Table of contents:
- 1. Mary of Teck, Queen Consort of Great Britain and Ireland
- 2. Juana I the Mad, queen of Castile
- 3. Zinga Mbandi Ngola, Queen of Angola
- 4. Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and Navarre
- 5.Maria Eleanor, Queen of Sweden
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-28 10:38
If you have huge power in your hands, it's hard to resist various little pranks.
1. Mary of Teck, Queen Consort of Great Britain and Ireland
Let's start with the most innocent tricks that some of the august persons were prone to. For example, Her Majesty Mary (1867-1953), the grandmother of the current Queen of England, Elizabeth, loved to literally beg for gifts. Quite a strange hobby for a lady who could just buy everything she needs, don't you think?
It usually went like this. Her Majesty came to visit someone. And instead of conducting high society conversations, as befits a lady of royal blood, Maria simply began to silently look at some valuable thing that caught her eye.
It was such a subtle hint that the queen should be presented with the trinket that she so much needs.
If you are an ignoramus and do not understand the hints, Maria could sigh and loudly say something like: "Oh, I just caress your snuffbox with my eyes!" Substitute anything for the snuff-box: a watch, a figurine, your granny's crystal service.
Of course, it's not a pity to give the queen a small change bought in a souvenir shop opposite, the more you get her favor. How would she like a family heirloom?
Noticing such inclinations of Mary, even the most high-ranking subjects stopped inviting her to their home. And if the visit was to take place in any case, all valuables were hidden in advance and only junk interior items were displayed. The Queen saw through this trick and simply began to pay a visit without warning.
Especially hard times were 1. 2. British antique dealers. They couldn’t pretend they weren’t at home - they had to work. The queen just came to their shops, took whatever she wanted, and left, forgetting to pay.
Her Majesty's valets carefully tracked what exactly she took, and sent checks to merchants with payment for "borrowed". The noble antiquarian gentlemen nodded their heads in understanding and pretended that the lady had made a purchase on credit.
2. Juana I the Mad, queen of Castile
Juana I (1479-1555) married Philip I the Handsome, and loved him very (too). At first, he was affectionate with his wife, but over time, her hysterical and jealous nature began to annoy him.
His method of dealing with his wife was simple: the king simply locked the brawler in the bedroom and left for the war or hunting - whichever was on schedule. Juana screamed in the room and banged her head with all her might against the wall.
Over time, Philip waved his hand at the strangeness of his wife and got himself a favorite, whom the queen, who was brutalized by such impudence, cut her hair. She was once again placed under house arrest, fell into a trance and went on a hunger strike.
But on September 25, 1506, her unfaithful husband died suddenly. Dark story: the official version is typhoid fever. There is also a legend that the king played football, drank cold water, caught a cold and died of a cold. This is what happens when you forget to invent antibiotics.
Juana realized that she couldn't just part with her love. She did not leave the body and did not allow him to be buried, and reacted to the attempts of the servants to take her away from the coffin with attacks of rage. The situation was complicated by the fact that the queen was also pregnant - she was carrying Philip's last child, Princess Catalina.
For several months, the funeral procession rolled around Spain, because Juana could not choose a place worthy to receive the remains of her beloved.
Legends say that every night Her Majesty ordered to open the coffin in order to lie down with her husband and sleep like that. But historians agree that this is fiction. In fact, the first time Juana ordered the opening of the sarcophagus was only during the fifth week of traveling around the country, when the procession was in the city of Burgos. Well, to make sure no one suddenly kidnapped her husband. In total, the coffin was opened at her request four times.
An outbreak of plague struck in Burgos. The queen told me to go to Granada. They did not get to this settlement: the contractions began. I had to stay in the village of Torquemada, where Juana gave birth to her daughter Catalina. A few months later, the queen agreed to bury the remains of Philip.
But with a strict condition: that women should be kept away from the coffin. After all, Philip I the Handsome, even when dead, was so beautiful that he attracted ladies who were ready to take him away from Juana.
3. Zinga Mbandi Ngola, Queen of Angola
Zinga Mbandi Ngola (1583-1663) was the queen of the state of Ndongo, located in what is now Angola. She constantly feuded with the Portuguese, who sought to convert her possessions into their colony. In general, Zinga was not a bad politician: she made an alliance with the Dutch, united with the king of the Congo and for almost 40 years successfully opposed Portugal.
But she was noted in history for another achievement: in her youth, this lady kept a whole harem of 60 young Africans. A lot, right? Zinga was constantly faced with a serious problem: she could not decide in any way with whom she had fun today. Therefore, the queen found an elegant way out of the situation.
From time to time, when Zinga could not choose among these handsome men, she forced them to fight for her. And she gave her attention to the strongest.
Sometimes battles for the queen were fatal. It was also said that after a night of love, Zinga also executed the winner, but this, it seems, is already fiction: there is no evidence of this.
