Friday, September 11, 2009

Did King George III Really Urinate Purple?

We've been learning about King George III, the British king whom our founding fathers called a tyrant in documents such as Common Sense and The Declaration of Independence.

I mentioned in class that some researchers have theorized that the bad decisions of King George III which led to him lose the American Colonies when they became independent may have been because he reportedly had bouts of insanity. I also mentioned that these periods have insanity may have been a genetic disease which at times caused King George III's urine to take on a bright blue or purplish color.

Some of you may not have believed me, but it is true! George III's periodic crazy spells as well as his oddly coloured urine, were documented by his physicians Hundreds of volumes of medical notes and many more diaries, comments and letters written by people who knew King George III all describe the same thing.

Ida Macalpine and Richard Hunter published a series of papers in the mid-1960's that theorized that George III suffered from a genetic disease called porphyra.

The issue was popularized by Alan Bennett and made into a play and a movie called The Madness of King George.

More recent research has suggested an alternative theory- that King George III, the enemy of the American Revolution was bi-polar.

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