Articles , Europe , Royal Families , Spain

A Brief Look at the Spanish Royal Family

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The current Spanish royal family is one of the oldest in Europe, tracing its roots back to 17th century Spain. The present-day King of Spain, Felipe VI, is a direct descendant of Charles III who ruled from the mid 1700s up until his death in 1788.

Notable figures in the Spanish royal family include: Queen Isabella I (1451-1504), the Catholic Queen who unified Spain; Philip V (1683-1746), the first Spanish ruler of the House of Bourbon dynasty; Ferdinand VII (1784-1833), who restored absolute monarchy in Spain after its period as a republic; and King Juan Carlos I (1938-2014), who reigned over a period of transition and modernization in Spain.

Queen Isabella I (1451-1504)

Queen Isabella I of Spain was the Queen of Castile and Leon from 1474 to 1504, and she is widely credited for uniting Spain into one kingdom. During her reign, she and her husband King Ferdinand II of Aragon formed what is now known as the Catholic Monarchy in Spain. You can read more about Queen Isabella 1 here.

Philip V (1683-1746)

Philip V was the first Bourbon King of Spain, and he reigned from 1700 until his death in 1746. His rule marked a period of relative stability in Spain, during which time reforms were made to strengthen the Spanish monarchy. He established the Nueva Planta decrees, which abolished feudalism and granted more rights to the Spanish people. You can read more about King Philip V of Spain here.

Ferdinand VII (1784-1833)

Ferdinand VII was the King of Spain from 1808 until his death in 1833. He is known for restoring absolute monarchy after a period as a republic, which began in 1812 with the occupation of Napoleonic forces. He also granted more rights to the Spanish people, such as freedom of worship and press. There’s more detail about King Ferdinand VII’s life here.

King Juan Carlos I (1938-2014)

King Juan Carlos I was the King of Spain from 1975 until his abdication in 2014. He is credited with ushering in a period of transition and modernization in Spain during his reign. He helped to restore democracy in the country after Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, and he was instrumental in spurring economic progress.

Throughout its long history, the Spanish royal family has played an important role in shaping the country’s destiny. Its members have been influential figures throughout Spanish history, from uniting the kingdom to restoring absolute monarchy and ushering in a period of modernization. As the current royal family continues to lead Spain into the future, its role in history will be remembered for generations to come. Learn more about the life of King Juan Carlos 1 of Spain here.

Major Milestones in the Royal Family’s History

The Spanish royal family has been involved in some major milestones throughout its history, including the War of Spanish Succession (1702-1715) and the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815). During this time, King Charles IV managed to secure the crown of Spain for his family. Later on, in 1808 and 1814, the Spanish Royal Family was forced to flee to France due to Napoleon’s invasion of Spain.

In the 19th century, the Spanish royal family was greatly reduced in power due to various uprisings and political unrest. However, after a period of instability, King Juan Carlos I helped to restore democracy in Spain in 1975. In 2014, King Juan Carlos abdicated the throne in favour of his son Felipe VI, who is the current head of the Spanish Royal Family.

Today, the Spanish royal family continues to play an important role in the country’s history and politics. From uniting Spain to spurring economic progress, the royal family of Spain is an integral part of its past and present.…

Articles , Europe , Germany , Kings , Queens , Royal Families

German Royalty Through the Middle Ages

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The turbulent medieval period in Germany saw the emergence of multiple notable dynasties vying for supremacy. Topping them was the awe-inspiring Carolingian Empire, helmed by Charlemagne in the late 8th century CE. The empire extended from modern France and Italy to some regions of what is now known as Germany – effectively making it one of Europe’s mightiest powers at that time.

The Carolingian Dynasty

The Carolingian dynasty of Germany was one of the most influential and powerful in European history, with its founder Charlemagne reigning over an empire that spanned from France to modern-day Germany. Charlemagne’s legacy is still seen in the German language today; many of the words used in everyday German derive from his rule.

