King with blue urine: Mad George III. he reigned, even though he often had no idea who he really was

King with blue urine: Mad George III. he reigned, even though he often had no idea who he really was
King with blue urine: Mad George III. he reigned, even though he often had no idea who he really was

When a mental illness affects an “ordinary person”, it is certainly a problem and a tragedy for him and for those around him. But if something like this happens in the royal family and even the king himself, it will most likely affect the whole country. And so England also had to deal with the king’s bouts of abnormal behavior for practically the entire second half of the eighteenth century. King George III for he was more than erratic in his conduct.

Metabolism or mental illness?

What caused his seizures? Until relatively recently, there were situations in which he could not control himself, and he even threatened his son George IV. so that he only luckily survived his father’s attacks, attributed to the so-called porphyria. If this were true, the king would likely suffer from an inherited metabolic disorder, which, among other things, also manifests as unusually dark, red to brown colored urine. According to contemporary witnesses, the king was urinating a blue liquid, which at the time could have been mistakenly attributed to this very disease. In addition, a severe form of porphyria also manifests itself in epileptic seizures, which are conditions that would correspond to the king’s behavior during the difficult moments of his illness.

Better than madness

From the point of view of contemporary interpretation, porphyria would probably have a more merciful impact on the king than the disease, which doctors consider to be the real cause of his behavior today. As it seems, probably George III. he suffered from so-called bipolar disorder, i.e. manic-depressive states – a mental illness in which so-called manic and depressive stages alternate. People affected by this disease can therefore work practically without a break in certain periods, bursting with ideas and energy literally like volcanoes, and after a while it is exactly the opposite.

Bipolar disorder many famous personalities have suffered in the past. Our artists include, for example, Miloš Kopecky, Petr Muk, Ota Pavle, and then, for example, Richard Müller. The disease does not avoid even world-famous people such as Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sinéad O’Connor, or the writers Virginia Woolf or Ernest Hemingway and many others. Even these people achieved many recognitions despite their handicap.

He was unstoppable

These were probably the moments when the king wrote hundreds and even thousands of documents, in such flowery language and sentences so long that we can only marvel at them to this day. According to scientists, these are sentences and many hundreds of words, which develop even a very simple message in a complex and twisted way. In addition, he was also said to be unable to stop talking, literally babbling non-stop until he went into convulsions and foamed at the mouth. It must have been a rather cruel sight for the first man of the monarchy.

Deep declines by the public

But then came the depression and the king, on the other hand, had to withdraw from public life. As he grew older, these conditions escalated and became more and more frequent – at such a moment, the king disappeared from the sight of his subjects and retired to Kew Palace near Richmond. Those were the weeks when he was mostly represented by his son George IV, who, however, did not enjoy much confidence in the government, so many were literally looking forward to the moment when their favorite and somewhat crazy George III would return to his throne. Fortunately, England was a constitutional monarchy at the time and survived for some time without the king’s intervention without major problems.

What made the king famous?

But what happened to the famous blue urine of Henry III., if it was not caused by disease? Apparently, it was the result of the intervention of doctors, who tried to rid the king of his delirium by many – often inhumane – methods. One of the treatment options they tried on their sovereign was also bitter decoctions. It is he who can change the color of this secreted liquid.

Crazy, but hardworking and popular

Although George III. for most of his life he had to deal – as we already know today – with a mental disorder that is very unpleasant and a healthy person can hardly imagine the states that a sick person gets into in such cases, the people recognized their sovereign. In times when he did not suffer and his health served him as well as possible, he became a very hardworking and also determined ruler, and this was appreciated by his subjects. Even so, he went down in history precisely as a king with blue urine, which did not add much to his dignity.

Source:, wikipedia

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The article is in Czech

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