House of Habsburg (1516–1700)

Under Joanna and Charles I, the two thrones of Castile and Aragon were finally united under one monarch. Traditional numbering of monarchs follows the Castillian crown; i.e. after King Ferdinand (II of Aragon and V of Castile jure uxoris as husband of Queen of Castille Isabella I), the next Ferdinand was numbered VI. Likewise, Alfonso XII takes his number following that of Alfonso XI of Castile rather than that of Alfonso V of Aragon, the prior Spanish monarchs with that name.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Charles I

the Emperor

Spanish: Carlos I

24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558 (aged 58) 14 March 1516 16 January 1556
Son of Joanna and Philip I of Castile Habsburg Carlos I
Philip II

the Prudent

Spanish: Felipe II

21 May 1527 – 13 September 1598
(aged 71)
16 January 1556 13 September 1598 Son of Charles I Habsburg Philip II
Philip III

the Pious

Spanish: Felipe III

14 April 1578 – 31 March 1621
(aged 42)
13 September 1598 31 March 1621 Son of Philip II Habsburg Philip III
Philip IV

the Great

Spanish: Felipe IV

8 April 1605 – 17 September 1665
(aged 60)
31 March 1621 17 September 1665 Son of Philip III Habsburg Philip IV
Charles II

the Bewitched

Spanish: Carlos II

6 November 1661 – 1 November 1700
(aged 38)
17 September 1665 1 November 1700 Son of Philip IV Habsburg Carlos II

In the year 1700 Charles II died. His will named the 16-year-old Philip, the grandson of Charles's sister Maria Theresa of Spain, as his successor to the whole Spanish Empire. Upon any possible refusal of the undivided Spanish possessions, the Crown of Spain would be offered next to Philip's younger brother Charles, Duke of Berry, or, next, to Archduke Charles of Austria.

Both claimants, Philip and Charles, had a legal right to the Spanish throne because Philip's grandfather, King Louis XIV of France and Charles's father, Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, were sons of Charles's aunts, Anne and Maria Anna. Philip claimed primogeniture because Anne was older than Maria Anna. However, Philip IV had stipulated in his will the succession should pass to the Austrian Habsburg line, and the Austrian branch also claimed that Maria Theresa, Philip's grandmother, had renounced the Spanish throne for herself and her descendants as part of her marriage contract. This was countered by the French claim that it was on the basis of a dowry that had never been paid.

After a long council meeting where the Dauphin spoke up in favour of his son's rights, it was agreed that Philip would ascend the throne. Following this, The War of the Spanish Succession broke out and Archduke Charles was also proclaimed king of Spain, as Charles III, in opposition to Philip V. He was proclaimed in Vienna, and also in Madrid in the years 1706 and 1710. Charles renounced his claims to the Spanish throne in the Treaty of Rastatt of 1714, but was allowed the continued use of the styles of a Spanish monarch for his lifetime. Philip ascended the Spanish throne but had to renounce his claim to the throne of France for himself and his descendants.

Disputed claimant of the House of Habsburg

PortraitCoat of armsNameLifeReignTitlesClaim
Charles III de Catalunya Coat of Arms of Charles II of Spain  Archduke Charles of Austria,
as Charles III
Archiduque Carlos, (Carlos III)
1 October 1685 – 20 October 1740
(aged 55)
12 September 1703 – 2 July 1715

King of Spain, Naples, Sicily and Sardinia
Duke of Milan
Sovereign of the Netherlands

Great-grandson of Philip III