1661 - 1700 (38 years)
Has more than 100 ancestors but no descendants in this family tree.
||Carlos II d' Espana |
|Relationship||with Francis Fox|
||6 Nov 1661
||1 Nov 1700
||29 Aug 2000 |
||Rey Felipe IV d' Espana, b. 8 Apr 1605, Valladolid , d. 17 Sep 1665, Madrid, España (Age 60 years) |
||Maria Anna von Österreich, b. 23 Dec 1634, Wiener Neustadt, Österreich , d. 16 May 1696, Madrid, España (Age 61 years) |
||8 Nov 1649
||1 sibling |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
- possessed the physical peculiarities of the Habsburgs to an extent that made him little short of a monstrosity
Due to the incestuous marriages of his ancestors he was sadly degenerated with an enormous misshapen head. His Habsburg jaw stood so much out that his two rows of teeth could not meet; he was unable to chew. His tongue was so large that he was barely able to speak. His intellect was similarly disabled. His brief life consisted chiefly of a passage from prolonged infancy to premature senility. Carlos' family, who was anxious only to prolong his days, thought little about his education, so that he could barely read or write. He had been fed by wet nurses until the age of 5 or 6 and was not allowed to walk until almost fully grown. Even then he was unable to walk properly, because his legs would not support him and he fell several times. His body remained that of an invalid child. The nature of his upbringing, the inadequacy of his education, the stiff etiquette of his court, his dependence upon his mother and the psychology of his religious beliefs helped to create a mentally retarded and hypersensitive monarch.
In 1675 Carlos was presented with a decree to prolong the powers of his mother on the grounds of his own incapacity. Carlos refused to sign the document and he secretly wrote a letter to his bastard half-brother, Don Juan. Later, he was forced to pay a visit to his mother. After two hours, he emerged crying from her room. Once and for all Carlos' act of rebellion had ended. Charles suffered one further disability, politically more significant than all the rest: his inability to consummate his marriages was evident from his birth. Nevertheless, he was married twice. His first bride was Marie Louise of Orléans (1662-1689). It seems that although Carlos attempted intercourse, he suffered from premature ejaculation, so that he was unable to achieve penetration. Marie Louise confided in the French ambassador, that "she was really not a virgin any longer, but that as far as she could figure things, she believed she would never have children." The French ambassador even managed to get a pair of the Carlos' drawers and had them examined by surgeons for traces of sperm, but the doctors could not agree about their findings. Marie Louise had been raised at the gay French court and couldn't get used to the rigid Spanish court etiquette. She became increasingly corpulent and died in 1689 after a riding accident. Her death made a deep impression on Carlos; he demanded the opening of the coffins containing the decaying relics of his predecessors. Nevertheless, he was remarried within three months to Maria Ana (1667-1740), a daughter of the Elector Palantine. She was exorcised to promote her fertility, but she couldn't cure Carlos' sexual defects either.
Carlos' invalidity could have been afflicted by a bone disease, acromegaly, the result of an inherited endocrine dysfunction. This illness would explain his strange physical appearance, his over-large head and his impotence. The illness gave rise to fits of dizziness and what seem to have been epileptic spasms. The description of the numerous ailments that afflicted him from birth - suppurating ulcers, diseased bones and teeth, nervous difficulties - can also suggest congenital syphilis, the quite probable result of his father's frequent visits to the brothels of Madrid. A serious attack in 1627 and the syphilitic symptoms marking his final illness sustain the hypothesis of syphilis.
Over the years Carlos grew steadily worse. He was lame, epileptic and bald at the age of 35. His hair had fallen out, his teeth were nearly gone and his eyesight was failing. In 1698 he had three fits and became deaf. The doctors put freshly-killed pigeons on his head to prevent dizziness and applied the streaming entrails of mammals to his stomach to keep him warm, but he died nevertheless. "Many people tell me," Carlos once said, "I am bewitched and I well believe it; such are the things I experience and suffer." His death started the War of the Spanish Succession.