Royals who are actually really weird people

It's not so surprising that kings and queens were a bit crazy back in the olden days. Of course, then they had lots of power and the world was a very different place. These days very few royals are anything more than figureheads, and while they live opulent lifestyles, they're also subject to restrictions and accountable to taxpayers. So a lot of modern royals have become normal and almost boring.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. There are some princes and princesses out there today who didn't get the memo that all they're supposed to do anymore is smile and wave at official functions. They manage to embarrass their august families by doing things that are weird, stupid, or even illegal. It's only when their exploits get splashed all over the news that the rest of us find out just how strange they are. Here are some of the bonkers royals that you won't find in your standard fairy tales.

Princess Martha Louise of Norway is super psychic

A lot of people think they have a bond with their pet where the dog or cat can understand what they're saying and vice versa. But most of us understand we aren't literally talking to them with our minds. Not Princess Martha Louise. According to Oddity Central, she rode horses when she was young and discovered she could communicate with them. This led to her talking to all animals. But it's just the tip of the iceberg.

Somehow, the horses also taught her how to speak to angels, and this became her life's work. She has written at least two books on the celestial beings, and in 2007 announced plans to open an "Angel School." There, for the low, low price of $4,150 (in 2007, via the BBC) you can "renew the natural contact you have with the angels." And if you don't get results? It's because you aren't open enough.

People in Norway went nuts over the school. Der Spiegel reports that one paper called on her to lose her royal title, and a TV pastor called her "an emissary from hell."

Demon or not, Martha Louise also claims to be run-of-the-mill psychic. The Seoul Times quoted the school's website, where she tells a story about when she was a little girl and walked up to a woman and told her that "she didn't need to be sad about her husband, that things would go well between them." If that isn't evidence, what is?

Princess Sofia of Sweden made money being sexy

Thanks to Disney and fairy tales, we all kind of have a stereotypical view of what a princess is. And we know that real-life royalty expects their female members to be prim and proper. When Prince Harry married a perfectly lovely divorced American actress, it caused a minor scandal among the stuffier parts of society. So they would have had a heart attack if someone like Princess Sofia had joined the family.

Before she married Sweden's Prince Carl Philip, Sofia had an exciting life. According to the Guardian, she has tattoos, which would make her one of the only royals in the world with ink. But that's nothing compared to her profession. The princess formerly made her money as a topless model in men's magazines. In one shoot she wore only a boa constrictor. She was even crowned "Miss Slitz" in 2004. Then there was the time she made out with adult film star Jenna Jameson in Las Vegas.

Sofia also appeared on the trashy reality show Paradise Hotel. In it, a bunch of very attractive people are put in a resort together, then couples pair off and share a hotel room, with one person left over every week. The unwanted one gets kicked off the show.

Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with any of the things Sofia has done in her life. It's just pretty amazing that a stuffy royal family managed to overlook all of it and let her marry a prince.

King Mswati III of Swaziland sounds like a big jerk

In most countries, royalty is a quaint relic, something to bring in the tourists with no real power. But not in Swaziland, where the last absolute monarch in Africa, King Mswati III, goes beyond weird to pretty terrible with his actions.

Al Jazeera says King Mswati has "a reputation for profligacy, ostentation, corruption, and petty self-indulgence." You can't successfully run a gas station like that, let alone a country with 30 percent unemployment and where 70 percent of your subjects live on less than a dollar a day. The king himself is worth an estimated $100 million and has access to a further $10 billion fund. But he doesn't want his people to know just how he spends all that cash. When he bought a $500,000 car he banned photographs of it.

He also likes to party. Every year for his birthday he fills a football stadium, but that's nothing compared to the Reed Festival. When he wants to choose a new wife, he has tens of thousands of women dance around topless for him so he can take his pick. He also instituted a five-year sex ban for women under 18, but broke this rule himself when he selected a 17-year-old as a bride, reports UPI.

Nor does he seem to care much about the 25 percent of Swazis who have HIV or AIDS. He has said that they should be "sterilized and branded." The Telegraph says this "arrogance and indifference" may bring about the end of the monarchy.

Princess Maha bint Mohammed bin Ahmad al-Sudairi loves shopping, hates bills

There is a rule of thumb that once people get rich, they stay rich by being surprisingly frugal. That's fine if you're Bill Gates getting a $10 haircut. But it is possible to go ridiculously overboard.

Despite belonging to the House of Saud, which runs Saudi Arabia and is one of the richest families in the world, Princess Maha doesn't like paying for things. But she still has the tastes of the ultra-rich, so when she skips out on a bill, it's enough to bankrupt a small state.

Vanity Fair says in 2012, she had been staying at Paris' five-star Shangri-La Hotel for five months, taking up 41 rooms. The bill came to more than $7 million, but she had no intention of turning over her Amex Black Card at checkout. Instead, she and her 60-strong entourage tried to sneak out at 3:30 a.m. But it's hard to go unnoticed when you have a fleet of limos and a mountain of luggage. Amazingly, after some diplomats got involved, she was allowed to leave.

But that's nothing compared to her shopping sprees. During a 2009 Paris stay she managed to grab $20 million worth of swag from 30 stores and didn't pay any of them. Her tactic was to hand the merchant a fancy-looking document saying I.O.U. and then just never settle it. Allegedly because of this King Abdullah had her confined to the palace when she returned to Saudi Arabia in 2009. Hopefully they blocked Amazon on the palace Wi-Fi.

