Princes and princesses who were really weird people

Plenty of kings and queens throughout history have been a few sandwiches short of a picnic. All that unchecked power will do a number on anyone's brain. But there are plenty of royals who never got the top job and proved to be just as crazy. If anything, it might be worse. They suffered from all the money-having and palace-living but since they didn't have to worry about ruling, they had way too much free time to indulge in their weirdest fantasies.

Sometimes this wasn't that big a deal. Since their subjects didn't count on them, they could run around being nuts all they wanted, only endangering their relationships and their livers. But other times their brains were seriously damaged, and they wanted to inflict lots of pain on others. In those cases, they ruined people's lives. All we can do now is hope modern royals treat themselves to lots of therapy so it doesn't happen again.

Princess Isabella of Parma was obsessed with her sister-in-law

If she lived today, Princess Isabella would be just another liberated woman. But because she was around in the 1700s, her thoughts and actions put her up there with the strangest of royals.

The small marriage market for princes and princesses usually led to epic disasters. It was not weird for arranged marriages to mean husbands and wives detested each other. But Crown Prince Joseph of Austria struck gold. He fell absolutely head over heels in love with his young wife. Isabella was less interested in him, and it may have been because she was a lesbian. She became totally obsessed with her husband's sister, Christina, according to A Treasury of Royal Scandals. We can't know if they had a physical relationship, but we do have letters Isabella sent her sister-in-law, and they say stuff like, "I am told that the day begins with God. I, however, begin the day by thinking of the object of my love, for I think of her incessantly." Her husband probably didn't even get a card on his birthday.

Hansburger.net says that Isabella also had some progressive ideas. Bizarrely for the time, she was well-educated. And she was openly hostile to the idea that she existed just to have kids. Regardless, she was constantly pregnant. Royal Central reports this made her depressed and obsessed with the idea that she was going to die, which she did, of smallpox at just 21.

Prince George, Duke of Kent liked drag

There will never be another British royal like Prince George. These days, anyone who got up to one-tenth of what he did would be destroyed in the media. But before World War II there was still a reverence for the Windsors, and the papers covered up his indiscretions. And boy, were there plenty.

According to The Rake, George was the smartest and most attractive of his family members. He ran with a fast crowd and liked fast cars. He also liked drugs. The story goes that his older brother, the future King Edward VIII, had to wean George off morphine and cocaine after he became seriously addicted.

George married his second cousin, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, and by all accounts they genuinely loved each other. But that didn't stop him from sleeping with virtually anyone with a pulse, male or female. His list of alleged conquests is long and includes everyone from an African-American singer to a gay Parisian prostitute who tried to blackmail the prince. And since he lived in a time of unreliable birth control he is thought to have had numerous illegitimate children.

But his longest relationship may have been with composer Noel Coward. They were not discreet about their 19-year affair. Apparently, the British security services knew all about the two lovers walking the streets of London together dressed like women. They were even arrested once on suspicion of being prostitutes. Sadly, George's fun would end when he died in a mysterious plane crash in 1942, aged 39.

Gian Gastone de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany had to pay for it

Poor Gian might not have turned into such a debauched guy if he hadn't had such a terrible marriage. The union, arranged by the Italian duke's father, was doomed from the start: Madness of Kings says the woman chosen, Anna Maria, was a widow with no desire to get hitched again, and the 23-year-old Gian was unequivocally gay. Plenty of homosexual princes have managed to carry on the family line, but it was not going to happen with Gian. Within two years he was living almost entirely apart from his hated wife.

He did not spend his time constructively. According to History Answers, he would run off on boys' trips to places like Prague, where his lover/procurer would find poor students to come frolic with the duke in exchange for cash. Gian would get wasted and end up in seedy taverns where he happily participated in brawls. What he didn't spend on booze or prostitutes he lost at cards.

Eventually he had to come back to Florence and take over for his dad, but he wasn't into ruling. Instead he would spend all day every day in bed. Gian paid hot young men and women to keep him company, doing everything from fun between the sheets to beating him. His room absolutely reeked since he rarely left it. The few times he had to for official dinners, he would get so drunk he'd puke in front of his esteemed guests. This went on for almost a decade, until he died in 1737.

Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan hated being looked at

If you lived in northern Italy during the 14th and 15th century, you were probably bending the knee to the Visconti family, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Through tight friendships with popes and marrying people from other important princely families, they consolidated their power until the dukes of Milan were people to be reckoned with.