Charlemagne ushered in a time of extraordinary tranquility for Europe, as he established and upheld laws across the realm while stimulating learning and cultural expression. In addition, Charlemagne imposed new legal measures such as instituting a single currency system throughout his empire. As if this wasn’t enough, Pope Leo III even crowned Charlemagne Emperor in 800 CE—making him the first monarch to hold said title since Ancient Rome!

Charlemagne’s successors sought to maintain their father’s legacy, although they were often unable to do so due to internal divisions amongst themselves and external threats. Internal conflicts between brothers often resulted in war, with each side vying for control of territories held by their father or grandfather. This led to a period of instability and chaos that lasted until 919 CE when Henry I came to power and unified much of what is now Germany under one rule.

The House of Hohenstaufen

During this Medieval period, various local rulers in Germany formed smaller states – such as Saxony, Bavaria and Franconia. However, these factions were consistently at odds with each other or neighboring nations like France and Hungary. Fortunately, powerful dynasties like the House of Hohenstaufen created larger kingdoms led by famous leaders including Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his son Henry VI. This unification restored peace to the region all while allowing for cultural exchange between countries!

The Hohenstaufen dynasty holds the distinct honor of being one of Germany’s most prestigious families, with its members scattered throughout Europe. Their ties to the Church were especially strong and several became Kings of the Holy Roman Empire; Frederick Barbarossa remains legendary for his conquests against Italy which secured his place in history as a great German emperor. His son, Henry VI also played an integral part in leading many on Third Crusade.

The Emergence of New Dynasties

The 12th century saw the emergence of two major dynasties in Germany; the Welfs and the Staufers. The Welfs were an old Saxon family who rose to power under Duke Henry the Lion in 1142, ruling over much of northern Germany for several centuries. The Staufers were descended from Frederick Barbarossa and his son Henry VI, with their rule stretching across much of southwestern Germany during this time.

During this period, a number of important events in German history took place. In 1152, Otto I was crowned King of Germany by Pope Hadrian IV, making him the first Holy Roman Emperor. This period also saw the establishment of several universities, including the University of Cologne in 1388 and the University of Heidelberg in 1386.

The 15th century saw a brief resurgence of imperial power under Frederick III, who was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1452. This period also witnessed the religious strife between Catholics and Protestants that led to the devastating Thirty Years War (1618-1648). During this conflict, many German royal families lost their power and influence as their territories were divided among various rival states.

Through this period, Germany went from an Empire to a collection of loosely linked nations called the German Confederation. Eventually, in 1871, the unification process was fulfilled with the announcement of the German Empire.…

Articles , Europe , Kings , Royal Families , Spain

The Life of King Juan Carlos I of Spain

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King Juan Carlos I of Spain was born in Rome, Italy on January 5, 1938. He was the son of Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona and Princess María de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. His grandfather, King Alfonso XIII had been forced into exile in 1931 due to a military uprising in Spain, leaving the Spanish throne vacant.

He spent his childhood growing up between Italy and Portugal before eventually being sent to study at the Estado Navas Military Academy in 1954. After completing his studies he joined the army as a lieutenant colonel and began traveling around Spain. In 1962 he married Sofia of Greece and from that union two more children were born; Elena (1963) and Cristina (1965).

In 1969, Juan Carlos was chosen by the Spanish government to become the new king of Spain. He became Spain’s first monarch in over 40 years and immediately got to work restoring democracy and civil liberties to the country. His first act as king was an address to the people of Spain outlining his commitment to democracy and human rights.

Throughout his reign, King Juan Carlos I focused on modernizing Spain’s economy and society while maintaining key traditions such as regional autonomy. In 1975 he dissolved Parliament when it refused to accept austerity measures proposed by him, instead opting for a referendum which overwhelmingly supported his reforms. Following this victory he called for free elections in 1977 which resulted in a democratic regime taking control of the country.

King Juan Carlos I is also remembered for his role in the peaceful transition to democracy, playing a key part in negotiations between various political parties. In 1981 he was involved in stopping a military coup attempt and restoring order to the country.

