Did kings and queens bath?
While staying fresh and maintaining a basic hygiene is a necessity in today's age and time, did you know that kings and queen were forbidden to take a bath in those days? Yes, it's true. Clean water was hard to get but even those, who had access to it, rarely bathed.
The Queen has a bath every morning, drawn by her maid while she sips a cup of tea. It's believed that the royals prefer to avoid taking showers, due to their belief that they're for members of the working class.
Louis XIV was not indifferent to dirt or sweat but according to numerous authors he never had a bath during his entire life. Using various texts that are less well known, particularly in the medical sphere, an attempt has been made to reconstruct the Sun King's hygienic environment.
The 17th century British King James I was said to never bathe, causing the rooms he frequented to be filled with lice. It was the Sun King himself, Louis XIV, whose choice to no longer travel from court to court would lead to a particularly putrid living situation.
Sometimes, the Queen of Britain, Her Royal Majesty Elizabeth II, needs to change clothes up to five times a day – in the case of big celebrations, for example. And not simply the dress she's wearing but the shoes, gloves, jewelry, medals and other accessories and, most important, her hats.
Within their own properties, there were rooms specifically for their own private use. The Close Stool or Privy was the Medieval and 16th-century versions of the modern toilet. Mostly they worked in a similar way to a modern composting toilet except that the contents of the toilet would be removed by the night soil men.
In the late 15th century, Queen Isabella of Spain bragged that she had only bathed twice in her whole life.
King Louis XIV is said to have only bathed twice in lifetime. He found bathing a disturbing act, as did Queen Isabel I of Spain who also confessed to having only two baths; on the day of her birth and the day of her marriage.
Once or twice a month, she might indulge in a lukewarm soak; lukewarm, because unnecessarily hot and cold temperatures were both believed to cause health problems from rashes to insanity. During the weeks between baths, the Victorian lady would wash off with a sponge soaked in cool water and vinegar.
Such luxury was limited to the grandest royal residences, but many households owned a large wooden tub, lined with cloth and sometimes covered by a canopy, which could be filled with hot water heated over the fire.
When did humans start bathing daily?
The oldest accountable daily ritual of bathing can be traced to the ancient Indians. They used elaborate practices for personal hygiene with three daily baths and washing. These are recorded in the works called grihya sutras which date back to 500 BCE and are in practice today in some communities.
In the 1700s, most people in the upper class seldom, if ever, bathed. They occasionally washed their faces and hands, and kept themselves “clean” by changing the white linens under their clothing.
The difference between the two was stark and revealing. He continued with a full modern hygiene routine, showering at least once a day and using a range of modern products, but wore the same linen shirt (and outer clothes) for several months without washing them at all.
Chemical engineer and MIT grad Dave Whitlock says he hasn't showered in 12 years. He believes showering strips the skin of healthy bacteria -- so much so, that he founded a company and came up with Mother Dirt. It's a bottle of live bacteria you spray on your skin twice a day in place of showering.
Henry VIII frequently took baths and had a new bathhouse constructed at Hampton Court for his personal use and a steam bath at Richmond Palace. This new bath was made of wood but lined with a linen sheet to protect his posterior from catching splinters.
The monarch was reportedly put into a state called 'twilight sleep' during labour, where she was given an anaesthetic and the baby born using forceps. The controversial technique is no longer used today. Indeed, when Her Majesty welcomed her fourth child, Prince Edward, she chose another method of delivery.
If you're looking for a restroom in Buckingham Palace, ask for the loo or the lavatory.
The role is not typically paid, and it has been reported that Lady Hussey was not given a salary during her time in the position, instead serving the Queen out of loyalty. The Queen had at least five ladies in waiting during her reign, including Lady Hussey.
But, not one to follow tradition too strictly, the Queen set her own standard and breastfed her four children, something which her daughter-in-law Princess Diana also decided to do as well, and later the Duchess of Cambridge.
