Royal Maladies: Inherited Diseases in the Ruling Houses of Europe

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9781425168100: Royal Maladies: Inherited Diseases in the Ruling Houses of Europe

An intensive historical study of the hereditary diseases hemophilia and porphyria in the personal and political lives of the European royal families

Part I
Nineteenth century medical knowledge of hemophilia as a hereditary bleeding disorder will be considered.
Hemophilia appeared in a son born to Queen Victoria in 1853.
Hemophilia was transmitted through Victoria’s unaffected daughters to the ruling houses in Germany, Russia and Spain.
The political consequences of a chronically ill male heir to the throne fostered the demise of the royal families in these countries.
The royal physicians were well aware of the hereditary nature of hemophilia and failed to advise the British royal family on this matter that had significant political consequences for the modern world.
Part II
The “Madness of King George III” resulted from variegate porphyria, an inherited disorder of heme metabolism.
The disorder was evident in:
The immediate family of George III, Ancestors from at least the 13th century, Descendents into the 20th century. The malady was inherited by other ruling houses in continental Europe and affected political life there for over six centuries.
Genetic analysis will consider how such an anomaly could have been inherited through so many successive generations.
Preliminary DNA evidence will be considered to document variegate porphyria in living relatives of the British royal family.
Alternate history if these disorders had not plagued the royal families will be considered in conclusion.

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