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List of Spanish monarchs

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This is a list of monarchs of Spain, a dominion started with the dynastic union of the Catholic Monarchs of SpainFerdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile.

The regnal numbers follow those of the rulers of Asturias, León, and Castile. Thus, Alfonso XII is numbered in succession to Alfonso XI of Castile.


The following seven lineages were eventually united by the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella.

Although Aragon and Castile continued to be separate, they were ruled together until the Nueva Planta decrees.

House of Trastámara (1479–1516)[edit]

Under Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, their royal dynasties were united into a single line. Historiography of Spain generally treats this as the formation of the Kingdom of Spain, but in formality, the two kingdoms continued with their own separate institutions for more than two centuries. It was not until the Nueva Planta decrees of 1707–1716 that the two lands were formally merged into a single state.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Isabella I
(1451-04-22)22 April 1451 – 26 November 1504(1504-11-26) (aged 53)11 December 1474
26 November 1504
Daughter of John II of Castile and Isabella of PortugalTrastámaraIsabella I of Castile
Ferdinand V & II
  • the Catholic
  • Spanish: Fernando V & II
(1452-03-10)10 March 1452 – 23 January 1516(1516-01-23) (aged 63)15 January 1475
20 January 1479
26 November 1504
23 January 1516
Son of John II of Aragon and Juana EnríquezTrastámaraFerdinand V of Castile and II of Aragon
(1479-11-06)6 November 1479 – 12 April 1555(1555-04-12) (aged 75)26 November 1504
23 January 1516
12 April 1555Daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of AragonTrastámaraJoanna of Castile and Aragon (later: Joanna of Spain)
Philip I
(1478-07-22)22 July 1478 – 25 September 1506(1506-09-25) (aged 28)27 June 1506
25 September 1506
Husband of Joanna of CastileHabsburgPhilip I of Castile

Joanna was confined from 1509 till her death for alleged insanity.

House of Habsburg (1516–1700)[edit]

Following the deaths of Isabella (1504) and Ferdinand (1516), their daughter Joanna inherited the Spanish kingdoms. However, she was kept prisoner at Tordesillas due to an alleged mental disorder. As Joanna's son, Charles I (the future Holy Roman Emperor Charles V), did not want to be merely a regent, he proclaimed himself king of Castile and Aragon jointly with his mother. Subsequently, Castilian and Aragonese Cortes alleged oath to him as co-monarch with his mother. Upon her death, he became sole King of Castile and Aragon, and the thrones were left permanently united to Philip II of Spain and successors. Traditional numbering of monarchs follows the Castillian crown; i.e. after King Ferdinand (II of Aragon and V of Castile jure uxoris as husband of Queen of Castille Isabella I), the next Ferdinand was numbered VI. Likewise, Alfonso XII takes his number following that of Alfonso XI of Castile rather than that of Alfonso V of Aragon, the prior Spanish monarch with that name.[citation needed]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Charles I
(1500-02-24)24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558(1558-09-21) (aged 58)14 March 151616 January 1556
(39 years, 10 months and 2 days)
Son of Joanna and Philip I of Castile
Nominally co-monarch with Joanna till 1555, while she was confined
HabsburgCarlos I of Spain
Philip II
(1527-05-21)21 May 1527 – 13 September 1598(1598-09-13) (aged 71)16 January 155613 September 1598
(42 years, 7 months and 28 days)
Son of Charles IHabsburgFelipe II of Spain
Philip III
(1578-04-14)14 April 1578 – 31 March 1621(1621-03-31) (aged 42)13 September 159831 March 1621
(22 years, 6 months and 18 days)
Son of Philip IIHabsburgSpain
Philip IV
(1605-04-08)8 April 1605 – 17 September 1665(1665-09-17) (aged 60)31 March 162117 September 1665
(44 years, 5 months and 17 days)
Son of Philip IIIHabsburgFelipe IV of Spain
Charles II
(1661-11-06)6 November 1661 – 1 November 1700(1700-11-01) (aged 38)17 September 16651 November 1700
(35 years, 1 month and 15 days)
Son of Philip IVHabsburgCarlos II of Spain

In the year 1700, Charles II died. His will named the 16-year-old Philip, Duke of Anjou, the grandson of Charles's sister Maria Theresa of Spain, as his successor to the whole Spanish Empire.[1] Upon any possible refusal of the undivided Spanish possessions, the Crown of Spain would be offered next to Philip's younger brother Charles, Duke of Berry, or, next, to Archduke Charles of Austria.[2]

Both claimants, both Charles of Austria and Philip, had a legal right to the Spanish throne because Philip's grandfather, King Louis XIV of France and Charles's father, Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, were sons of Charles II's aunts, Anne and Maria Anna. Philip claimed primogeniture because Anne was older than Maria Anna. However, Philip IV had stipulated in his will the succession should pass to the Austrian Habsburg line, and the Austrian branch also claimed that Maria Theresa, Philip's grandmother, had renounced the Spanish throne for herself and her descendants as part of her marriage contract. This was countered by the French claim that it was on the basis of a dowry that had never been paid.[3]

