From John F. Kennedy being murdered by the US government to Buzz Aldrin staging a fake moon landing, some of the most influential historical figures have been the subjects of conspiracy theories.
Royals are no exception — read on for seven of the wildest conspiracy theories about kings, queens, princes, and princesses.
From John F. Kennedy being murdered by the US government to Buzz Aldrin staging a fake moon landing, some of the most influential historical figures have found themselves the subjects of conspiracy theories.
Royals are no exception. Although the theories largely have no real evidence to back them up, they’re compelling enough to capture the minds of people around the world.
Read on for seven of the most fascinating conspiracy theories about kings, queens, and princes:
7 royal conspiracy theories
7 royal conspiracy theories
1. Princess Diana’s death in a car accident was orchestrated by the British royal family
Perhaps the most widespread modern conspiracy theory about the British royal family concerns the death of Princess Diana in 1997. An adored member of the royal family, Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles in 1981 to become Princess Diana. Known as "The People's Princess," Diana was beloved by the subjects of the British crown.
Diana and Prince Charles divorced in 1996, and Diana's life came to a devastating end on August 31, 1997, according to Biography.com. The Associated Press later reported that a slew of international investigations concluded that both Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed had passed away from injuries following a tragic drunk driving accident.
Although the princess had speculated in a letter about her being in danger, according to the Associated Press, there is no evidence that she was pregnant at the time or contemplating marriage to Fayed.
2. Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle is a plot by the British to win back control over America
One recent, if light-hearted, conspiracy theory claims that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle'smarriage is part of a larger British ploy. Greg Pollowitz, an editor at conservative site Twitchy.com,tweeted this take about the couple last year, prompting responses from around the world:
"Prince Harry's kids will be Americans," he wrote. "What if one grows up to be president and is in line for the throne at the same time? Brits are playing long-ball here, but it's a smart move. They want America back and this is how they'll do it."
3. The British monarchs are actually alien lizards
Former BBC sportscaster and hardcore conspiracy theorist David Icke has become infamous for his assertion that the world is controlled by leaders descended from a race of alien lizards, so it's no surprise that he claims the British royal family, including Queen Elizabeth, are part of this conspiracy.
Icke claims he has eyewitness evidence of this — but no one besides him and his diehard followers give it any credence.
4. Queen Elizabeth I was actually a man
According to this theory, Queen Elizabeth I fell ill and died as a child. In order to replace the dead girl, her caretakers found a local boy who they passed off as her to her father, King Henry VIII. The boy then remained in Elizabeth's position for the rest of his life.
The theory was initially put forward as an explanation for Elizabeth's chastity and strong leadership, but today is acknowledged as mere misogyny, according to the Royal Museums Greenwich.
5. Jack the Ripper was actually Queen Victoria’s grandson Prince Albert Victor
In the years after the infamous Jack the Ripper murders took place in London in the late 1800s, some suspected Prince Albert Victor (also known as Prince Eddy) of having committed the brutal killings, but nothing was ever proven. But according to the New York Times, a surgeon who said he knew the identity of the killer died in 1970, and claimed Jack the Ripper was "a scion of a noble family."
The surgeon's son burned his father's papers before anyone could read them, so the mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity may never be solved.
6. One member of the Russian monarchy escaped execution
Although many royal conspiracies concern the British monarchy, there are a few famous claims about other royal families around the world. One of the most enduring is that one member of the Russian Romanov dynasty, the young princess Anastasia, survived the execution of her entire family by the Bolsheviks.
Legend has it that she escaped death by firing squad by sewing jewelry into her dress that made it bulletproof — and later escaped never to be heard from again. But according to Biography.com, a DNA reanalysis in 2007 confirmed that her body had been buried near those of her family members in 1918.
UNSPECIFIED - : Louis XIV (1638-1715) King of France from 1643. Equestrian portrait of Louis as a boy (1648). (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
7. The Man in the Iron Mask, who was imprisoned by King Louis XIV, was of royal blood
Well before French writer Alexandre Dumas made the tale of the "Man in the Iron Mask" a popular story in France, conspiracy theories abounded about King Louis XIV's most famous and mysterious prisoner. The most intriguing theory about the man's identity held that he was the king's bastard son, who had been dismissed from Louis's court after being outed as gay, according to National Geographic.