While lumberjacks and commercial fisherman garner most of today's headlines for having the most dangerous jobs, they are quite safe compared Europe's rulers from 600 to 1800, the UK's Guardian newspaper reported.
According to the paper, kings during that time period were 700 times more likely to die violently than their subjects, a study from Cambridge professor Manuel Eisner found. Over the 1,200 years Eisner studied, nearly 25 percent of royal deaths were violent, almost all of which were murders, the paper said.
The professor told the Guardian he had not expected to uncover this type of information.
"I started this research on a wet Sunday afternoon and it has turned into a research paper and maybe a book. Kings are relatively well documented and there is good information about how they died. The rate at which they were murdered was stunningly high. I was astonished by how much violence was perpetrated, almost exclusively by elite power groups," he said.
Fortunately for most people, however, the risk of sudden death is lower, which also has the effect of making life insurance affordable, according to experts.