Royal family shock: What is haemophilia? Deadly disease tore through GENERATIONS of royals
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The British Royal Family has a lineage which stretches back to 1066 when Norman Duke William the Conqueror became King of England. The throne has since passed through hundreds of protectors who have carried it to Queen Elizabeth II. Unfortunately, they also carried a deadly disease known as haemophilia, which ravaged several European royal houses.
What is haemophilia?
Haemophilia is a rare blood disorder which affects people’s ability to clot.
Clotting factors present in the bloodstream form scabs, allowing wounds to close and heal.
Those with haemophilia do not have the same concentration of these factors, impeding their natural ability to heal.
In most cases, sufferers can still heal, but they take longer than others, and symptoms range from mild to severe.
They may include:
- Nosebleeds that take a long time to stop
- Bleeding from wounds that lasts a long time
- Bleeding gums
- Skin that bruises easily
- Pain and stiffness around joints, such as elbows, because of bleeding Internal bleeding
The disease is a genetic mutation which appears to affect men more than women.
Haemophilia is also sex-linked via the X chromosome, and passes from other to child, as it did with the Royal Family.
Experts have traced it back through members of the family to Queen Victoria, as ten of her descendants exhibited the disease.
Her children Princess Alice, Prince Leopold and Princess Beatrice all passed it down, and Leopold was a notable sufferer.
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Through them, the disease had a presence in the Russian, German and Spanish royals.
But it most infamously affected Princess Alice’s Russian descendants, especially Alexei Nikolaevich.
The ill-fated Tsarevich inherited the disease via Princess Alice’s daughter Alexandra Feodorovna.
He lacked clotting protein factor IX, which resulted in several critical ruptures and led the family to seek help in peasant healer Grigori Rasputin.
Rasputin’s continued involvement in the family eventually led him to take on an advisory role with Tsar Nicholas II.
He told the Tsar he could win World War One by taking control of the Russian army, a fatal mistake due to his lack of military expertise.
The interference caused the Russian royals to fall from grace, and the resulting revolution deposed and killed them.
Haemophilia hasn’t made public a resurgence amongst the modern royals but could remain hidden and reemerge via the Spanish line descendants of Princess Beatrice according to experts.
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