Why do Royals inbreed?

History Chick

Ad Honorem
Jun 2010
3,336
Colorado Springs (PA at heart)
I think brother-sister marriage was common among the pharoahs of Egypt.
I think that's really the only culture where it was common though. It certainly wasn't in Europe (I only know of one case where siblings married, and it wasn't a legal marriage, nor was it socially acceptable: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_V,_Count_of_Armagnac ). I don't know much about Asia but I don't think it was common there either.
 

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Because there aren't many of them.

The Pope even had to waive the rules about cousins during the reign of Sancho El Mayor of Pamplona just after the milennium. I mention him as he was related to every royal house in the small kingdoms and condados of christian 'Spain', an early-day Ferdinand.
I think this is the best answer:

In an aristocracy, of which monarchies are a part, you can't marry below your social rank without losing that rank. So if you are the monarch or a potential monarch, there are very few people you can marry--the children and siblings of other monarchs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Invicta

History Chick

Ad Honorem
Jun 2010
3,336
Colorado Springs (PA at heart)
I think this is the best answer:

In an aristocracy, of which monarchies are a part, you can't marry below your social rank without losing that rank. So if you are the monarch or a potential monarch, there are very few people you can marry--the children and siblings of other monarchs.
That's not true - people don't lose their rank by marrying below their rank (at least not typically in European culture). There is such thing as morganatic marriage (marriage between two people of unequal rank) and it often results in the couple's children not being able to inherit their father's titles or name, but that's not always the case (I don't think all countries observed this practice), and it doesn't mean they lose their title or rank, it just doesn't pass onto their children.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morganatic_marriage
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,579
Dispargum
That's not true - people don't lose their rank by marrying below their rank (at least not typically in European culture). There is such thing as morganatic marriage (marriage between two people of unequal rank) and it often results in the couple's children not being able to inherit their father's titles or name, but that's not always the case (I don't think all countries observed this practice), and it doesn't mean they lose their title or rank, it just doesn't pass onto their children.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morganatic_marriage

But most royals ad aristocrats attach great value to their titles and want their children to inherit those titles just as the parents did. Therefore, most royals and aristocrats are reluctant to enter into morganatic marriages, leaving only a short list of eligible spouses.
 

History Chick

Ad Honorem
Jun 2010
3,336
Colorado Springs (PA at heart)
But most royals ad aristocrats attach great value to their titles and want their children to inherit those titles just as the parents did. Therefore, most royals and aristocrats are reluctant to enter into morganatic marriages, leaving only a short list of eligible spouses.
Yes, but it's still not true that people lose their rank by marrying a rank beneath them.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,972
Portugal
Yes, but it's still not true that people lose their rank by marrying a rank beneath them.
Indeed.

And kings and princes wouldn’t necessarily married with princess (as daughter’s of kings) from other royal houses, often they married with other members of the high nobility, linked to duchies and counties, and that wouldn’t be considered a morganatic marriage.

But also often, those members of the high nobility were also related by blood with royal families. Also often, king’s bastards would have “good” marriages to provide them an increased legitimacy.
 
May 2017
43
Spain
I think here in Spain was pretty common in the past. If I remember properly, one of the reasons was to conserve the purity of the royal blood, but don't quote me on that.
 

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Yes, but it's still not true that people lose their rank by marrying a rank beneath them.
Based on my reading of European history, I believe aristocrats lost rank by marrying beneath them. Marriages were arranged, and running off with the groom or a mistress was just not done. If you have authority to the contrary, please let's see it.
https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/bitstream/handle/1808/8189/Schutte_ku_0099D_11418_DATA_1.pdf

"This project is concerned with the identity of this group [that is, the English elite] as a rank rather than as a social class (see discussion below for the distinction). Their self-understanding of their identity as aristocrats was an important motivating factor in many of the decisions that they made. Certainly as they made decisions concerning the marriages of their daughters one of the primary considerations was preservation of their place within their rank." (from page 8)

And that was even more true for the monarchy. E.g. the Wallis Warfield Simpson affair. There instances in Russian and Eastern European history as well regarding monarchs, or persons in line for the monarchy who lost the crown because of whom they married.

 
Nov 2016
78
Užice, Serbia
Pretty simple actually, they want to keep all of the property in the family so they interbreed to stop any pretenders from taking it. They usually knew of the damaging effects of inbreeding, that's why it's almost always cousins and never brothers and sisters marrying.
 
Sep 2012
1,140
Tarkington, Texas
The most powerful Royal families often interbred. Prince Albert was Queen Vicky's first cousin. The Bourbons and Hohenzollerns also fell into the trap. It certainly was not because the relatives were handsome! The Windsors are still trying to dilute that German blood. Prince Harry seems to have the right idea for getting new blood into the family. Poor Prince William married a distant cousin.

Pruitt