After a long council meeting where the Dauphin spoke up in favour of his son's rights, it was agreed that Philip would ascend the throne.[4] Following this, the War of the Spanish Succession broke out and Archduke Charles was also proclaimed king of Spain, as Charles III, in opposition to Philip V. He was proclaimed in Vienna,[5] and also in Madrid in the years 1706 and 1710. Charles renounced his claims to the Spanish throne in the Treaty of Rastatt of 1714, but was allowed the continued use of the styles of a Spanish monarch for his lifetime. Philip ascended the Spanish throne but had to renounce his claim to the throne of France for himself and his descendants.[6]

Disputed claimant of the House of Habsburg[edit]

Portrait Coat of arms Name Life Reign Titles Claim
Archduke Charles of Austria,
as Charles III
Archiduque Carlos (Carlos III)
1 October 1685 – 20 October 1740 (aged 55) 12 September 1703 – 2 July 1715

(11 years, 9 months and 20 days)

  • King of Spain, Naples, Sicily and Sardinia
  • Duke of Milan
  • Sovereign of the Netherlands

House of Bourbon (1700–1808)[edit]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Philip V
(1683-12-19)19 December 1683 – 9 July 1746(1746-07-09) (aged 62)16 November 170014 January 1724
(23 years, 1 month and 30 days)
Great-grandson of Philip IV
Half-grandnephew of Charles II
BourbonPhilip V of Spain
Louis I
  • the Beloved and the Liberal
  • Spanish: Luis I
(1707-08-25)25 August 1707 – 31 August 1724(1724-08-31) (aged 17)15 January 172431 August 1724
(7 months and 17 days)
Son of Philip VBourbonLouis I of Spain
Philip V
(1683-12-19)19 December 1683 – 9 July 1746(1746-07-09) (aged 62)6 September 17249 July 1746
(21 years, 10 months and 3 days)
Father of Louis IBourbonPhilip V of Spain
Ferdinand VI
(1713-09-23)23 September 1713 – 10 August 1759(1759-08-10) (aged 45)9 July 174610 August 1759
(13 years, 1 month and 1 day)
Son of Philip VBourbonFernando VI of Spain
Charles III
  • the Enlightened and the King-Mayor
  • Spanish: Carlos III
(1716-01-20)20 January 1716 – 14 December 1788(1788-12-14) (aged 72)10 August 175914 December 1788
(29 years, 4 months and 4 days)
Son of Philip VBourbonCarlos III of Spain
Charles IV
(1748-11-11)11 November 1748 – 20 January 1819(1819-01-20) (aged 70)14 December 178819 March 1808
(19 years, 3 months and 5 days)
Son of Charles IIIBourbonCharles IV of Spain
Ferdinand VII
  • the Desired and the Felon King
  • Spanish: Fernando VII
(1784-10-14)14 October 1784 – 29 September 1833(1833-09-29) (aged 48)19 March 18086 May 1808
(1 month 17 days)
Son of Charles IVBourbonFernando VII of Spain

House of Bonaparte (1808–1813)[edit]

The only monarch from this dynasty was Joseph I, imposed by his brother Napoleon I of France after Charles IV and Ferdinand VII had abdicated. The title used by Joseph I was King of the Spains and the Indias, by the Grace of God and the Constitution of the State. He was also later given all of the titles of the previous kings. A government in opposition to the French was formed in Cádiz on 25 September 1808, which continued to recognize the imprisoned Ferdinand VII as king. This government was diplomatically recognized as the legitimate Spanish government by Britain and other countries at war with France.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Joseph I
(1768-01-07)7 January 1768 – 28 July 1844(1844-07-28) (aged 76)6 June 180811 December 1813
(5 years, 6 months and 5 days)
Older brother of Emperor NapoleonBonaparteJosé I of Spain

House of Bourbon (1813–1868)[edit]

Charles IV's eldest son was restored to the throne. Again, the title used was king of Castile, Leon, Aragon,… by the Grace of God.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Ferdinand VII
  • the Desired
    the Felon King
  • Spanish: Fernando VII
(1784-10-14)14 October 1784 – 29 September 1833(1833-09-29) (aged 48)11 December 181329 September 1833
(19 years, 9 months and 18 days)
Son of Charles IVBourbonFernando VII of Spain
Isabella II
  • the Queen of Sad Mischance
    the Traditional Queen
  • Spanish: Isabel II
(1830-10-10)10 October 1830 – 9 April 1904(1904-04-09) (aged 73)29 September 183330 September 1868
(35 years and 1 day)
Daughter of Ferdinand VIIBourbonIsabel II of Spain

House of Savoy (1870–1873)[edit]

After the Spanish Revolution of 1868 deposed Isabella II, while a new monarch was sought, a provisional government and a regency headed by Francisco Serrano y Domínguez from 8 October 1868 until 2 January 1871 was established. Amadeo was elected as king and the new title used was King of Spain, by the Grace of God and will of the nation.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Amadeo I
  • the Knight King
    the Elected one
(1845-05-30)30 May 1845 – 18 January 1890(1890-01-18) (aged 44)16 November 187011 February 1873
(2 years, 2 months and 26 days)
Elected by Cortes Generales
Great-great-grandson of Charles III
SavoyAmadeo I of Spain

Spanish Republic (1873–1874)[edit]

House of Bourbon (1874–1931)[edit]

Isabella II's eldest son was restored to the throne as she had abdicated in his favour in 1870. Constitutional King of Spain.

