Someone Needs to Pour Some Chlorine In That Gene Pool

Charles II of Spain

Charles II of Spain

Charles II of Spain (1661-1700) is widely regarded as one of the least competent kings to have reigned. He was the unhappy result of over a century of inbreeding within the Hapsburg Dynasty. His body was so deformed that he could not chew his food. He did not learn to speak until the age of four nor to walk until eight and was treated as virtually an infant until he was ten years old. Fearing the frail child would be overtaxed, his caretakers did not force Charles to attend school.

He was indulged in every way and was never taught or expected to adhere to even the minimum standards of hygiene. When his half-brother Don Juan José of Austria, an illegitimate son of Philip IV, obtained power by exiling the queen mother from the court, he covered his nose and insisted that the Charles at least brush his hair.

Toward the end of his life, Charles’ physical and mental health deteriorated. Among his strange behavior was demanding that the bodies of his family be exhumed so he could look upon the corpses.

He died in Madrid on November 1, 1700. The physician who practiced his autopsy stated that his body “did not contain a single drop of blood; his heart was the size of a peppercorn; his lungs corroded; his intestines rotten and gangrenous; he had a single testicle, black as coal, and his head was full of water.”


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