Forbidden Fruit: Six Shocking Real Life Incest Stories Throughout History

Published November 3, 2021
Updated November 9, 2023

The Habsburg Dynasty

Cases Of Incest Throughout History

A portion of the Habsburg Family Tree.

The Habsburg Dynasty was a dominant royal house across all of Europe for many centuries. In addition to ruling Austria for more than six centuries, royal marriages extended their power to Bohemia, Hungary, and even Spain.

The enormous family branched off in many directions. Eventually, it got to a point where their strategic marriages would not increase their power, considering they already ruled most of the major courts in Europe.

It finally came to a point in the late 16th century where the only monarchs left to marry were other Habsburgs. Thus, records indicate rampant incest through most of the Habsburgs’ 200-year reign of Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Charles II

Charles II of Spain.

The powerful Habsburg dynasty finally crumbled in 1700 when King Charles II died with no heirs to take the throne. After generations of inbreeding, historians suggest Charles II was infertile due to congenital deformations, leading to the extinction of the Habsburg bloodline.

John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Kuroski, John. "Forbidden Fruit: Six Shocking Real Life Incest Stories Throughout History.", November 3, 2021, Accessed May 29, 2024.