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Noble Blood

Author Dana Schwartz explores the stories of some of history’s most fascinating royals: the tyrants and the tragic, the murderers and the murdered, and everyone in between. Because when you’re wearing a crown, mistakes often mean blood.

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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The Red Paint on Leopold II

Leopold II, King of the Belgians, was a man obsessed with the profits that came with colonization. Using smokescreens of charities and shell corporations, he claimed a private landholding 76x larger than his own nation, and unleashed decades of horror on the land's inhabitants. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

43mins

4 Aug 2020

Rank #1

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The Swan King Went Mad

Only days after he was deposed, King Ludwig II of Bavaria died in an apparent suicide. But was it murder? Or was it just the final act of a king who had gone mad with love and with passion, born into the wrong century? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

24mins

7 Jan 2020

Rank #2

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The Neck and the Necklace

"The Queen's death must be dated from the Diamond Necklace Trial." The nation turned against Queen Marie Antoinette when she became an unwitting pawn in the most ambitious catfish in history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

25mins

24 Dec 2019

Rank #3

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Catherine the Great and her Husband the Mediocre

Catherine the Great, Russia's most famous Empress, wasn't born in Russia—she was a minor German princess engaged to the future Emperor. But less than a year after her husband ascended to the Russian throne, Catherine overthrew him in a coup with the help of her lover in one of the most extraordinary political maneuvers in history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

26mins

4 Feb 2020

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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The Wedding Ended in Blood

The wedding between Margot of Valois and Henry of Navarre was meant to end religious fighting in France. It didn't. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

25mins

26 Nov 2019

Rank #5

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The Crown Prince and His Lover Dead

The Archduke Rudolf, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, retreated to his hunting lodge in Mayerling with his teenage lover in 1889 to enact a gristly suicide pact in an event both stranger and more tragic than it appears at first blush. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

39mins

9 Jun 2020

Rank #6

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Juana La Loca

Depending on which stories you read, Juana of Castile is either a woman who went mad after the death of her husband, or a maligned figure who was manipulated by the men in her life so they could rule Spain in her place. Her life is a perfect example of the stories we like to tell about women who go mad. [Support Noble Blood via our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/noblebloodtales. Noble Blood merch is available here: https://store.dftba.com/collections/noble-blood] Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

26mins

5 Jan 2021

Rank #7

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The Marquise and Her Poisons

The Marquise de Brinvilliers is a subject of operas and stories, a larger-than-life villainess who murdered her family with poison and almost got away with it. Almost. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

31mins

29 Oct 2019

Rank #8

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What Crown Prince Wilhelm Left Behind

Georg Friedrich, the great-great-grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II is embroiled in a legal battle with Germany, attempting to reclaim millions of euros worth of property that was taken from his family during the Soviet occupation of Germany. But the law that allows property reclamation has one major caveat: property is forfeited if your ancestors significantly contributed to the rise of the Nazi party. So exactly how significant was the role of the Kaiser's son, Crown Prince Wilhelm, in the Nazi party? Because the photos don't look great for him... Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

28mins

13 Oct 2020

Rank #9

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King George Washington I

One of the most enduring stories about the founding of the United States of America is that before George Washington accepted the position as President, he declined the position as King. But "enduring" doesn't necessarily mean true. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

34mins

24 Nov 2020

Rank #10

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The Ice Queen

Bitterly lonely and abandoned by her family, Anna Ivanovna grew to hate love. And when she became the unlikely Empress of Russia she used her power to build an ice palace that was both a spectacle and a torture chamber.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

22mins

10 Dec 2019

Rank #11

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Divorced II

Anne of Cleves was Henry VIII's fourth wife. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

31mins

28 Apr 2020

Rank #12

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The Ghosts that Haunted the Female Emperor

In 7th-century China, Wu Zetian went from low-tiered concubine to Empress and then, finally, to Emperor in her own right. Her legacy is murky and strange, and her rise to power is trickled with blood.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

21mins

18 Feb 2020

Rank #13

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Charles the Beloved, the Mad, the Fool

While feverish and riding on a hot day, King Charles VI had a fit of madness, and murdered one of his own men. For the rest of his reign, he would be plagued by periods of insanity during which he often couldn't remember his own name. And without a clear regent, greedy factions attempting to rule in his place led to chaos for France.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

27mins

10 Nov 2020

Rank #14

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Divorced

Catherine of Aragon was Henry VIII's first wife. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

25mins

17 Mar 2020

Rank #15

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The Witch-Hunter King

During a post-wedding detour in Denmark, James VI of Scotland learned of the evils of witches, and he brought his anti-witch fervor with him when he returned to Scotland. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

22mins

3 Mar 2020

Rank #16

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Today We Leave for Mexico

She was born Charlotte of Belgium, before fate re-named her Carlota of Mexico. She and her husband were high-minded, idealistic imperialists, ready to forge their destiny on a new continent. But they were woefully unprepared for the reality that awaited them outside their palace walls.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

20mins

21 Jan 2020

Rank #17

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Beheaded

Anne of Boleyn was Henry VIII's second wife. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

27mins

31 Mar 2020

Rank #18

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Died

Jane Seymour was Henry VIII's third wife. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

25mins

14 Apr 2020

Rank #19

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The Butler, in the Bedroom, with a Sabre

In the middle of the night on an otherwise quiet spring evening, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, was attacked in his bedchamber by an assailant wielding a sword. The Duke survived, and in the chaotic aftermath, the household discovered the Duke's valet, dead by apparent suicide. But as the details of that night emerged, the story became murky. More questions than answers remain now to a murder mystery that will never be solved.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

26mins

15 Oct 2019

Rank #20