7 of the weirdest and most fascinating royal conspiracy theories

  • Conspiracy theories have captured the minds of thousands of people throughout history. 
  • 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.  

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Wildest royal conspiracy theories
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Wildest 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.

Shortly after, theories emerged that her death was actually an assassination — some even claiming that it was the dirty work of Prince Philip, another member of the royal family, or even Prince Charles himself. The motive? To prevent Diana from marrying Fayed, a Muslim, and giving birth to his child, according to the conspiracy theory.

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's marriage 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 isacknowledged 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.

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.

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Read on for seven of the most fascinating conspiracy theories about kings, queens, and princes.

RELATED: Shocking royal secrets

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9 secrets about Princess Diana no one knew about until after her death
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9 secrets about Princess Diana no one knew about until after her death

She recorded her thoughts on tape

Much of what we know about Princess Diana’s personal life is thanks to audiotapes she recorded herself. Once she recognized her marriage to Prince Charles was falling apart, she documented her side of the story on a tape recorder and gave the tapes to her close friend, Dr. James Colthurst. He, in turn, gave them to journalist Andrew Morton so her words could get out to the public. From those tapes, Morton published the biography DIANA: Her True Story—In Her Own Words in 1992. No one knew Diana had a hand in the book’s production until after her death. Here are some more surprising facts you probably didn't know about Princess Diana.

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Her sister dated Prince Charles

There are definitely ways to improve your relationship with your sibling, but we’re not sure if sharing a boyfriend is one of them. Before Diana and Charles started going steady, he dated her sister, Sarah. She introduced the two when Diana was just 16 and takes credit for their falling in love, calling herself Cupid.

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Her grandmother worked for the queen

As prominent a public figure as Queen Elizabeth is, there’s still a lot that the public doesn’t know about her. One of those more intriguing bits of trivia is that the Queen Mother was close friends with Princess Diana’s grandmother, Ruth Fermoy. She was one of Her Majesty’s ladies-in-waiting and later held the title Woman of the Bedchamber, which meant that she was the Queen’s right-hand woman and assisted with important social engagements. Here are some more facts (and scandals!) you never knew about Queen Elizabeth II.

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She and her husband were related

The royal family tree can get pretty complicated, but don’t worry, there’s nothing incestuous about this marriage. Princess Di and Prince Charles were distantly related. Specifically, they were 16th cousins once removed, through King Henry VII.

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She had a poor sex life

In her tape recordings, Princess Diana discussed her married life in great detail, even calling her wedding day “the worst day of her life.” Specifically, she talked at length about her lack of a sex life, saying that she and her husband had sex but it was “very odd.” By the time she made the recordings, their sex life had been going downhill for seven years. She went on to say, “There was no requirement for (sex) from his case. Sort of once every three weeks… and I kept thinking it followed a pattern. He used to see his lady (Camilla) once every three weeks before we got married.” Learn more about the real story of what happened between Charles and Diana.

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She messed up her wedding vows

In hindsight, Princess Diana messing up her wedding vows may seem like a sign her marriage was bound to fail, but in reality, she just caught a case of wedding day jitters. During the vows, she called her husband “Philip Charles” instead of “Charles Philip,” mixing up his first and middle names. Here are some more little mistakes that happened on royal wedding days.

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She ate in the kitchen

It was against royal family etiquette to eat in the kitchen with staffers and not in a dining room, but Princess Diana was no stranger to breaking protocol. Her personal chef, Darren McGrady, said she would just walk into the kitchen and eat at a countertop while he tidied up, which was unheard of coming from any royal. She would even make coffee for the two of them. Check out these stunning, rarely seen photos of the People's Princess.

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She attempted suicide

One of the most troubling revelations from Princess Diana’s audiotapes was that she struggled with depression and even attempted to take her own life. She said in her recordings, “I was so depressed, and I was trying to cut my wrists with razor blades.” She also talked about having bulimia and that the eating disorder started after Prince Charles put his hand on her waist and said, “A bit chubby here, aren’t we?”

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She was harassed by the paparazzi

With three new documentaries about Princess Diana set to premiere, Prince William and Prince Harry are opening up about their memories of their mother. Some are uplifting, like how she involved them in her charitable work. But their recollections of Diana dealing with the paparazzi are disturbing. As Prince William says in the ITV and HBO documentary, Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy: “If you are the Princess of Wales and you’re a mother, I don’t believe being chased by 30 guys on motorbikes who block your path, who spit at you to get a reaction from you and make a woman cry in public to get a photograph, is appropriate. Harry and I, we had to live through that.” Here's how Prince Harry and Prince William are keeping their mother's memory alive twenty years after her death.

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SEE ALSO: 5 wild conspiracy theories surrounding the sinking of the Titanic

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