Filippo took over from his brother Giovanni in 1412. It wasn't the best of starts, considering Giovanni had been assassinated for being incompetent, extremely cruel, and possibly insane. It's probably more than a little stressful to know there are people around who are perfectly willing to kill you if you screw up the whole ruling thing.

But Filippo actually did pretty well. He reorganized government finances, introduced the silk industry, and waged almost constant, but successful, war against his neighbors. Any potential assassins must have been cool with him, because he died of natural causes 35 years later. But he was still super weird.

A History of the Italian Republics says Filippo was so ridiculously, cartoonishly, over-the-top ugly that he "could not support the humiliation of being looked at." He hid from people in his own palace and never showed himself to his soldiers to get them all pumped for attacking places. When an emperor came by for an important peace talk he refused to meet with him, lest he see Filippo was no oil painting. Instead of existing in the real world, he became a "neurotic recluse." Too bad plastic surgery didn't exist back then.

Marie Louise of Orleans had daddy issues

There are plenty of reasons to feel bad for Marie Louise, granddaughter of France's Louis XIV. According to Mad Monarchs, her mother ignored her basically from the second she left the womb. She was married off at 14, getting pregnant five times in ten years, and all the babies died. But she was still super weird.

Marie had a disturbingly close relationship with her father, Prince Philip II of Orleans. It started when she was 6 and got so sick she almost died. Her dad nursed her himself. She recovered and from then on they were inseparable. During her first pregnancy she had to lie down all the time, so Philip would visit her for hours every day. Rumors started that the two were having an incestuous relationship, and they never went away. A pamphlet accused her of being knocked up by Pa. Philip probably didn't help matters any when he painted Marie in the nude.

The princess was also a raging alcoholic who was drunk all the time. Her post-mortem revealed that by just 24 she had destroyed her liver. Her other vice was gambling, and she lost obscene amounts of money in single games. She would also throw scandalous dinners and invite her priest, so he could see all the bad stuff she did and she wouldn't have to confess, which you have to admit is pretty good time management.

Princess Charlotte of Prussia was a blackmailer

Germans don't exactly have a reputation for being spontaneously passionate in the bedroom. The stereotype is that they're serious and a bit repressed, willing to leave the bedtime antics to their French and Spanish neighbors. But if police files uncovered in the Prussian Secret State Archives and reported by the Guardian are to be believed, the German royal family got up to some freaky stuff in the late 1800s.

Princess Charlotte was the one who started it all. She was the older sister of Kaiser Wilhelm II (the World War I villain), so she was very well connected. In 1891 she invited a bunch of aristocrats, the kaiser's brother-in-law, and a member of the government to a secluded hunting lodge. Once everyone showed up, the party got pretty crazy. They drank and danced, of course, but it descended into literal orgies, with participants experimenting with lots of different positions.

That would have been fine, but then someone sent the attendees blackmail letters. In case they forgot what they had gotten up to, the correspondence included descriptions of the events and even helpful illustrations. Historians think the scandal-loving Charlotte (who later had years of psychiatric treatment) sent the threats and that she might have invited people to the love-fest just to trap them. Eventually everyone at court was talking about what happened. The controversy resulted in one person being arrested and another killed in a duel. But Charlotte got off scot-free to continue being terrible.

Princess Srirasmi of Thailand really loved her dog

Unlike the rest of the people on this list, Srirasmi is still alive. However, she is never going to become queen of Thailand because her husband Maha Vajiralongkorn kicked her to the curb before he ascended to the throne. But it couldn't have been that much of a surprise to her, considering she was his third wife.

Before they broke up, the two of them lived an interesting life together. This was perhaps best illustrated by their relationship with their poodle, Foo Foo. They seemed to be weirdly obsessed with the adorable doggy. Opponents of the prince released a video of a bizarre party they threw in 2001. (The Guardian says it was Srirasmi's 30th birthday, while The Daily Beast claims it was in honor of Foo Foo himself.) The then-princess was cavorting around, completely naked except for a G-string, while plenty of courtiers watched. She even got down on the floor and ate cake next to the dog.

The video caused a sensation in the rest of the world, but people in Thailand weren't allowed to talk about it because they have extremely strict laws against saying anything bad about the monarchy. Talking even a little bit of smack can land you in jail for a long time.

