The Habsburg Jaw was a very distinctive deformity which was associated with one of Europe’s more powerful dynasty ”the Habsburg”.
Apart from the Habsburg Jaw, many other deformities such as the Habsburg lip – a protruding outward facing lower lip, as well as the Habsburg nose – a huge downward turning nose were also well known. All the names are derived from the famous Habsburg Dynasty.
This malformation was a result of generations of family incest (inbreeding in between family members, immediate or secondary) this practice was an attempt to retain control over their domains and grow their empire by a lot.
The surgeons have found 11 distinctive defined features in this prognathism and found that Mary of Burgandy, who married into the family in 1477 had the least mandibular prognathism, whereas Philip VI rules Spain and Portugal from 1621 to 1640 had the most worrisome case.
The calculated amount of inbreeding involved in this was across the span of 20 generations and about 6,000 people
The result of this cesspool was found in Charles II, the last Habsburg ruler. After his death, an autopsy was performed –
”a very small heart, corroded lungs, intestine putrefactive and gangrenous, three large stone in the kidney, a single testicle black as coal and his head full of water”
This Genetic homozygosity occurs when relatives mate because they share a greater proportion of genes. That being said, the study is small and so it is not possible to say that the Habsburg jaw is definitely caused by inbreeding, according to the researchers but is most possible.
The five members of the royalty who had the greatest showcase of this incest fest were Maximilian I, who rules from 1943, Maximilian’s daughter, his nephew, his nephew’s great-grandson, and Charles II.