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Alfonso XII
  • the Peacemaker
(1857-11-28)28 November 1857 – 25 November 1885(1885-11-25) (aged 27)29 December 187425 November 1885
(10 years, 10 months and 27 days)
Son of Isabella IIBourbonAlfonso XII of Spain
Alfonso XIII
  • the African
(1886-05-17)17 May 1886 – 28 February 1941(1941-02-28) (aged 54)17 May 188614 April 1931
(44 years, 10 months and 28 days)
Posthumous son of Alfonso XIIBourbonAlfonso XIII of Spain

Spanish Republic (1931–1939)[edit]

Dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1939–1975)[edit]

On 1 October 1936, General Francisco Franco was proclaimed "Leader of Spain" (Spanish: Caudillo de España) in the parts of Spain controlled by the Nationalists (nacionales) after the Spanish Civil War broke out. At the end of the war, on 1 April 1939, Franco took control of the whole of Spain, ending the Second Republic. The 36-year period that followed would be officially called the Estado Español, or the Spanish State. Although Franco proclaimed the restoration of the monarchy in 1947, he did not allow the pretender, Juan, Count of Barcelona, to take the throne. Instead, 22 years later, in 1969, he declared as his successor Juan Carlos, Prince of Spain and son of the Count of Barcelona. This succession took place upon Franco's death in 1975, when Juan Carlos became King of Spain. A three-year transition to democracy followed during which the apparatus of the Franco government was gently dismantled and preparations for a new system, from 1978, were laid.

House of Bourbon (1975–present)[edit]

Alfonso XIII's claim descended (due to his two eldest sons' renunciations) to his third son, Juan of Bourbon, Count of Barcelona, who was passed over in favour of his eldest son, whose title is King of Spain. The Count of Barcelona formally renounced his claims in favour of his son in 1977, two years after Franco's death and Juan Carlos's accession.

Juan Carlos abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI, who became king on 19 June 2014, with Felipe's older daughter, Leonor, next in succession.[7]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Juan Carlos I (1938-01-05) 5 January 1938 (age 86)22 November 197519 June 2014
(38 years, 6 months and 28 days)
Grandson of Alfonso XIIIBourbonJuan Carlos I of Spain
Felipe VI (1968-01-30) 30 January 1968 (age 56)19 June 2014IncumbentSon of Juan Carlos IBourbonFelipe VI of Spain

Timeline of Spanish monarchs[edit]

Felipe VIJuan Carlos IAlfonso XIIIAlfonso XIIAmadeo I of SpainIsabella II of SpainFerdinand VII of SpainJoseph BonaparteFerdinand VII of SpainCharles IV of SpainCharles III of SpainFerdinand VI of SpainPhilip V of SpainLouis I of SpainPhilip V of SpainCharles II of SpainPhilip IV of SpainPhilip III of SpainPhilip II of SpainCharles V, Holy Roman EmperorPhilip I of CastileJoanna of CastileFerdinand II of AragonIsabella I of CastileHouse of BourbonHouse of BourbonHouse of SavoyHouse of BourbonHouse of BonaparteHouse of BourbonHouse of HabsburgHouse of Trastámara

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Spanish: Pepe Botella
  2. ^ Due to Franco's illness, Prince Juan Carlos held the post of head of state as an interim measure from 19 July to 2 September 1974, and again from 30 October to 20 November 1975. On 22 November, two days after Franco's death, Juan Carlos was proclaimed King by the Cortes.


  1. ^ Kamen, Henry. "Philip V of Spain: The King who Reigned Twice". Yale University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-300-08718-7 P6
  2. ^ Kamen, Henry. "Philip V of Spain:: The King who Reigned Twice", p.6. Published by Yale University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-300-08718-7
  3. ^ Durant, Will. "The Age of Louis XIV", p.699. Simon and Schuster, New York 1963.
  4. ^ Kamen, Henry. "Philip V of Spain:: The King who Reigned Twice" Yale University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-300-08718-7 P158
  5. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Charles VI." . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 905.
  6. ^ Kamen, Henry. "Philip V of Spain:: The King who Reigned Twice", p.158. Published by Yale University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-300-08718-7
  7. ^ "Leonor becomes a crown princess". El Pais.

External links[edit]