In 2014, King Juan Carlos abdicated the throne due to health issues, giving way to his son Felipe VI becoming king of Spain. He died four years later on April 2nd, 2020 at the age of 82. His legacy will continue to live on through his efforts towards restoring Spanish democracy and his commitment to human rights. He will always be remembered as one of the most important figures in the history of modern Spain.…

Articles , Europe , Kings , Royal Families , Spain

The Life of King Ferdinand VII of Spain

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Ferdinand VII was born on October 14th, 1784 in Madrid, Spain. He was the son of King Charles IV and Queen Maria Luisa of Parma. Ferdinand ascended to the throne in 1808 at the age of 24 after his father abdicated in favour of Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother Joseph Bonaparte.

During Ferdinand’s reign he had a turbulent relationship with France, as well as other European powers. In 1814 Napoleon was defeated and Ferdinand was restored to the Spanish throne on March 29th 1814. This marked a new era for Ferdinand and by June 1815 he had declared absolute monarchy putting an end to the liberal reforms that had been started during his father’s reign.

Ferdinand was a staunch supporter of the Catholic Church and this saw him introducing legislation such as the Inquisition Act of 1817 and the Concordat of 1851 which increased the power of the Church over Spanish citizens. In addition to increasing the power of the church, Ferdinand also sought to modernise Spain’s economy by introducing reforms such as trade liberalisation, agrarian reform and improvements to public works.

In 1833, Ferdinand abdicated in favour of his daughter Isabella II, who would become Queen at just three years old. During her reign, Ferdinand continued to act as an advisor and mentor until his death in 1834.

During his life, Ferdinand was known for being an autocratic ruler who had a strong attachment to the Catholic Church. His life was marked by significant changes in Spanish law and politics that have had lasting repercussions for the country, making him one of the most influential figures in Spanish history. He died on 29 September 1834 at the age of 49.

Ferdinand VII’s legacy is still felt today, both through his reforms and his stature as a leader. Through his various reforms he was able to modernise Spain’s economy, which allowed for growth and progress in subsequent generations. Additionally, Ferdinand’s reign represented an important phase in Spanish history as it marked the end of Napoleon Bonaparte’s rule over Spain and saw an increase in power for the Catholic Church. Ultimately, Ferdinand VII was a key figure in Spanish history and his legacy is still felt today.…

Articles , Europe , Kings , Royal Families , Spain

The Life of King Philip V of Spain

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Philip V of Spain was born on 19 December 1683 at the Royal Palace of Madrid, to King Charles II and his second wife Maria Anna of Neuburg. He was the first Spanish monarch born in Spain in over half a century as all previous rulers had been overseas-born rulers from Austria. Philip had a difficult early life due to his father’s mental health issues and he eventually became king upon Charles’ death in 1700.

At the start of his reign, Philip faced significant opposition from various European powers, particularly Britain, France and Portugal; all three sought to control the Spanish throne by installing their own candidate as king. In order to prevent this happening, Philip married Elisabeth Farnese in 1714 – daughter of an Italian prince – in an attempt to strengthen his own claim.

Philip was largely a successful ruler, being known as the ‘Rey Planeta’ – world king – due to Spain’s position at this time as one of the most powerful nations in Europe. He created numerous reforms including introducing free trade, modernizing taxation and achieving greater efficiency in the collection of taxes and contributions from the Spanish colonies.

His reign however, was also marred by tragedy; during his reign he saw five of his children die young and Elisabeth eventually died after suffering chronic health issues for many years. Philip himself died on 9 July 1746 aged 63, succeeded by his son Louis I.

Overall Philip V made great strides to modernize Spain and is remembered as an effective and successful monarch within the country’s history. His reign saw both great success, but also personal tragedy for Philip himself. Yet his legacy lives on today in the cultural and political influence of Spain to this day.

​The life of Philip V was one filled with highs and lows, from his difficult childhood to his eventual successes as ruler. Ultimately he left behind a strong legacy for the Spanish throne that continues to be felt centuries later.…

Articles , Europe , Queens , Royal Families , Spain

The Life of Queen Isabella I of Spain

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Queen Isabella I of Spain is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in Spanish history. She was born on 22 April 1451, in Madrigal de las Altas Torres, and she ascended to the throne at age 24.

