Incest is a serious taboo across many cultures around the world, but you wouldn't believe just how much incest there has been throughout history. Cousins marrying cousins, mothers and sons, daughters and fathers, distant relatives of all sorts... incest in history is not as uncommon as one might think.
Even more shocking than the incest itself, are some of the names associated with it. It's not all just incest to keep power in the family, there are some great intellectuals and scholars on this list as well, and even a US president! Some of the most shocking cases of incest throughout history involve people who you would least expect.
We know of a few of the cases of modern incest, famous people from Hollywood who were either consensual partners in incest or victims of incest, but the picture of historical incest is slightly more muddled, as there was more often than not no official database or record of who married who.
All of the incest on this list is either documented in some form or strongly alleged - and none of it was written by George R.R. Martin, sorry Jamie and Cersei.Check out the most shocking historical cases of incest below and see how far you make it before cringing.
Cleopatra, Egyptian pharaoh, married both of her brothers. if that wasn't bad enough, she later killed both of her brothers as well.
Age: Died at 39 (68 BC-29 BC)
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
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Charles Darwin introduced the world to the theory of evolution. It's no surprise then that when some of his children, the results of his incest, were born with abnormalities, he studied and suspected incest as a likely reason for their unfortunate outcomes.
Age: Died at 73 (1809-1882)
Birthplace: The Mount, Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
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Queen Victoria was all about the inbreeding. She arranged her children and grandchildren to be in incestuous marriages because she thought it was a surefire way to ensure peace and prosperity throughout Europe. World War I largely proved her wrong.
Age: Died at 82 (1819-1901)
Birthplace: Kensington Palace, London, United Kingdom
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One of the most celebrated minds of the last 200 years married his second cousin not long after divorcing his first wife. Though marrying your second cousin isn't technically illegal in the United States, many people still count it as incest.
Age: Died at 76 (1879-1955)
Birthplace: Ulm, Germany
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