The Queen's Granddaughter Zara Tindall Gave Birth to a Baby Boy in Her Bathroom Over the Weekend. Her husband Mike Tindall broke the news on his sports podcast.
What has the Queen eaten every day?
A bowl of Special K with some assorted fruits was apparently her go-to meal to get the day started the right way. On special occasions, she allegedly treated herself to some scrambled eggs and smoked salmon if she felt like it!
They slept in separate beds
You don't want to be bothered with snoring or someone flinging a leg around. Then when you are feeling cosy you share your room sometimes. It is lovely to be able to choose." Clearly their approach paid off, they shared four children after all.
While the monarch enjoys her first cup of tea from the comfort of her bed, her maid “will go into the adjoining bathroom to draw the bath”. The bath has to be “exactly the right temperature” - how hot or cold the Queen likes her bath, no one knows.
Did you know that before Ashoka the Great became a peace-loving monarch he was known as Chanda Ashoka, meaning 'Cruel Ashoka'? Widely believed to be one of the kindest, strongest rulers of India Emperor Ashoka has a fascinating life history.
Most French People Don't Shower Every Day, Study Shows
24% said they shower once every other day; 11% said once every three days. The remaining 8% shower just once every four days... or less. And when the French are in the shower, it's not for very long, either.
The habit of bathing took another big hit during the 14th century when medical experts at the Sorbonne in Paris declared washing a health concern. Warm water opened pores, and so could increase a person's risk of contracting the bubonic plague, they claimed (incorrectly).
By the middle of the Victorian era, bergamot and lemon oil had surpassed Eau de Cologne to become the most popular fragrance for women. According to Goodman: “Bergamot and lemon oil, sometimes employed separately but more often used in combination, was the signature smell of the middle years of the century.
Before that, they used whatever was handy -- sticks, leaves, corn cobs, bits of cloth, their hands. Toilet paper more or less as we know it today is a product of Victorian times; it was first issued in boxes (the way facial tissue is today) and somewhat later on the familiar rolls.
The Victorian Period (And Beyond)
From the 1890s to the early 1980s, people used sanitary belts, which basically were reusable pads that attached to a belt worn around the waist – and yes, they were as uncomfortable as they sound.
Soap was sometimes used and hair was washed using an alkaline solution such as the one obtained from mixing lime and salt. Teeth were cleaned using twigs (especially hazel) and small pieces of wool cloth.
What was the hygiene like during the Black Death?
Poor sanitation in cities created breeding grounds for rats that carried the disease. There were recurrences of the plague in 1361–63, 1369–71, 1374–75, 1390, and 1400. Death rates from the Black Death varied from place to place. The disease spread more quickly in populated towns than in the countryside.
Louis XIV, a 17th-century king of France, is said to have only taken three baths in his entire life. Both rich and poor might wash their faces and hands on a daily or weekly basis, but almost no one in western Europe washed their whole body with any regularity, says Ward.
“Going Dutch” means splitting the bill in half at the restaurant, and “having a French shower” means to spray on too much deodorant instead of washing oneself.
While there is no ideal frequency, experts suggest that showering several times per week is plenty for most people (unless you are grimy, sweaty, or have other reasons to shower more often). Short showers (lasting three or four minutes) with a focus on the armpits and groin may suffice.
Purpose of bathing
Many Japanese believe it also washes away the fatigue, hence a bath is taken often every night. On the other hand, Western people often take a bath only for the purpose of personal hygiene. Many people don't expect to spend a long time in the bath to relax.
A person's hands and face were the things most likely to be cleaned daily, if possible. Some people, uncomfortable with being dirty or overly smelly, would wash themselves in a river or stream: In such circumstances, nice smells were very welcome.
The flush toilet was invented in 1596, but didn't become widespread until 1851, and in 1767 Englishman William Feetham invented the first modern shower. Bathing was still not a daily ritual for many westerners during the 18th century.
