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King Charles II – The Bewitched

Updated: May 2

In honor of England getting a new king, we're covering another significant Charles of history. While everyone else is concerning themselves with which of the world's stolen treasures is one which British Royal, we are taking this chance to remind everyone of the incestuous history of these undeserving uplifted.

King Charles III of England may not be winning any beauty pageants any time soon. Compared to his namesake, Charles II of Spain, he's a downright stunner. Charles II was the last Habsburg king of Spain. Legend holds that he was so incomprehensibly hideous that children would flee before him.

This is the story of Charles II of Spain, known as the Bewitched.

Inbreeding is Bad

The Spanish Habsburgs were in trouble. They hadn't produced any male heirs in a while, and everyone in Europe knew about it. Everything seemed to change when Phillip IV managed to impregnate his wife Maria Anna.

The pregnancy produced a deformed parody of a Habsburg. Phillip IV had the classic Habsburg looks, an elongated skull and pronounced chin. His son had the same features in spades.

Likely shocked by his offspring, Phillip IV died when his son was only 4 years old. Phil was an optimist though, and he assumed the boy would grow into a passable man by the age of 14. He willed the kingdom to his son, to be crowned on his 14th birthday.

As Charles II grew, the Spanish court realized that the boy was exceedingly feeble in body and mind. His behavior was infantile. He agreed with whatever the last suggestion was that he heard. Along with his mental deficiencies, the boy seemed to have a heart defect which rendered him weak.

Due to his weakness, Charles wasn't taught how to read and write until he was much older than normal for those skills. He never received any higher learning. Strangely, his favorite pass-time was counting things, but not too many things.

The Spanish court was thrilled at the prospect of such a weak king. Whoever could get close to the boy could get their interests enacted into law. Government has always attracted the snakiest people, and late 17th century Spain was no different.

Charles II's mother, Maria Anna, was the daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand III. Emperor Ferdinand's wife was King Phillip IV's sister, making Maria Anna his niece-wife. Ferdinand III's father was King Phillip IV's uncle on his mother's side. The web gets more tangled the further up you go.

How any of these people were able to speak, let alone rule, was a miracle.

Love for the Tool King

Due to the superstitious nature of humans, and especially during the 17th century, people blamed bewitchment for Charles II's issues. It had to be witches. Cousins marrying cousins for hundreds of years couldn't possibly be the problem! They were all from noble stock after all.

Bewitched or inbred, the boy king wasn't fit to govern a country. The first years of his life were dominated by his mother. She controlled all the decisions, and dealt with King Louis XIV of France's dreams of expanding into Spain.

Her regency was marked by a power struggle with Charles II's bastard brother, Don Juan José de Austria.

To highlight Charles II's ineptitude, a month before his mother's regency was set to end, Don Juan told the king to officially summon him to court. He would enact a royal decree to instate Don Juan as the next regent. His mother found out about the plot, and told Charles II to extend her regency by 2 years and expel Don Juan by royal decree. Charles obeyed.

Proving that you can't keep a bastard down, Don Juan took over the government in 1678. He set up a marriage for Charles II to Marie Louise d'Orléans. Apparently Marie Louise spent her time weeping after being informed.

Don Juan died before the wedding could take place. Marie Louise d'Orléans travelled to Spain to meet her husband, who fell madly in love with her.

Ten years would pass with no signs of pregnancy. Marie Louise d'Orléans despaired of her inability to produce an heir. Back then it was seen as the woman's fault if the man was shooting blanks, which Charles II definitely was.

Marie Louise d'Orléans died at the age of 26 in 1689. She was soon replaced by a German princess, Maria Anna of Neuburg. Maria was also unable to fall pregnant. Her time with Charles was marked by a rivalry with his mother, who was also named Maria Anna.


After his death on 1 November 1700, an autopsy found that the king had only one testicle. This lonely ball was atrophied, dried up like an inbred raisin. The autopsy also found that his “head was full of water” his heart was the size of a “peppercorn”, his lungs were “corroded”, and his intestines were gangrenous.

Before his death someone suggested that he will the kingdom to King Louis XIV of France's grandson – Phillip of Anjou. This decision led to a war the year after Charles II's death.



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