I found this story on Futility Closet's blog here. The following story is about John VI of Portugal (1767 – 1826), who is a monarch I know next to nothing about. Please let me know if you have any stories about him!
John VI of Portugal was hard of hearing, so he had a throne built whose leonine arms captured sound and directed it to a listening tube.
“Requiring anyone who wishes to speak with you to kneel and address you through the jaws of your carved lion might be fun for an hour or so,” notes neuroscientist Jan Schnupp, “but few psychologically well-balanced individuals would choose to hold the majority of conversations in that manner.”
A further bit of information onf John VI not found on the Futility Closet site:
From what I understand, he was a fairly retiring, private character and therefore there were a lot of different perceptions and representations of him, ranging from cowardly, disgusting, and ugly, to dignified, kind, and brave. Here are just a few different artists' renderings of John VI: