meaning the Habsburg dynasty in Spain had come to an end. In a bit of particular gross poetic justice, it turns out that their icky succession plans were exactly what eventually ended the Habsburgs. Generations of inbreeding had caused Charles to be shooting only the emptiest of blanks. 

In fact, in notes from his autopsy, among other terrifying observations like a “head full of water,” “corroded lungs” and a “heart the size of a peppercorn,” the doctor found the root of his impotence. Or as he remarked, “He had a single testicle, black as coal.” 

Which also sounds like the opening line of a porno based on the Grinch, but well leave that well enough alone.

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