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The Spanish Royals

The Spanish history books are being rewritten. This blog will follow the historic transition of the Spanish throne.

The Spanish Royal Family: A Brief History
Friday, May 12, 2023 @ 10:16 PM


The Spanish Royal Family, also known as the House of Bourbon, has a rich and complex history that spans centuries. This brief overview will touch on key moments and figures in the family's history, from their rise to power to the present day.

Origins of the House of Bourbon

The House of Bourbon originated in France in the 13th century and became one of the most influential royal families in Europe. The Spanish branch of the Bourbon family began with Philip V, who became the King of Spain in 1700.


Philip V and the War of Spanish Succession

Philip V, the grandson of King Louis XIV of France, was named the heir to the Spanish throne by the dying King Charles II. This decision sparked the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714) as European powers, including Austria, England, and the Dutch Republic, sought to prevent the union of the Spanish and French crowns. Ultimately, Philip V was able to maintain his claim to the Spanish throne, but with the condition that the French and Spanish crowns would never be united.

The Age of Enlightenment and the Bourbon Reforms

During the 18th century, the Spanish Bourbons implemented a series of reforms aimed at modernising Spain and its colonies. These reforms, known as the Bourbon Reforms, included efforts to strengthen the monarchy, centralize power, and improve the economy.

Charles III

Charles III (1759-1788) is considered one of the most successful Bourbon monarchs. He continued the Bourbon Reforms, promoted the arts and sciences, and sought to strengthen Spain's international standing.

The 19th Century: Turmoil and Instability

The 19th century was a tumultuous period for the Spanish monarchy, marked by wars, revolutions, and changes in government.

The Peninsular War and the Abdication of Charles IV

The Peninsular War (1808-1814) was a conflict between Napoleon's France and the allied powers of Spain, Britain, and Portugal. Charles IV was forced to abdicate in favor of his son, Ferdinand VII, but the Spanish monarchy was soon replaced by a French-controlled government.

The Restoration of the Bourbon Monarchy

After the fall of Napoleon, the monarchy was restored in Spain, with Ferdinand VII returning to the throne. However, his reign was marked by political instability and a struggle between absolutism and liberalism.


The 20th Century: The Second Spanish Republic and the Spanish Civil War

The early 20th century saw the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939), which sought to create a more democratic government. However, political tensions and divisions led to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), which ultimately resulted in the victory of General Francisco Franco and the establishment of a dictatorship.

The Restoration of the Monarchy and King Juan Carlos I

In 1975, following Franco's death, the monarchy was restored with King Juan Carlos I taking the throne. He played a crucial role in transitioning Spain to a parliamentary democracy and is credited with helping to stabilize the country during a turbulent period.

The Spanish Royal Family Today

Today, the Spanish Royal Family is led by King Felipe VI, who ascended to the throne in 2014 after the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos I. The royal family, including Queen Letizia and their two daughters, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía, continue to play a significant role in representing Spain both nationally and internationally.

In conclusion, the Spanish Royal Family has experienced a long and complex history, marked by periods of both great achievement and significant turmoil. Through it all, the House of Bourbon has endured and continues to play an important role in Spain's national identity and political landscape. 

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