In some cases, diagnosing kings with mental disorders was not foes` lever to acquire the power but an actual way to secure kingdom’s subjects from ruler`s madness.
Ruler of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar is considered to be the grandfather of all mad kings. Description of his madness is the most interesting chapter in the Old Testament book of Daniel. Under his rule Babylon showed unprecedented power and greatness. However, in last years of his life he left the palace for wild nature. This undermined his reputation and made descendants think of him as a mad person.
This Roman Emperor also has become a hero of numerous movies and books due to his madness. In fact, he was sadist and was well known for his eccentric deeds. For example, it was forbidden to mention goats in his presence. Presumably the reason was his own excessive body hair.
Henry VI of England.
Character of William Shakespeare`s dramatic trilogy Henry VI became a king before his birth and last 10 years of his life he has spent in half sane condition. First serious stroke took place in 1453. After which the king has spent practically unconscious more than a year. After temporary recovery, his condition has worsened in 1945 – monarch suffered from sleep paralysis. In addition, he had experienced religious paroxysm cases.
Chinese Emperor Zhengde.
One of the most famous rulers of Ming dynasty, he was famous for his foolishness and cruelty. He even had an imaginary double-ganger who he gave orders to start military campaigns and expeditions.
Joanna of Castile (the Mad).
Her sobriquet speaks for itself, but her madness was caused by circumstances and not organism condition or inheritance. Due to difficulties in throne succession factual regent were 3 men simultaneously who had pernicious influence on her. The first, who had mentioned about her illness, was her husband Philip the Handsome. But the reason was her excessive jealousy due to a number of his mistresses. The situation worsened by Phillip`s death, with which Joanna could not cope. Further process of madness escalated rapidly.
Ivan the Terrible.
There is enough known about this monarch, however there is only few who actually considers him an ill person. He is rather seen as eccentric and cruel. However, he could be diagnosed with more than one type of disorder. Signs of all possible kinds of psychoses, paranoia and schizophrenia can be reflected in his phrenetic love for executions and tortures and wish to have as many spectators as possible.
Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor is one of the most eccentric rulers of European Renaissance. He also was famous for becoming the greatest collector of his century and rapt intercessor of arts and pseudoscience. During all his life principles of irrepressible elation and dark melancholia changes one another in the sudden manner, therefore often even his servants did not know how to please him.
This monarch showed signs of mental disorder at early stages of his rule. It is not surprising as he was ruling England hectic period – as revolution in America, Napoleonic wars and French Revolution could not leave him indifferent. His psyche was weak and could not handle such pressure of ongoing events. He had hallucinations, severe paranoia and other signs of instability.
Carlota of Mexico.
First and the only empress of the Mexico out of Habsburg House, she lost her mind in the process of struggle over the influence in Mexico. She was wife of the Maximilian I of Mexico and together with him was making an enormous effort to gain peoples` trust living within Mexico`s borders. When influence of the imperial couple was lost, Carlota was diagnosed with mental disorder and lost all the power.
Ruler of Bavaria in the second half of the 19th century, Ludwig II was a prototype of “mad king”, who in reality was not mad at all. This monarch was intercessor of arts and built the most popular castle of Germany Neuschwanstein. On top of that, Ludwig was passionate admirer of Wagner and was sponsoring creation of operas. The reason he was considered mad was courtiers making him admit himself being insane. They forged medical report according to which Ludwig could not rule the state anymore. Next morning, he and his doctor was found dead in the lake.