Portrait of Albert VII (1559-1621), Archduke of Austria; Cardinal (1577-1598), Arcbishop of Toledo (1595-1598), Viceroy of Portugal (1583-1593), Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands (1596-1598), Sovereign of the Netherlands (with Isabella Clara Eugenia) from 1598 to 1621, 1621
Albert VII (German: Albrecht VII) (13 November 1559 – 13 July 1621) was the ruling Archduke of Austria for a few months in 1619 and, jointly with his wife, Isabella Clara Eugenia, sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands between 1598 and 1621. Prior to this, he had been a cardinal, archbishop of Toledo, viceroy of Portugal and Governor General of the Habsburg Netherlands. He succeeded his brother Matthias as reigning archduke of Lower and Upper Austria, but abdicated in favor of Ferdinand II the same year, making it the shortest (and often ignored) reign in Austrian history. Archduke Albert was the fifth son of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain, daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Isabella of Portugal. He was sent to the Spanish Court at the age of eleven, where his uncle, King Philip II, looked after his education. Initially he was meant to pursue an ecclesiastical career. On 3 March 1577 he was appointed cardinal by Pope Gregory XIII, with a dispensation because of his age of eighteen, and was given Santa Croce in Gerusalemme as his titular church.
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