The royal houses of Europe have had a bloody history. From battles to coups and assassinations, kings and queens have suffered deaths ranging from the serene to the ridiculous. After all, death is central to the idea of monarchy: new kings and queens can ascend the throne only after their predecessors have died. Monarchy itself is built on the condition of death.
But that does not mean all royal deaths are dignified. Many kings and queens have gone gently into that dark night thanks to respectable illnesses. Others have been victims of political struggles. Still others have not been so lucky in death, and they exemplify some of the stupidest ways royals have died. Like royals who had terrible portraits, bizarre obsessions, or were just plain weird, these dumb royal deaths prove that, at the end of the day, people who sit on thrones and wear ancient crowns are just as mortal as those over whom they claim authority. Some of the dumbest ways royals have died also happen to be some of the most entertaining.