Top 10 Royal nicknames

So many monarchs, so many Roman numerals... so how do you tell John XXII from John XXIII? By making fun of John XXIII’s hairy legs, that’s how.

1. Boleslaw the Curly

Prince of Poland 1146-1173. So named after his lustrous head of hair.

2. Abdul the Damned

Abdul the Damned
Abdul the Damned

Sultan of Turkey 1876-1909. Mad Abdul was so fearful of assassination he concealed hundreds of pistols around the royal palace, drilling several ministers and harem girls who made the mistake of coming up on him from behind.

3. Robert Curthose

Duke of Normandy 1087-1133. Only marginally more polite than calling William the Conqueror’s eldest son ‘Robert Shortarse’. Which he was.

4. Lulach the Fatuous

Succeeded his stepfather, Macbeth, as King of Scots 1057-1058. Proved too incompetent to last long on the Stone of Scone.

5. The Universal Spider

Popular nickname for the exceptionally devious Louis XI, King of France 1461-1483.

6. Otto the Severe

Duke of Luneburg, 1277-1330. Known for his less than liberal approach to sentencing policy.

7. Malcolm the Maiden

King of Scots 1153-1165. Thus named after taking a vow of chastity. Concerned for the succession, his mother force-fed him virgins until he cracked.

8. Vsevolod Big Nest

Prince of Vladimir (then the most important town in Russia) from 1170-1212, Vsevolod was noted for the enormous number of his offspring: 8 sons and 4 daughters. Hence the name.

9. Eric the Memorable

King of Denmark 1134-1137. Awarded the title to himself after defeating and killing his uncle Niels at the Battle of Fotevik (1134), thus removing the principal obstacle to the throne.

10. Charles the Straightforward

Holy Roman Emperor 909-929. He was the son on Louis the Stammerer, so his subjects were probably just relieved to have a monarch they could finally understand.

First published in Bizarre 20 (1999)