40 Odd Facts About the Inbred King Charles II of Spain
40 Odd Facts About the Inbred King Charles II of Spain

40 Odd Facts About the Inbred King Charles II of Spain

Trista - February 6, 2019

40 Odd Facts About the Inbred King Charles II of Spain
French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) as Queen in Victor Hugo’s Ruy Blas. Wikimedia Commons/ Public Domain.

4. Maria Ana Was an Inspiration for One of Victor Hugo’s Novels

The French novelist Victor Hugo, who wrote classics like Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, depicted the life of Maria Anna in a play called Ruy Blas. It is about a queen (presumably Maria Anna) who married a commoner. Ultimately, though, the play is a tragedy, meaning everyone dies at the end.

40 Odd Facts About the Inbred King Charles II of Spain
Philip IV of Spain by Diego Velázquez in 1644. Wikimedia Commons/ Public Domain.

3. Inbreeding Made Charles’ Family Tree Complicated

Charles’ father was Philip IV of Spain, and his mother was Mariana. The two were paternal cousins, as well as uncle and niece. This means that Charles was not only their son; he was also his father’s great-nephew, his mother’s first cousin, and his father’s second cousin. Complications like that one were common among the Habsburgs.

40 Odd Facts About the Inbred King Charles II of Spain
Philip IV’s most prominent favourite and minister, the Count-Duke Olivares, by Diego Velázquez. Wikimedia Commons/ Public Domain.

2. Superstition About King Charles’ Health Problems

Though Charles’ impotence was almost certainly due to his inbreeding, various people were called to court to try to figure out the “true cause.” An astrologer suggested that when his father died (when Charles was three), he did not give him a proper good-bye. His mother actually had Philip IV exhumed so that Charles could bid him a fitting farewell. Needless to say, the effort didn’t work.

40 Odd Facts About the Inbred King Charles II of Spain
Spanish gold coin minted in 1700, the last year of the reign of Charles II. Numismática Pliego/ Wikimedia.

1. King Charles’ Autopsy Was Sensationalized

People loved to speculate about Charles’ poor health during his lifetime, and rumors abounded as to the cause of El Hechizado’s deformities. When a doctor performed the autopsy on his body, he declared that the king’s body had no blood, that his intestines had rotted, that his brain was waterlogged, and that he had just one shriveled testicle. People ate the story up.

 

Where Did We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

“King Charles II of Spain.” Wikipedia.

“42 Fiery Facts About Charles II, The Bewitched King Of Spain,” by Matthew Burke. Factinate. December 21, 2018.

“The Strange Life of Charles II Of Spain”. Ranker.

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