Prince Harry needed to get woke

By all accounts, these days Britain's Prince Harry is a great guy. He joined the military and did two tours in the Middle East. Since his retirement he's thrown himself into royal work, and his marriage to Meghan Markle is seen as a progressive act that will help modernize the royal family. Of course, it's a bit strange that he ended up marrying a mixed-race woman because when he was younger he showed all the signs of being racist.

Of course, racism is a lot worse than just your run-of-the-mill weirdness. Maybe Harry was just being (very) dumb. But when invited to a friend's costume party it takes a lot of stupid to decide that out of everything in the world you could wear, a Nazi uniform complete with swastika armband is just the thing. He was photographed in it and it caused a worldwide scandal, according to the Telegraph. Politicians released statements condemning him, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Harry needed to visit Auschwitz to get the full gravity of what he'd done wrong.

But Harry wasn't done. The Guardian says that while in the military he was being filmed for a video diary and called one of his fellow soldiers a "Paki" and told another he looked like a "raghead." When the footage was released it led to more condemnation. Hopefully he has grown up and isn't prejudiced anymore.

Prince Nayef was just following God's plan

When you're a more minor royal who will never end up ruling your country, it must be hard to decide on a career. Luckily, Prince Nayef bin Sultan bin Fawwaz al-Shaalan of Saudi Arabia managed to find something he liked, and it even seemed to be a divinely inspired choice. Before he was caught in 1999, Nayef was a drug dealer on an epic scale. When it was pointed out to him this was kind of a no-no in Islam, he wasn't fazed, saying "the world is already doomed and that he had been authorized by God to sell drugs."

He must have really wanted to make God happy, because it didn't have to be this way. According to the Strategic Culture Foundation, Nayef went to the University of Miami, speaks eight languages, and has invested heavily in the oil industry. So he had other options, but divine drug smuggling it was.

The key was using his own private plane and his diplomatic status to avoid detection. He met with drug cartel members in Spain, and even flew some of them to Saudi Arabia, where they were picked up in a Rolls-Royce. While tearing around the desert in Hummers, they made plans to ship 2,000 kilos of cocaine from Venezuela to Paris. But the prince said they could fit up to 20,000 kilos in his jet in the future. He was finally caught, but he fled back home and was convicted in absentia in 2007.

Crown Princess Masako of Japan can't handle the royal life

Crown Princess Masako is perhaps less weird and more seriously unwell against her will. But she wasn't always like this. Before she joined the royal family she seemed to have a great life. But for her, becoming a princess was far from a fairy tale. Instead, it was a nightmare.

According to Whimn, it all started when she was specially selected to be one of 100 virgins who would meet Crown Prince Naruhito at a party in 1986. He would pick one of them to marry, and for him it was love at first sight. For Masako, less so. She is absolutely brilliant and wanted to concentrate on her education and a career, something that would be impossible if she married the prince.

So for seven years she kept turning down his proposals. In the meantime, she attended Harvard and Oxford and learned six languages. Then she joined the diplomatic service. But the palace was putting pressure on her father, and she finally agreed to get hitched to Naruhito.

Since then, Masako's life has been a disaster. The only thing that mattered (to everyone else) was her having kids, which she struggled with. Reuters says she finally had a daughter, but since she can't inherit the throne that wasn't good enough. The pressure on Masako to change her personality was so great that she entered the palace in 2004 and basically didn't leave for a decade. The official line is that she has an "adjustment disorder" but whatever the reason, putting yourself under house arrest is not normal.

Prince Charles has peculiar needs

One thing that happens when you're royal is you get used to a certain level of luxury. The problem is, most other people's houses and hotels don't live up to that standard. So if you aren't willing to compromise on comfort, you only have one choice: take it all with you. This is what Prince Charles does, according to the book Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion And Defiance Of Prince Charles.

In it, an image of a slightly wacky guy emerges. If he's going to be staying over, he wants to know he'll get a good night's sleep. That's why when traveling he brings his favorite mattress with him. Of course, certain parts of the royal body need even more specialized attention, which might be why he is also alleged to haul around his own special toilet seat and premium toilet paper. Since he changes his clothes up to five times a day, he brings a chest of drawers to hold his wardrobe. And he likes looking at two pictures of the Scottish Highlands, so he takes those along, too.

While that is all rumor, one crazy habit Charles absolutely admits to is talking to plants. ABC News references a BBC documentary where he says, "I happily talk to the plants and trees, and listen to them." He also compared them to his children and says that doing this keeps him "relatively sane." That may be up for debate.

Prince Henrik of Denmark was the world's grumpiest royal

You'd think that being a royal you wouldn't have much to complain about, what with all the castles and tiaras at your disposal. But some royals do find things to moan about, none more so than Prince Henrik.

Henrik was born in France and married Margrethe of Denmark when she was still a princess. Five years later she became queen, but he stayed a prince. According to People, the fact that he wasn't made king (a completely normal practice among royalty when the queen is the monarch) made him really angry. He decided everyone needed to know about it. And then just in case they forgot, he would remind them, over and over again, until he finally died in 2018, bitter til the end.

Dubbed "the world's grumpiest royal," Henrik once told a newspaper that not being king meant he was subject to discrimination. He also told a TV news crew (in his wife's presence) that he would never accept being under her. He once said on TV that he had to ask Margrethe for an allowance just so he could buy cigarettes. (His complaining worked, and he was given a salary.)

The prince was so pissed off that shortly before he died, he announced he wouldn't be buried with his wife in a special glass sarcophagus carried by elephants that took seven years to make. And though they'd all heard it for years by this point, he made sure everyone knew why.