Portrait of Charles II (1661-1700), King of Spain, Sardinia, Naples and Sicily; Duke of Milan, Brabant, Limburg and Luxemburg; Count of Flanders, Hainaut and Namur (1665-1700), Regency (1665-1675), 1698
Charles II of Spain (Spanish: Carlos II; 6 November 1661 – 1 November 1700) was the last Habsburg ruler of Spain. His realm included Southern Netherlands, Italian territories, several cities in north Africa and Spain's overseas empire, stretching from the Americas to the Spanish East Indies. Known as "the Bewitched" (Spanish: el Hechizado), he is noted for his extensive physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities and his consequent ineffectual rule. He died childless in 1700, with all potential Habsburg successors having predeceased him. In his will, Charles named as his successor the 16-year-old Philip, grandson of the reigning French king Louis XIV and Louis’s first wife, Charles's half-sister Maria Theresa. Because the other European powers viewed the prospective dynastic relationship between France and Spain as disturbing the balance of power in Europe, the War of the Spanish Succession ensued shortly after his death.
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