Original Research

Haemophilia amongst the descendants of Queen Victoria.

Francois P. Retief, André Wessels, Johan F.G. Cilliers
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 32, No 1 | a341 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v32i1.341 | © 2013 Francois P. Retief, André Wessels, Johan F.G. Cilliers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 May 2012 | Published: 04 March 2013

About the author(s)

Francois P. Retief, University of the Free State, South Africa
André Wessels, University of the Free State, South Africa
Johan F.G. Cilliers, University of the Free State, South Africa


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Abstract

This study discusses the impact of ‘Victorian haemophilia’ on the royal houses of Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. Haemophilia as a molecular defect is explained and the clinical picture of the condition is indicated. Applicable therapeutic interventions also receive attention. Next, an historical review is provided of how ‘Victorian haemophilia’ spread from Queen Victoria (British monarch, 1837–1901) via some of her daughters to other members of the British royal family and also to the royal houses of Germany, Russia and Spain. Eleven confirmed cases of haemophilia amongst the descendants of Queen Victoria are mentioned, as well as three other possible cases. The effect of haemophilia on the course of history is also investigated.

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