Though even wealthy families did not take a full bath daily, they were not unclean. It was the custom for most people to wash themselves in the morning, usually a sponge bath with a large washbasin and a pitcher of water on their bedroom washstands. Women might have added perfume to the water.
Prior to sugar, Queen Elizabeth's dental care consisted of brushing her teeth with honey. However, when sugar became available, she replaced honey with sugar. In fact, the sugar paste became known as Tudor Toothpaste.
Elizabeth was tall and striking, with pale skin and light red-gold hair. She exaggerated these features, particularly as she aged, and other women sought to emulate them.
What is the least washed body part?
Belly button or the navel is probably the most ignored part of the body. If it is not cleaned regularly, it will not only lead to buildup of dirt but also bacteria. The dark, moist environment of the belly button is ideal for breeding of bacteria.
You will smell
Perhaps the most immediate (and obvious) consequence of skipping a few too many showers is the odor. But it's not just sweat that makes you stink. The bacteria multiplying on your body produce gasses as they consume proteins and fatty acids.
You'd have to become immune to body odor.
"Provided you aren't overly sweating or getting overly dirty and still washing key body areas, not showering likely won't harm the skin, although, you may develop a body odor you may not like," says Zeichner.
People would wipe their bottoms with leaves or moss and the wealthier people used soft lamb's wool. In palaces and castles, which had a moat, the lords and ladies would retire to a toilet set into a cupboard in the wall called a garderobe. Here the waste would drop down a shaft into the moat below.
It is a myth that the Tudors were dirty and rarely washed. However, it was difficult for ordinary people to have a bath because it was hard to heat a large amount of water at one time. In the summer, people sometimes had a bath in the local river.
The idea that medieval people never bathed? Time to leave that myth in, well, the Dark Ages. Medieval folks loved a bath, though it was a little more work than it is today with the marvels of modern plumbing. Laborers, who made up most of the population, probably used ewers and shallow washbasins.
Within this hallowed bedroom would be a grand sized bed that, oddly, would not serve as the king and queen's actual bed. In fact, the king and the queen often had their own separate bedrooms, and this bed would only be used for official royal business.
Typically speaking, people bathed once a week during the Middle Ages. Private baths were extremely rare - basically nobody had them - but public bathhouses were actually quite common. People who didn't have that or who couldn't afford to use one, still lived near a river.
Humans have probably been bathing since the Stone Age, not least because the vast majority of European caves that contain Palaeolithic art are short distances from natural springs. By the Bronze Age, beginning around 5,000 years ago, washing had become very important.
As an old tradition dictates, royal couples never share the same bed or bedroom, allowing them to move freely while asleep. It allows them much needed alone time after hours of being in the limelight.
Does Kate have to curtsy to Camilla?
"Without William, Kate would curtsy to Camilla; with him, she would not," the source continued. "That's unless Prince Charles is present, in which case she would." The order of curtsying, however, can change. This could happen when people marry into the family.
The proclamation may have proved less than accurate, but for almost a century between the 1850s and 1950s, separate beds were seen as a healthier, more modern option for couples than the double, with Victorian doctors warning that sharing a bed would allow the weaker sleeper to drain the vitality of the stronger.
Excavations of Viking sites have turned up tweezers, razors, combs and ear cleaners made from animal bones and antlers. Vikings also bathed at least once a week—much more frequently than other Europeans of their day—and enjoyed dips in natural hot springs.
How did medieval people brush their teeth? They would rub their teeth and gums with a rough linen. Recipes have been discovered for pastes and powders they might have applied to the cloth to clean and whiten teeth, as well as to freshen breath. Some pastes were made from ground sage mixed with salt crystals.
If one could not be bothered for such a laborious bath, they would have sponged themselves down daily with clean water to wick away sweat, dirt and grime. Historian Ruth Goodman goes one step further and suggests that the Tudors would have had a “dry” bath if they did not fancy the full routine.