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hrough the medieval ages, many royals were known to be a bit crazier than your normal person for their imaginary beliefs which no servant would dare to go against. If this was a contest, the king who would win the prize would be King Charles IV of France for solely believing that he was made out of glass. That is why some historians refer to him as “Charles the Crazy.”

The way a king was chosen back in the Medieval era (Western Europe/Christian nations), would have been the choice of the current monarch and as the monarch is chosen by God as the historical texts imply, they can’t go wrong when choosing who is going to take their throne. Charles V chose to give his son (Charles VI) the throne in 1380 when he was only 11 years old.

He would follow to be the ruler of France during the 100-year war against England. That is why France wasn’t so lucky to have a king named Charles the Crazy fight in a 100-year war. In order to win a war against England, proclaimed one of the strongest powers during the Medieval Era, you would require a king that is hard as nails with the courage of a lion, which Charles VI was definitely not.

Early symptoms of King Charles’s craziness

In 1392, the first signs of Charles VI being crazy appeared. Besides always arguing with the French royal family, he would also ruin the neutral relationship France had at the time with England and Burgundy. As king, he didn’t really care about his kingdom, instead, he cared rather more about his personal matters such as catching prisoners that would run out of jail.

Statue of King Charles IV of France (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

On one occasion, whilst chasing a prisoner, Charles ended up attacking his own cavalry, some of them were killed by his own hand. The rest of the royal family thought that being in such a high position was stressful for him, therefore blaming his craziness on something else rather than admitting that these were clear symptoms of being crazy.

However, Charles’s mental condition kept declining to the point where he would forget that he was the king or even what his name was. Rumor has it that in one of his crazy misfits, he refused to bathe or change his clothes for five months. Something even more absurd was pretending to be a wolf and chasing servants or guards through the castle.

Craziness leading to an attempt at murder

If a modern psychiatrist tried to determine Charle’s mental issues, the diagnosis would be either schizophrenia, porphyria, or bipolar disorder. What really made people think that he was becoming crazy in the real sense was his attempt to murder Olivier V who was a close friend of his as well as his counselor.

What really proved to people that he was indeed crazy was his thinking suddenly that he was made out of glass, despite falling and injuring himself many times. He made his servants dress him in armor all the time so that in case he fell he would not break himself. This was the same reason why he would not allow people to touch him, so they had to make sure whilst dressing him in armor to not lay a single finger on his skin (“made out of glass”).

This delusion also impeded him from stepping into any battlefield as he was simply too valuable to be broken by a sword. No one dared to face him with the reality of his mental issues as he would have those people killed. In 1422, Charles was really lost in his craziness, not being able to identify the world around him, not even the royal family. That was the same year he passed away.

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