Have you ever wondered what kings and queens got up to in their spare, sexy time in the bedroom? You know, when they weren't too busy with any of their other weird royal obsessions? Well, wonder no further - some of these monarchs had pretty creepy kinks and unusual sexual habits in the privacy of their own homes.
While there are several reasons people develop a particular thing they like in the bedroom, one might assume that some of these kings and queens were just straight-up bored. After all, if you have all the money and power in the world, what else is there to do for fun? Some of them, of course, probably just had stories made up about them. Still, from the emperors of ancient Rome to the necrophiliacs of France, here are some of the strangest royal tastes in all of recorded history.
Herod was a notorious figure in the ancient world, but his problems might have run even deeper than most folks realize. He wasn't actually born a Judean or a royal, but married into the Hasmonean/Maccabee dynasty that ruled the area; his wife was called Mariamne. A beautiful lady, Mariamne regularly made Herod jealous. So, thanks to some conspiring from his own family, Herod had her killed.
Horrifyingly, he couldn't let her go after her death. The Talmud claims that Herod kept her dead body and still made love to it for seven whole years. And that must have been a sticky situation, considering Mariamne's body was supposedly preserved in honey!
He might be best known as the first Holy Roman Emperor, but Charlemagne (derived from "Carolus Magnus," or "Charles the Great") may have also been history's most prominent necrophile. Ninth century legends said that Charlemagne had committed an "unspeakable sin" that had to be pardoned directly by God. While the actual sin was secret, medieval rumors filled in the blank with the most unspeakable act imaginable: sleeping with dead people.
German chronicles from the 13th and 14th centuries said that one of his wives had a magic ring that made him love her; when she died, she had it in her mouth, so Charlemagne stayed in love with his deceased spouse and wouldn't let her go. Some have suggested that the "unspeakable sin" that he committed was the son he deliberately conceived with his sister. Either way, he clearly had some issues.
The second Roman emperor, Tiberius, was into some pretty awful stuff. Legend has it, he trained a bunch of little boys, his "minnows," to "to swim between his thighs to nibble and lick him." He even snatched up "weaned healthy babies" and let them "suck his penis instead of their mother’s nipple, he being, by age and nature, fond of such perversions."
At his seaside villa in Capri, he hosted illicit parties to help keep his own libido up, according to Suetonius. Tiberius also collected scandalous writings and had sexy frescoes painted on his walls. Also, in the gardens, he made boys and girls dress up as Pan and wild nymphs and get it on. And that's not even counting all his depravities with adults.
Of course, the major source of the salacious stories we have about Tiberius come from accounts written by Tacitus and Suetonius, both of whom had their own possible motivations for wanting to tarnish the reputation of a Roman emperor after the fact. Given this, it's possible that the incredibly disturbing stories that emerged about Tiberius after his death could be propaganda.
Like the infamous Caligula, the ancient Chinese prince Chien had a fetish for keeping it in the family, sleeping with several of his sisters. Diplomat and writer Robert Hans van Gulik alleged that the Han Dynasty prince punished the women of his court he didn't like by making them stand outside naked, keeping time on a drum, all day long.
The sadistic prince also drowned boys and girls in his palace lake, put ladies he didn't like naked in trees, or refused to allow them to eat.