Weird History
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13 Historical Rulers Who Executed Members Of Their Own Families

Updated December 27, 2019 156.0k views13 items

Historic royal families experienced plenty of problems. From inbreeding to international disputes, royals dealt with them all. Even domestic squabbles were more dramatic. In fact, if a monarch got peeved with one of their relatives - especially if that individual posed a legitimate threat to the throne - that king or queen might just execute them.

When you think of rulers who executed members of their own families, King Henry VIII of England likely comes to mind. He bumped off two of his wives - Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard - who were his blood relatives. In addition, Henry decided to get rid of any potential claimants to the Tudor throne by chopping off their heads - even if they were elderly. That bloodthirsty instinct seems to have run in the family. His daughter, Elizabeth I, also had close relatives executed. But the Tudors were far from an anomaly; they were typical of rulers throughout the ages who killed their family members for political purposes.

What other killer rulers have popped up throughout history? Keep reading to find out.

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