Uneasy Lies the Crown
By Riley Bannon
Two sisters combine their expertise in history and neuroscience to examine famous royals from historical and biological perspectives. They hope to understand how mental and neurological illness shaped some of the world’s most important leaders, and the course of history in turn.
The X Files: Katherine and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon
As far as anyone knew, Queen Elizabeth's cousins Katherine and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon were dead. So when a tabloid reported that they were very much alive and institutionalized, it launched a mystery of what the royal family was hiding and why. This month, we try to dig up answers. Plus: It's soup season. The latest NFL concussion protocol controversy. What's your favorite kind of soup? Stefanie's royal encounter in Europe. EVEN MORE SOUP STUFF!
November 01, 2022
God Save the Queen: Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth led the monarchy and the nation through 70 years of unprecedented change. Her reign was not without controversy, but she never neglected her role as sovereign up to the very day she died. In this emergency ULTC episode, we remember her life and legacy, especially how she modernized the monarchy and embraced modern medicine (and how Riley almost met her in 2007).
September 09, 2022
The King's Speech: George VI
We join forces with Vanessa Grass of Neuroscience Theater to talk about the science behind the Oscar-winning film "The King's Speech". We discuss King George's reign, Colin Firth's performance, what you probably don't know about the neurobiology of stuttering and why a king with a speech impediment was so groundbreaking. Plus: It's time for Prince William to get on TikTok. Are left handers serial killers? We do not need an "Avatar" sequel. Our first f bomb.
August 30, 2022
Lover Boy: Henry VIII
How did Henry's lifelong quest for love alter the course of history and what did a brain injury have to do with it? Plus: Riley forgot she got married. You can put anything on Broadway. Carolyn Keene is not a real person. Stefanie finds out Riley broke her Christmas ornament.
July 15, 2022
Diagnosis of Independence: George III
The theory that King George III's madness led to the American Revolution is tempting, but unsupported by history. This month, we are cleaning up George's reputation with a little help from modern science and Lin Manuel Miranda. Plus: Encanto is a good movie. Victoria Justice and Ariana Grande have a contentious relationship. Is Zac Efron's face okay?
April 30, 2022
All in the Family: The Habsburgs
Strategic marriages between family members helped the Habsburgs build an empire, but eventually brought it down. On this episode, we explore the genetics of inbreeding and how it affected one of Europe's most powerful dynasty. Plus: The return of Mr. Lynch. An excess of Formula 1 Talk. Jen Shah's trial was postponed. Is Jay Leno a Hapsburg?
March 27, 2022
Livin' La Juana Loca: Juana of Castile
On the precipice of reigning over a united Spain, Juana of Castile was instead locked up by a series of men for her supposed "madness". Her tragic tale leads us through the history of research into depression, the neurobiological effects of social isolation, and the misconceptions about the impact of mental illness on one's ability to lead. Plus: Stefanie sings again. We misgender Fox. Disney needs to answer for "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen". You all won't let the Richard discourse die. And how crazy do men like their women, really?
February 26, 2022
Holiday Special: Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar might be the world's first mentally ill king, and his madness sounds like something our of Greek mythology. What makes a person think they've turned into an animal and why is it still happening at a high rate in Babylon? Neuroscience might have the answers. Plus: We know Stefanie's audio sucks. Riley's fiancé doesn't listen. Is left brain/right brain a myth? And most importantly, is Toto Wolff hot?
December 31, 2021
Drama King: Ludwig II of Bavaria
A famous neuroscientist diagnosed Ludwig with schizophrenia. Days later, both of them were found dead. We dig into the autopsy reports to find the truth. Plus: A terrible Adele impersonation. Riley lost her phone in the worst place imaginable. Stefanie quite literally spills the tea. What if this was an episode of Dateline?
November 26, 2021
When Life Gives You Lenins: Alexandra Romanov
Alexandra Romanov was a complicated woman with a complicated legacy. How did her relationship with pain contribute to the downfall of the Russian empire, and how can the brain-body connection give rise to a false pregnancy? Plus: We welcome our first guest: our brother, Casey Bannon, who does not want you to support him. Riley was sad when she learned Joe Jonas had premarital sex. We dare a man to deal with period cramps. Is the IB program anti-God, anti-America, and anti-family?
October 29, 2021
Caligula: The Emperor's New Groove
The story of Roman Emperor Caligula is a complicated one. Was the "little boot" scarred from a traumatic childhood, suffering from mental illness, or was he just a bad dude. Our hypothesis? Yes to all three. Plus: Did our brother call someone a prostitute in his high school world history class? We clarify if Stefanie was a cat girl. Mark Antony vs Marc Anthony vs Marc Antoine. And 3-5 pop culture references that will go over your head.
September 24, 2021
Diana: Rebel With a Cause
You know Princess Diana's story, the clothes she wore, and her tragic fate. You might even know about her struggles with mental illness. But you've never heard about Diana like this: through the lens of neuroscience. This month, we get vulnerable and discuss how Princess Di changed the way the world thinks and talks about mental health.
August 27, 2021
Charles VI: Dark Side of the Prune
Charles VI's devolution from the beloved to the mad almost tore France apart. Using modern neuroscience, we discuss how Charles' brain nearly led to a British king on the French throne and how things might have turned out differently if his doctors knew what we know now. Plus: Roman numerals are difficult, Timothee Chalamet is a national treasure, Dick is not short for Charles, and Stefanie took a younger guy to senior prom.
July 30, 2021
Trailer: Of Monarchs and Madness
Welcome to Uneasy Lies the Crown, where history meets neuroscience (meets pop culture). Stefanie and Riley are two sisters with degrees in history and neuroscience and shared love of royals. They use their expertise to investigate the brains of the world's most notorious rulers, from ancient Rome to modern Great Britain. How has mental and neurological illness shaped royals, influencing the course of history in turn? Subscribe and return on July 30th to find out.
July 23, 2021