Srirasmi didn't get custody of Foo Foo in the divorce, but the dog's weird journey was not over. He was made an Air Chief Marshal, and his funeral lasted four days when he died.

Countess Elizabeth Bathory liked the taste of human blood

Countess Elizabeth was the niece of the king of Poland, and one of the most notorious sadists of all time. It was fitting that she was born in Transylvania, since she was basically a vampire.

Some of the reason for Elizabeth's cruelty may be her family. According to History, when she was a kid her uncle taught her all about Satanism and an aunt instructed her in the pleasurable side of pain. By the time she was 15 and married off to Count Nadady, Liz was already seriously messed up in the head. She asked her new hubby to build her a torture chamber to her exacting specifications, and he delivered.

The countess started out torturing her servant girls. She'd stab pins under their fingernails, or tie them down, cover them with honey, and leave them to be attacked by insects. Eventually she moved on to abducting peasants, and then even the daughters of nobles. Elizabeth thought human blood would keep her young and healthy, so she'd do things like bite off chunks of the poor girls' flesh.

Her connections protected her for a long time, but eventually she was tried for 80 counts of murder, convicted, and locked in a windowless room where she died three years later.

Spanish Crown Prince Don Carlos was physically and mentally messed up

Don Carlos might never have made it to king, but Verdi did make him the hero of an opera, so that's something. He was a very weird choice, though, considering he was totally nuts.

Mad Monarchs says Don Carlos had it bad from the moment he was born, emerging from his mother very deformed. Among other things, he was hunchbacked with one leg much shorter than the other. As he grew up, he developed slower than he should have, both mentally and physically. These problems might have been down to the fact that his family was so inbred that he only had four great-grandparents rather than the usual eight.

His mental problems led to serious behavioral issues. Even as a child he liked hurting animals and girls. Don Carlos would roast rabbits alive and once maimed more than 20 horses. He also enjoyed whipping women, some of whom were paid off after he hurt them. He would attack anyone, and his victims included servants, court officials, and a cardinal. He once made a cobbler eat a pair of boots that he decided weren't good enough. The prince's behavior only got worse after a head injury, when his tantrums and rages became infamous at court. Shockingly, he never found a woman who would marry him and died before passing on his messed-up genes.

Princess Alexandra Amalie of Bavaria suffered from the "glass delusion"

Princess Alexandra's Bavarian family was not famous for its mental stability in the mid-1800s. Her father was famously eccentric and liked to write terrible poetry about the most bizarrely trivial things. Her nephew, Ludwig II, was obsessed with building castles to the point he basically bankrupt the country. So it's not surprising the princess was pretty strange herself.

According to History, it didn't start off so bad. In her youth she was just really obsessed with cleanliness. She would only wear white clothes so she could see any dirt that got on her. But then one day when she was 23, she went full-on nuts.

Alexandra was walking around her family's palace, but not like a normal person. Her relatives noticed she was tiptoeing very carefully and would walk sideways through doorways. She seemed to be avoiding touching anything. They asked her what was up. The princess said she had just discovered that as a child she had managed to swallow a full-size grand piano made of glass. It was still inside her and if it broke she was screwed, so she had to be super careful.

Amazingly, she was not the only noble in history who thought they were made partly or fully of glass. It was such a popular delusion it ended up in medical books and plays. Contemporary psychologists think this might have been a way for powerful people to try and express how they felt fragile in their important roles.

Crown Prince Sado of Korea was a criminal

Plenty of people with bipolar disorder are perfectly lovely, but the 18th-century Korean Crown Prince Sado was not one of them. A study published in the Journal of Korean Neuropsychiatric Association suggested he suffered from the mental illness. They point to the fact that he had horrible sounding symptoms including "depressed mood, anxiety, suicidal behavior, aggressive behavior, and persecutory delusion" starting when he was just 13. He also exhibited signs of OCD, like the fact that he had a clothing phobia.

Living in a time without medication affected Sado badly. He was a sick human being. According to Korea: A Historical and Cultural Dictionary, when the prince went off on an unauthorized pleasure trip, his enemies at court told the king just what his son had been up to. The allegations included tales of assaulting palace women, seducing nuns, and murdering eunuchs, among other horrible crimes.

His dad was pissed, and when Sado returned he ordered him to kill himself by drinking poison. The prince totally refused, so maybe he wasn't that crazy. But the king wasn't finished. He ordered his son to be shut up in a rice box without food or water, where he died eight days later.