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Old 08-30-2015, 02:39 AM
Eduard von Bodner's Avatar
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Habsburg claimant to the Spanish throne

Pax vobiscum!

I was interested in studying more about the line that would supposedly claim the throne of Spain from the Habsburg line. As most of you probably know, in 1700, Charles II of Spain, a member of the House of Habsburg, died with no heir and that event triggered the War of Spanish Succession, which ultimately led to a victory of the French Bourbons and the throne being taken by the Duke of Anjou, later known as Philip V of Spain.

However, I find that claim to be relatively weak regarding the fact that the relation Philip V had to Philip IV was through his grandmother, Maria Theresa of Spain, and considering that comes from a female line, it would be more likely that the throne pass on to a brother of Philip IV, as there was none available, then to his father Philip III's brother, if none available, then keep on digging until one is found. However, I managed to track lines, which even lack some good info, so I can't be sure, up to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. But even if the Bourbons seized the throne by force of arms, the law is the law and we should look back and see if there wouldn't be a more appropriate claimant to the throne.

Now here is my question, considering that Charles V was Archduke of Austria, and the line continued there until Blessed Charles I of Austria-Hungary, and now His Imperial and Royal Highness Karl von Habsburg, who would be the most fitting claimant to the Spanish throne? Karl von Habsburg? Or there would be another person more related to Philip IV (or even Charles II for that matter, however his line died there and that is the whole cause of this mess).

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Old 08-30-2015, 03:07 AM
Duc_et_Pair's Avatar
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The whole Habsburg claim was fought out in the War on the Spanish succession and has been 'settled' with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. In 1700 Don Carlos de Habsburgo y Borbón, King of Spain, of Naples, of Sicily, of Sardinia, Duke of Luxembourg and Lord of the Netherlands died. His two marriages with Marie-Louise d'Orléans and Maria-Anna von Bayern were without issue.

The strongest claim on the throne of Spain had Don Carlos II's nephew Louis de Bourbon (1661-1711), Dauphin de France, son of Louis XIV de Bourbon, King of France and of María Teresia de Habsburgo y Borbón (sister of Don Carlos II). Because Louis ("le Grand Dauphin"), and his eldest son Louis ("le Petit Dauphin") had to remain available for the succession to the throne of France, he transferred his rights to his second eldest son Philippe de Bourbon, Duc d'Anjou.


Don Carlos II of Habsburg, King of Spain died in 1700. No issue. Note that the succession in Spain was semi-salic: sons had preference over daughters in the same degree of consanguity, which means that the succession could be transferred to females by lack of male heirs.

His brothers were his closest successors:

Brother 1 - Don Baltasar Carlos de Habsburgo y Borbón - assassinated 1646, no issue
Brother 2 - Don Felipe Prospero de Habsburgo y Habsburgo - died as child 1661, no issue
Brother 3 - Don Fernando Tomás Carlos de Habsburgo y Habsburgo - died as child 1659, no issue

By lack of brothers and their offspring, then his sisters were his closest successors:

Sister 1 - Doña María Margarita de Habsburgo y Borbón - stillborn 1621, no issue
Sister 2 - Doña Margarita María Catalina de Habsburgo y Borbón - died as child 1623, no issue
Sister 3 - Doña María Eugenia de Habsburgo y Borbón - died as child 1627, no issue
Sister 4 - Doña Isabel María Teresia de Habsburgo y Borbón - stillborn 1627, no issue
Sister 5 - Doña María Ana Antonia de Habsburgo y Borbón - died as child 1636, no issue
Sister 6 - Doña María Teresia de Habsburgo y Borbón (1638-1683) x Louis XIV de Bourbon, King of France
-----------------> Louis de Bourbon, "le Grand Dauphin" x Maria Anna Christina von Bayern
---------------------------> son 1 - Louis de Bourbon, "le Petit Dauphin "----> the French Bourbons
---------------------------> son 2 - Philippe de Bourbon, Duc d'Anjou ----> the Spanish Bourbons

Sister 7 - Doña Margarita de Habsburgo y Habsburgo x Leopold I von Habsburg, Emperor of Austria
------------------> Issue (the House of Habsburg in Austria)
Sister 8 - Doña María Ambrosia de la Concepción de Habsburgo y Habsburgo - died as child 1665, no issue

Had all these brothers and sisters no issue at all, then we needed to look to the paternal uncles of Don Carlos II

Uncle 1 - Don Carlos de Habsburgo y Habsburgo-Este - died in 1632, no issue
Uncle 2 - Don Fernando de Habsburgo y Habsburgo-Este, "El Cardenal-Infante" - died in 1641, no issue
Uncle 3 - Don Alfonso de Habsburgo y Habsburgo-Este - stillborn 1611, no issue

Now the paternal uncles of Don Carlos II had no issue, we need to look at his paternal aunts:

Aunt 1 - Doña Ana María de Habsburgo y Habsburgo-Este x Louis XIII de Bourbon, King of France
-----------------> Louis XIV de Bourbon, King of France (making the Bourbon-claim even stronger)
Aunt 2 - Doña María de Habsburgo y Habsburgo-Este - stillborn 1603, no issue
Aunt 3 - Doña María Ana de Habsburgo y Habsburgo-Este x Ferdinand III von Habsburg, Emperor of Austria
-----------------> Issue (the House of Habsburg in Austria)
Aunt 4 - Doña Margarita de Habsburgo y Habsburgo-Este - stillborn 1611, no issue

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Old 08-30-2015, 06:37 PM
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If the Spanish succession followed Salic law (which, as Duc has pointed out, it didn't), then they would have had to have gone back some ways for a male-line relative.

Charles II -> Philip IV -> Philip III -> Philip II -> Charles V -> Philip I

From Philip I you can go down to a second line (Charles II being the last male-line descendant of Charles V)

Philip I <- Karl II <- Ferdinand II <- Ferdinand III <- Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor

Leopold I doesn't actually have any male-line descendants alive today, his sons' sons both having died in infancy.

I'm not entirely sure if there are any Habsburg male-line descendants still alive today - the Habsburgs themselves in Austria aren't actually male-line descendants, and just a quick look through the is making me think there aren't any.

Karl von Habsburg is not a male-line descendant of the Habsburgs as they existed at the time of the Spanish War of succession; his male-line ancestor, Francis I, was a female-line descendant of the Habsburgs, who married a Habsburg, Maria Theresa, uniting the House of Lorraine (Francis) and the House of Habsburg (Maria Theresa) and making him Holy Roman Emperor. But, if salic law was in play either Spain or the Holy Roman Empire at the time Francis and his descendants - including Karl von Habsburg - would have had no claim to either throne.
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