Her reign marked a period of extensive reform for Spain. She worked to reduce crime and corruption and implemented sweeping changes in taxation, civil rights, military structure and international relations – leading what has been called ‘The Catholic Monarchs’ movement that would become known as The Golden Age of Spain.

Isabella also helped unify Castile and Aragon by marrying her cousin Ferdinand II of Aragon in 1469, who she had met when both were only four years old. Although they were from different social classes due to her father’s diminished fortune, their marriage was incredibly successful and led to the unification of Spain into one powerful nation.

In 1492, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand made an agreement with Christopher Columbus to fund his voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in exchange for part of the profits he would make in any new lands he discovered. This agreement resulted in Spanish colonization of the Americas, which had a major impact on world history.

Queen Isabella also supported religious unity throughout Spain by expelling Jews who refused conversion and persecuting Muslims – all while maintaining a strong Catholicism that became deeply intertwined with Spanish culture during her reign. She also set up many institutions such as hospitals and universities that still exist today.

Isabella I died on 26 November 1504, at the age of 53. She had accomplished her mission of unifying and strengthening Spain as a powerful nation and left a lasting legacy that would shape European history for centuries to come. To this day, Queen Isabella is one of the most influential rulers in Spanish history and is widely regarded as a key figure in the Golden Age of Spain.

In 2016, she was named by Forbes as one of ‘The World’s Most Powerful Women’, an honour that highlights her immense impact on Spain’s culture and society. Her life serves as an example to many leaders who strive for justice and progress in their countries – proving that with hard work, dedication and strategic decision-making, it is possible to make great changes in the world. Queen Isabella I of Spain will always be remembered as an iconic figure whose reign left an indelible mark on Spanish culture and history.…

Kings , Queens , Royal Families

How Do Royals Get their Titles?

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Royal titles are a source of fascination for many, with people wanting to know just how these members of the monarchy achieve their status. But while some royals may be born into their positions, there is more that goes into getting a royal title than simply being born into royalty. In fact, there are several different ways in which royals obtain their titles and the associated privileges that come with them. From receiving titles from other rulers to inheriting them from family members or even earning them through service or military experience, it’s an interesting process. This article will explore all the different ways by which royals acquire their titles and provide insight into why they remain so important today.

Royal Titles by Succession

Historically, most monarchs attained their titles through inheritance. Generally, the eldest child of a king or queen was designated as heir to the throne – this tradition is known as primogeniture. On occasion, if there were no male heirs available for succession, female relatives could gain title instead.

Succession laws were often complicated and could cause great dispute. Some monarchies, such as the British monarchy, relied on a blend of male primogeniture and female patrilineal inheritance to identify heirs; this system was referred to as Salic Law. Alternatively, other sovereigns opted for absolute primogeniture in which titles would pass down either to the oldest son or daughter.

At times, dynastic disputes could even evolve into wars. The War of the Roses was an example of such a conflict which occurred between two branches of the English royal family from 1455 to 1487 concerning their ruling over England’s throne and ultimately ending with Henry Tudor emerging triumphant in battle and beginning his own dynasty.

Royal Titles Awarded

While succession is an expected manner in which members of royal families gain titles and privileges, historically there have also been many royals who did not inherit them. These individuals are particularly noteworthy as they were able to display their aptitude and earn the respect of those around them; gaining prominence through hard work rather than simply being born into it.

From businesspeople to warriors and political figures, these heralded individuals have not only accomplished greatness in their respective areas of expertise but also assumed the duties that come with being a royal.

Royal Titles Could be Bought

In the past, it was possible to buy a title. The practice was not very common, but there have been cases where wealthy individuals could buy titles in order to gain certain privileges and recognition. One example of this occurred during the reign of William IV when the Duke of Wellington offered a peerage title to Thomas Babington Macaulay for 5,000 pounds – which he accepted.

So while there may be a number of different ways for royals to come by their titles, succession remains the most common. Whether they are born into their position or not, royals have an important role to play in our culture and history – a fact that many of us never tire of learning more about.…