Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Royal Disease

     Hemophilia is a disease which impairs a body's blood clotting ability. Commonly, it is carried through mothers who do not show any symptoms of the disease making it really hard to detect. Hemophilia became prominent in European royalty due to the Grandmother of Europe, Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria was a silent carrier who passed it on to her son, Leopold and her many daughters who in turn passed it onto many of the Royal families of Russia, Germany, and Spain. 
Photograph of Queen Victoria, 1882     In Russia, Tsarevich Alexei Nicholaevich, son of Nicholas II, was a descendant of Queen Victoria through his mother Empress Alexandra and suffered from hemophilia. It was claimed that Rasputin was successful at treating the Tsarevich's hemophilia. At the time, a common treatment administered by professional doctors was to use aspirin, which worsened rather than lessened the problem. It is believed that, by simply advising against the medical treatment, Rasputin could bring visible and significant improvement to the condition of Alexei.
    In Spain two of Queen Victoria's Great Grandsons died of internal bleeding after separate minor car accidents.


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