Apparently, this trait was attributed to the African queen, likening her to Cleopatra. After all, she allegedly killed men after one night - but this is also not true. And would the harem concubines try hard to win the Queen's favor, knowing what would follow?
Zinga's slaves, by the way, served her not only as toys, but also as furniture. Once the queen came to negotiate with the Portuguese governor Correia de Souza, and this boor did not even offer her Majesty a chair. Without batting an eye, Zinga ordered one of his slaves to get down on all fours and sat on his back, like on a stool.
But at the age of 75, the queen finally decided that everything, walked and that's enough. Therefore, she dismissed her seraglio, leaving herself only one man - the youngest. And she married him.
And then the Portuguese captured Ndongo, and Zinga abdicated the throne.
4. Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and Navarre
Marie-Antoinette went down in history thanks to her squandering and the phrase “let them eat the cakes!” Attributed to her, addressed to the starving commoners. Although in reality the queen did not say that.
Moreover, she was much more interested in the life of the peasants than a lady of her class should have. True, Antoinette (or Antonia, as she was called at home in Austria) did this out of curiosity, and not out of a desire to be imbued with the hardships of ordinary Frenchmen. And this interest was manifested in a very peculiar way.
Marie Antoinette had her own mini-palace, located on the territory of Versailles and called the Petit Trianon. Next to him, by order of Her Majesty, a real peasant village was built on a one-to-one scale. When the queen was tired of luxury at court, she left with her retinue and maids of honor to this toy village.
The fake village contained 11 houses, a lake, a water mill, a functioning dairy farm, a windmill (unlike previous buildings, purely decorative), a dovecote, a chicken coop, a greenhouse and a lighthouse tower.
Why it is needed in a landlocked village is not clear. Probably, the architects simply did not dare to argue with the queen.
In this village, Marie Antoinette periodically lived with her ladies. At her request, they took off their luxurious outfits and changed into the dresses of ordinary peasant women, and then grazed sheep, learned to milk cows and even bake bread.
It is not known how well the girls did it, who had never before done manual labor, but when the queen demands, you have to try.
In addition, Antonia brought her children to the peasant village and showed them what and how it was arranged there, so that her heirs knew about agriculture. And when she was tired of the life of a “simple shepherdess,” she returned to the Lesser Trianon and put on theatrical performances there based on plays of her own composition, in which she again pretended to be a commoner.
So Queen Maria Antonia was sincerely imbued with the life of the common people. True, “closeness” to the peasantry did not save her from losing her head, but at least she tried.
5. Maria Eleanor, Queen of Sweden
From childhood, Maria Eleanor, Princess of Brandenburg, was inspired by the idea that her main task was to give the future august husband a boy heir, so that there would be someone to transfer the throne. Maria married Gustav II, King of Sweden. But she did not cope with her task of giving birth to a prince and gave birth to a girl, Christina Alexandra.
At first, the princess was even mistaken for a boy, because she was overly “hairy” and “yelled in a bad hoarse voice,” as the courtiers put it. But King Gustav was delighted with the princess. He said that his daughter "will be very smart, because she made a fool of everyone at birth." Her Majesty was less delighted.
The courtiers did not give her the sex of the child for two days in order to save the queen from shock. How they avoided answering her questions is anyone's guess.
When the truth was finally revealed, Maria Eleanor went into hysterics. She shouted: “Instead of a son, they give me a daughter, so dark and ugly, with a big nose and black eyes. Take it away from me, I could not have such a monster! Not an ordinary mother's reaction to her child, is it?
Gustav II adored his daughter and raised her as a male heir. He took the girl with him everywhere - including hunting and military reviews. Christina grew rapidly and demonstrated outstanding achievements in science for her age. The princess was nice to everyone, but Maria Eleanor was incredibly annoyed by the fact that she had a daughter, not a son.
Since childhood, various bad things have happened with Christina Alexandra. When she was very small, a wooden beam "mysteriously" fell on her cradle. One day the girl was dropped on the stone floor, injuring her shoulder - the midwife was accused of this.
Later, the baby "accidentally" fell down the stairs. In general, the mother, greatly upset by the wrong sex of the heiress, tried several times to kill her mistake, so that later, with a clear conscience, finally give birth to a normal prince.
Upon learning of this treatment, Gustav II gave the girl to the care of his half-sister Catherine, and he himself went to war with Germany. There he died. The king's body was taken home to Sweden. Distraught with grief, Maria Eleanor did not allow him to be buried for 18 months and even slept with her late husband in the same room. In addition, she forced seven-year-old Christina to sit with them.
It is not surprising that the princess was not at all upset when the council of regents took her away from the completely crazy Maria Eleanor.
As a result, Count Axel Oxensherna became the guardian of Christina Alexandra. She grew up to be a pretty good queen, patronized scientists and was one of the most educated women of her time.
True, the consequences of raising the princess as a boy were not long in coming - Christina hated spending time with the ladies of the court, and her favorite pastime was bear hunting. She did not remember her mother.
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