Queens Who Were Executed For Adultery
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They were all queens or married to high-ranking members within royal families. But their actions through adulterous affairs put a target on them. Here are five stories where living the good, royal life is not all it’s cracked up to be.
1. Ok, Diana wasn’t exactly a queen, but she was a princess and many of us viewed her as that but in a much larger capacity and role. Her marriage to Prince Charles, however, was a bit of a sticky wicket, as they would say in England. That translates into a difficult circumstance. The two grew as far apart as the age gap between them, which was 13 years. Less than five years into the royal marriage there were royal headaches for both of them, and infidelities began. Diana’s death put conspiracy theorists to work. They cited Lady Di was intentionally killed because of her relationship with Dodi, an Egyptian Muslim, and Diana was said to be carrying his baby at the time of her death. The Royal Family was said to have some royal fits about that, and developed the plot to kill her. At the scene of the fatal car accident, the 24 traffic cameras posted inside the tunnel where the wreck occurred were suspiciously “not working” at the time. There was the transfer of body paint to Diana’s Mercedes from a white Fiat Uno. French police have yet to find that vehicle. Mohamed Al-Fayed, in a statement to police, claims the white Uno was being used by M16 – the British Secret Intelligence Service – intentionally caused Diana’s vehicle to swerve out of control. The driver, he said, was French photojournalist Jean-Paul Andanson, a security services agent who died in 2000. It is largely believed he was assassinated by French or British intelligence to silence him. Others believe he committed suicide because of guilt.
2.If there is anything we have learned from our history books, it’s that you don’t piss off a king. And certainly, Henry VIII was a king you didn’t want to mess with. Catherine Howard, Henry’s fifth wife, found out the hard way. As the story goes, Catherine had stirred up a romance with Thomas Culpeper in 1541. Catherine had called Culpeper, who was king’s favorite male courtier, “my little, sweet fool” in a love letter. Henry was under the impression she was pure at the time of their marriage. She was not, and had had numerous lovers before Henry. During their marriage, which was said to have been a happy one early on, Catherine had become increasingly sexually frustrated with Henry because of his advanced age and old injuries, which prevented him from being the bedroom stud she was yearning for. When all of her secrets were finally discovered, she was stripped of her rank and all privileges. She was charged with treason for committing adultery and beheaded on February 13, 1542.
3.A Saudi Arabian princess was in her teens when she married her much older husband, who was a member of the Saudi royal family. But she had an affair with a British man while in London. The princess, who has not been identified by name, knew she would surely face the death penalty if it was discovered, so she returned to the United Kingdom and was granted refugee status. She said, “‘The marriage was arranged by my father, who is a close friend to the royal family, and my marriage was a symbol of their friendship – according to custom, I was a gift.” Her fear of execution was well warranted, as in 1977, Princess Misha’al bint Fahd, who was 19, was executed by gunshot for committing adultery.
4.Hey! We told you not to piss off Henry VIII. Seems like our previously mentioned Catherine would have learned that with what happened to Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife. Anne, who served as England’s queen in the 1530s, was charged with incest, witchcraft, adultery and conspiracy against the king. She, too, was beheaded… and we can only assume the phrase “heads will roll,” came about during this time period. Anne was the second wife of Henry, marrying in early 1533. Later that year, she gave birth to a daughter, much to the contempt of Henry, who desperately wanted a son to carry on his royal lineage. Twice more she became pregnant, given still births each time. Henry was a bad boy and began sexual relations with two of Anne’s maids-of-honor, Madge Shelton and Jane Seymour. With this, Anne was not happy – boiling into jealous rages. Henry told her he was on a mission to bear a son, but with Anne’s anger and resentment, the marriage fell apart. He then set Anne up on false charges, including incest, adultery and conspiracy. In May of 1536, she was unanimously convicted by a court and her public execution was held immediately.
5.Marie Antoinette was only 14 in 1770 when she married Louis-Auguste, who was heir to the throne of France. But during her marriage and while she climbed the ladder to sit as France’s queen, Marie began an affair with Swedish soldier Hans Axel von Fersen, whom she had met in 1774 at a ball in Paris. She was instantly attracted to him, as were many other women at that time. He was described as handsome, solemn and chivalrous. Their visits with each other became more and more frequent, and he even took an apartment above Marie’s. They had an affair, and while she produced children, there was no way to tell if they were from her husband or her lover. But Louis accepted them as his own. Nine months after her husband’s execution, Marie was put on trial and was found guilty of coordinating orgies in Versailles; sending millions of dollars to Austria; coordinating the massacre of the Swiss Guards in 1792; plotting to murder the duc d’Orleans; proclaiming her son, Louis Charles, to be the new king of France; and sexually abusing Louis Charles. Her last words before she was beheaded were: “Pardon me, sir, I meant not to do it.” She was not speaking to any of the charges she was found guilty of. Instead, the words were to her executioner, whose foot she had accidentally stepped on after climbing to the scaffold.