History is a dark and twisted place especially for those born to power. The books are littered with mysterious deaths, lives, and legend surrounding royal kids.
From hidden and illegitimate heirs to disappearing children, there are many times when matters about the lives of royal children raised many questions. While modern technology and ancient graves have solved some of the mysteries others remain unknown. Here are some intriguing and often creepy mysteries about royal children.
The Disappearance of King Edward V and His Brother
King Edward IV of England died in April 1483. At the time his eldest son, Edward V was only 12 years old and ascended the throne with his uncle, his father’s brother, the Duke of Gloucester, as “protector of the realm.”
However, soon after, the Duke sent Edward V and his brother, Richard, Duke of York to the Tower of London. Richard was only 10 at the time. The tower was both a residence and a prison and their uncle claimed it was for their own “protection.”
Then in June, the Duke declared himself King Richard III. By that point, both Edward and his brother had disappeared without a trace. Years later two skeletons were found in the Tower and it is suspected that Richard III had murdered his nephews to gain the throne.
Marie Antoinette’s Missing Son
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, had a son whose disappearance remained unexplained for 200 years. The eight-year-old uncrowned king was called Louis XVII and had been locked up in the Temple prison in Paris during the French Revolution.
Two years after his parents were executed with the guillotine, a legend spread that the young king had been smuggled from the prison and a body of a lookalike put in his place. Over the years over a hundred people claimed to be the missing king.
However, in 2000, DNA tests on a preserved heart from the child who had died in the prison were compared to genetic material grafted from locks of Marie Antoinette’s hair and proved a match. Thus proving that the child king had tragically passed away in prison from tuberculosis. The heart was buried with full royal honors near his parents’ grave.
Princess Louise’s Possible Illegitimate Child
Queen Victoria’s fifth child, Princess Louise had no official children. However, rumor has it that she may have given birth to a son when she was just 18.
According to the rumor, she had an illegitimate son with her brother’s tutor. At the time, the royal obstetrician’s son adopted a newborn, named Henry, who he claimed was the son of Princess Louise when his children asked about the boy.
The claim remains unproven. The descendants of Sir Frederick Locock and his family began lobbying for a DNA test in 2004 to prove the relation. However, they have had no success so far.
Russian crown princes seem to be doomed from the moment they are born. Hemophiliac Alexei Romanov was murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918 and Ivan was murdered by his own father, Tsar Ivan the Terrible. Shortly after Ivan was killed, the tsar’s wife gave birth to another boy named Dmitry. He was only two years old when his father died thus his older half brother ascended the throne and became Tsar Feodor I.
The toddler was exiled to the small town of Uglich. Since Tsar Feodor was far too sickly to produce an heir, Dmitry became the Tsarevich. Unfortunately, in 1591, the nine-year-old crown prince passed away in mysterious circumstances. The official claim is that he had a seizure while holding a knife and stabbed his own neck.
However, considering the political environment at the time and the irregularities in the official investigation there are many theories and doubts surrounding his death which will never be solved. Though short-lived, he left a lasting impression, and in 1606, 15 years after his death, Dmitry was declared a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Missing Romanovs
Finally, one of the most intriguing royal mysteries was the disappearance of Anastasia. She was one of two Romanov siblings missing from the mass grave that contained their slaughtered family’s remains.
However, in 2007, another grave was unearthed just 70 meters away from the first. It revealed the brutalized remains of two murdered children. Three different genetic tests proved they were the missing Tsarevich Alexei Romanov and one of his sisters.
However, there are still many questions regarding why they were buried in a separate grave and whether in the grave was Maria or Anastasia. However, it did account for all the bodies of the Romanov girls proving that Anastasia did not survive her family’s execution in 1918.