Charles II of Spain

Charles II of Spain (Spanish: Carlos II) (6 November 1661 – 1 November 1700), also known as The Bewitched (Spanish: El Hechizado), was the last Habsburg ruler of the Spanish Empire. He is now best remembered for his physical disabilities, and the European war that followed his death.

Charles II
Portrait by Juan Carreño de Miranda, c. 1685, shows the Habsburg jaw
King of Spain
Reign17 September 1665 1 November 1700
PredecessorPhilip IV
SuccessorPhilip V
RegentMariana of Austria (1665–1675)
Born(1661-11-06)6 November 1661
Royal Alcazar of Madrid, Spain
Died1 November 1700(1700-11-01) (aged 38)
Royal Alcazar of Madrid, Spain
    (m. 1679; died 1689)
      (m. 1689)
      FatherPhilip IV of Spain
      MotherMariana of Austria
      ReligionRoman Catholicism

      Charles suffered ill health throughout his life, for reasons that are still debated. From the moment he became king at the age of three in 1665, the succession was a prominent consideration in European politics. Historian John Langdon-Davies memorably summarised his life as follows: "Of no man is it more true to say that in his beginning was his end; from the day of his birth, they were waiting for his death".[1]

      He married twice but remained childless. When he died in 1700, his heir was 16-year-old Philip of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV and his first wife, Charles's elder half-sister, Maria Theresa.[2] However, the succession of Charles was less important than the division of his territories, and failure to resolve that question led to the War of the Spanish Succession in 1701.