Kiss of Death


For a thousand years kings and queens of Europe had absolute powerbut absolute power corrupts absolutely. Greed, revenge, sex, madness, witchcraft, murder, every monarch had their royal secrets
Murders – Kings have always tried to hold onto their power. survival meant eliminating enemies, executioners and assassins did the dirty work. As children, three kings watched in horror as family members were slaughtered. Macbeth, king of Scotland, Eric the 14th king of Sweden, Ivan, czar of Russia, unlike most royals they were driven to kill with their own hand.
Bizarre-Monarchs are not like other people. With power and wealth absolute rulers had no limits on their self-indulgent behavior. they could realize their wildest fantasies regardless of the consequences. Peter the Great scandalized 18th century Russia with his strange obsessions. While the decadence of Henry III of France brought down his dynasty. Both spun into a world of the bizarre.
Dynasty – After gaining power, a royals most important task is to hold onto that power and keep it in the family, passing it on from father to son. But when fate intervened even the toughest and longest royal blood lines could vanish. Italy’s Medici family pulled out all the stops to join a royal blood line. The Austrian Hapsburgs dominated Europe for centuries, and the normans fully intended to do the same. They all dreamed and schemed to have their own dynasty.
Folly – The grand power of kings and queens did not guarantee wisdom, over the ages many monarchs were complete fools, and when blundering fools reign nations pay the price. Scottish James IV fell under the spell of a bogus wizard, foolish Charles VI of Austria left his daughter a bankrupt empire, and Queen Adelaide was the victim of a royal swindler, they all committed idiotic acts of folly.
Glory – For many royals wielding immense power was not enough, they sought recognition. Some monarchs sought to bask in the adulation of great deeds, others hid their emotions behind glorious facades. Louis XIV, the glorious sun king of france built the greatest palace in Europe. England’s Elizabeth I hid her lonely soul behind a glorious mask. While medieval Edward I battered his way into history. All found their own way into the fields of glory.
Imposters – Everyone envied the power of monarchs and would go to any length to gain it. And when occasional accidents of history provided an opportunity, crafty commoners attempted to claim that power. Their attempts always ended in failure. Danish king Johanne Struense, Russian Czar Dmitri and English prince berkin worbek tried to become kings. They have left no echo in history because they were imposters.
Kiss of Death – Throughout history kings had the power to pick lovers on a whim. Female royals also had the same power. But unfortunately for their men russian Czarina Catherine the Great and French Queen Margarite of Valois both bestowed upon their lovers the kiss of death.
Law and Disorder – All societies need justice, even monarchies where royals were above the law. But many kings used or abused the rules of society to their own end. Austrian Emperor Joseph II issued 10000 laws trying to create a perfect world. English Henry VII twisted the law to make himself rich. While Henry II search for a new english legal system ended in murder. The kingdoms they ruled were beset by law and disorder.
Lust – When it came to sex, all powerful kings and queens had the pick of the kingdom for their amorous adventures. But even royals have been made fools of by love. England’s Henry VIII destroyed Anne Boleyn the woman he once loved. Prince George and Princess Caroline were a public tragic – comedy and french king Louis XVIII paid the ultimate price. They were all consumed by lust.
Sorcery – Because monarchs claimed god empowered them to rule those who wanted to control a royal sometimes turned to an equal power the devil. French king Louis XIV’s mistress used black magic to keep him and kill her rivals. Austrian Emperor Rudolph II was driven mad by magicians and alchemists. the english boy king Henry VI was bewitched by his aunt. These kings fell under the dark spell of sorcery.
Warmongers – Throughout history monarchs held the terrifying power to make war. Their exploits could win glory in battle or bring defeat and destruction to their kingdoms. Three such royals loved war. Prussian King Frederich the Great his father Frederich William and Richard the Lionheart of England. they have been remembered as warrior kings because they were Warmongers.