Epic Fails of History #9

Alexander I was actually a pretty interesting guy: born as the second son in the order of succession, he assumed he had no chance of inheriting the crown, so he elected to live the rich carefree life of the well-to-do without much to do. 

But the tables turned when, during the First World War, the Entente said to the then king of Greece (his father), something on the lines of: "You either fuck off along with your wife and eldest son, because we know you're in bed with the Germans, or we see to it that your monarchy falls and is replaced by that pretty revolutionary Venizelos, that you so dislike." The royals chose to fuck off, and Alexander woke up one morning to a lot of people curtsying.

To show that there wasn't really much choice, Venizelos ended up as prime-minister anyway. Alexander didn't mind much, and he went and got married to a commoner to piss everyone off, and didn't do much ruling himself, which let Greece progress toward democracy.
But nice things don't last, so in October 1920 his pet monkey bit him, and he died from the festering wound a day later. 

His father opportunistically took over the throne again, and made the call to continue the Greco-Turkish War his son had begun. While Alexander had enjoyed successes, his father got his ass handed to him hard.

As Winston Churchill put it: "A monkey bite cost the lives of 250.000 people."

Now that's an epic fail.

John Lloyd & John Mitchinson, The QI Book of the Dead, Faber & Faber Ltd., 2009, p. 273

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