Noble Blood

Author Dana Schwartz explores the stories of some of history’s most fascinating royals: the tyrants and the tragic, the murderers and the murdered, and everyone in between. Because when you’re wearing a crown, mistakes often mean blood. New episodes every two weeks, on Tuesdays.

Society & Culture
Divorced II
Anne of Cleves was Henry VIII's fourth wife.
31 min
Jane Seymour was Henry VIII's third wife.
25 min
Anne of Boleyn was Henry VIII's second wife.
28 min
Catherine of Aragon was Henry VIII's first wife.
25 min
The Witch-Hunter King
During a post-wedding detour in Denmark, James VI of Scotland learned of the evils of witches, and he brought his anti-witch fervor with him when he returned to Scotland.
22 min
The Ghosts that Haunted the Female Emperor
In 7th-century China, Wu Zetian went from low-tiered concubine to Empress and then, finally, to Emperor in her own right. Her legacy is murky and strange, and her rise to power is trickled with blood.
21 min
Catherine the Great and her Husband the Mediocre
Catherine the Great, Russia's most famous Empress, wasn't born in Russia—she was a minor German princess engaged to the future Emperor. But less than a year after her husband ascended to the Russian throne, Catherine overthrew him in a coup with the help of her lover in one of the most extraordinary political maneuvers in history.
26 min
Today We Leave for Mexico
She was born Charlotte of Belgium, before fate re-named her Carlota of Mexico. She and her husband were high-minded, idealistic imperialists, ready to forge their destiny on a new continent. But they were woefully unprepared for the reality that awaited them outside their palace walls.
20 min
The Swan King Went Mad
Only days after he was deposed, King Ludwig II of Bavaria died in an apparent suicide. But was it murder? Or was it just the final act of a king who had gone mad with love and with passion, born into the wrong century?
24 min
The Neck and the Necklace
"The Queen's death must be dated from the Diamond Necklace Trial." The nation turned against Queen Marie Antoinette when she became an unwitting pawn in the most ambitious catfish in history.
25 min
The Ice Queen
Bitterly lonely and abandoned by her family, Anna Ivanovna grew to hate love. And when she became the unlikely Empress of Russia she used her power to build an ice palace that was both a spectacle and a torture chamber.
22 min
The Wedding Ended in Blood
The wedding between Margot of Valois and Henry of Navarre was meant to end religious fighting in France. It didn't.
24 min
Let Him Be Hanged There for a Lamb
Lord Byron has become synonymous with the romantic, creative hero. But it may have been Lady Caroline Lamb, his most famous lover, who truly embodied the spirit of the age. Their romance led to blood, tears, fire, and pubic hair. Poets, am I right?
34 min
The Marquise and Her Poisons
The Marquise de Brinvilliers is a subject of operas and stories, a larger-than-life villainess who murdered her family with poison and almost got away with it. Almost.
31 min
The Butler, in the Bedroom, with a Sabre
In the middle of the night on an otherwise quiet spring evening, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, was attacked in his bedchamber by an assailant wielding a sword.
26 min
The Maybe Queen Arbella
Arbella Stuart was a pawn her entire life—a possible successor to Queen Elizabeth I and a valuable marriage prospect to be dangled before foreign princes.
19 min
What Eye Has Wept for George IV?
When King George IV died, his obituary in The Times read: “There never was an individual less regretted by his fellow-creatures than this deceased king." But even George IV once fell in love.
23 min
Until We Meet Again
The same day Queen Liliuokalani proposed a new constitution for Hawaii that would restore power to the monarchy and grant native Hawaiians the right to vote in elections, a group of white businessmen met at a law office in Honolulu, and hatched a plan that would change the course of nations.
22 min
Ever Dearest Cousin Nicky
King George V and Tsar Nicholas II were first cousins who looked so much alike that people often jokingly called them twins.
24 min
The Butcher Baronet
An Australian man comes to England claiming to be a long-lost heir thought dead in a shipwreck.
27 min
The Desperate Young King Charles II
By the time he was 17, Charles II was a prince in exile. But Charles was willing to sacrifice whatever (and whoever) it took to win his crown back.
30 min
The Second Death of Marie Antoinette
A woman who became synonymous with indulgence spent her final months with almost no personal possessions, separated from her children, awaiting her imminent death.
23 min
Noble Blood - Official Trailer
Noble Blood - a new history podcast from executive producer Aaron Mahnke and iHeart Podcasts.
1 min