Could Sleeping Beauty have been a haemophiliac?

Sarah Hume


In the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty pricks her finger on a spindle and due to a curse placed on her as a baby, falls to sleep for a hundred years. Here we explore the ramifications of a scenario where instead of a curse, Sleeping Beauty has haemophilia and cuts her finger at age seventeen. We first establish that to have reached her age without modern medicine, it is most likely the princess has a mild form of the disease. A model is then constructed resulting in the conclusion that if Sleeping Beauty was a haemophiliac, a relatively minor cut to her hand left untreated would be sufficient for her to ‘fall into a slumber’ as in the story or, put simply, faint.


Fairy Tale; Biology: Haemotology; Haemophilia; Sleeping Beauty

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