Weird History
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10 Notorious Henchmen, Clairvoyants, And Magicians Who Advised Royals

Updated July 14, 2021 56.4k views10 items

Royals need friends, too. Sometimes, they choose soothsayers, sorcerors, or the like to advise them (or to do their dirty work). More often than not, the results aren't good for those who live under the rule. Royal henchmen also often have their own agenda, which doesn't always bode well for others. However, not all royal advisors were villainous. Some, such as court magicians, clairvoyants, or self-proclaimed wizards, were simply strange people who spun alluring tales of their ability to predict the future and cure all manner of maladies. 

From the famed Rasputin to the lesser-known Charles-Henri Sanson, the following are notorious henchman and performers of wizardry who got blood on their hands so the royals didn't have to, cast a dark influence over entire nations, or got up to some generally bizarre stuff on the backs of their inflated sense of self-importance.  

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  • Madame Vasso

    Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of Yorke, commonly known as Fergie, one of the most famous of modern royals, was reportedly dependent upon Greek psychic Madame Vasso for her self-proclaimed clairvoyance. While married to Prince Andrew, Fergie regularly went to Vasso's home, where she would sit under a "power-enhancing" pyramid while belting out stream-of-consciousness rants to unburden herself of troubles. These rants contained many juicy morsels about the princess's personal life. 

    Vasso passed in 2006, though not before publishing Fergie: The Very Private Life of the Duchess of York, a book filled with secrets Fergie divulged during her sessions with the clairvoyant. According to The Telegraph,  the book presents Fergie as "an unhappy and foolish woman." The kicker: one of Vasso's predictions was that Fergie would be betrayed by an older woman. Ouch.

  • Joan Quigley

    America's royal family of the 1980s, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, received a constant flow of advice from Joan Quigley, a San Francisco-based astrologer. After the attempted elimination of the president, Nancy feared for his life, and sought the advice of a person who could see the future, to avert risk.

    Donald Regan, Reagan's Chief of Staff from 1985-1987 (no relation), attributed resigning his role of White House Chief of Staff partially to the meddling of Quigley in world affairs. He said no decision was made without consultation with Quigley by Nancy. In his book For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington, Donald wrote:

    Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco [Quigley] who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise.

    Nancy admitted her association with Quigley, but claimed no one was hurt by it.