Today in History - On This Day - November 6th. 1661 - Charles II of Spain

November 6th. 1661 marks the birth of a very special noble boy called
Charles (in Spanish: Carlos). This happy event took place at the
Royal Alcazar in Madrid.

His parents were King Philip IV of Spain and Mariana (Maria Anna) of
Austria. The boy received the title Prince of Asturias, given to the first
in line to the Spanish throne.



Carlos II of Spain


By the time of Charles's birth, there were many generations of inbreeding
in the House of Habsburg. There also was a lot of mental illness in
Charles's family. Queen Joanna became insane in her early life and was
known as the mad.

Charles also was physically and mentally disabled. Due to the deaths of
his half-brothers he was the last member of the Spanish Habsburg line.
The boy didn't learn to speak until he was 8 years old and his jaw was
deformed, so he could barely speak or chew.

Charles was three years old when his father King Philip IV died. Mariana
of Austria became regent for her minor son. At that time the Spanish Empire
was huge. The realm included the Southern Netherlands (now Belgium); and
the Spanish overseas empire (inter alia America).

Charles inherited some wars from his father too. Inter alia the one in Portugal
and the one between France about the Southern Netherlands. Mariana tried to
manage all those things but she had her favorites and Charles was forced to
prepare himself for his royal duties.

First of all, he had to find a suitable wife. He received the help from Don Juan
and he found Marie Louise of Orléans. She was a granddaughter of King
Louis XIII of France.

On November 19th. 1679 Charles (then 18 years old) married
Marie Louise of Orléans (then 17 years old). However in February 1689
she died suddenly. Her death caused a lot of questions. Was she poisoned by
her mother-in-law? Did she fell from her horse?

August 28th. 1689 Charles remarried by proxy. This time Maria Anna of Neuburg
was the happy one. However this marriage didn't produce any heirs.

Mariana of Austria died on May 16th. 1696 and finally Charles could reign
without a regent.

Charles died on November 1st. 1700 and the succession passed on to
Philippe, Duke of Anjou. He was the grandson of King Louis XIV and he founded
the House of Bourbon, Today a Bourbon is still sitting on the throne of Spain.

Source picture: Wikipedia