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Carlos, Prince of Asturias was a Prince of Spain and Prince of Asturias from 1545-1568
Early Life Edit
Carlos was born in Valladolid, Spain on July 8, 1545. He was the eldest son, and heir apparent of King Phillip II of Spain, and his first wife Queen María Manuela of Portugal. The young Queen died at the age of only 17 four days later from a hemorrhage she had suffered after the birth. The young Infante Carlos was delicate and deformed. He grew up proud and willful and, as a young adult, began to show signs of mental instability.
Time for Marriage Edit
In 1559 Prince Carlos was betrothed to Elisabeth of Valois, eldest daughter of King Henry II of France. However, for political reasons, she instead married King Philip in 1560. Three other brides were then suggested for the Prince: Mary, Queen of Scotland; Margaret of Valois, youngest daughter of Henry II of France; and Anna of Austria, who was to later become Philip's fourth wife, and was a daughter of Philip's cousin, the Emperor Maximilian II. Finally it was agreed in 1564 that Carlos should marry Anna.
Heir to to the Spanish Throne Edit
Carlos was recognized in 1560 as the heir-apparent to the Castilian throne, and three years later as heir-apparent to the Crown of Aragon as well. He became also the 218th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. He often attended meetings of the Council of State; which often dealt with affairs of a foreign nature and was in correspondence with his aunt Margaret, who governed the Low Countries in his father's name.
Injury, Betrayal & Imprisonment Edit
In 1562 Carlos fell down a flight of stairs, which caused serious head injuries. His life was saved by a trepanation of the skull, performed by the eminent anatomist Andreas Vesalius. After his recovery, Carlos became wild and unpredictable in his behavior. He took a dislike to the Duke of Alba, who became the commander of Philip's forces in the Netherlands, a position that had been promised to Carlos. Carlos possibly made contacts with representative of the Count Egmont from the Low Countries, who was one of the leaders of the revolt against the Spanish. He also exhibited an antipathy towards his father, whose murder, according to Carlos' confessor, he supposedly contemplated at one time. In the autumn of 1567 he made preparations to flee to the Netherlands. However, John of Austria, whom Carlos tried to draw into his plans, revealed everything to King Philip.
Just before midnight on January 17, 1568 Philip II, in armor, and with four Councillors, entered Don Carlos' bedchamber where they declared his arrest, seized his papers and weapons, and nailed up the windows. Carlos remained in solitary confinement at the Alcázar of Madrid until his death six months later, on July 24, 1568 at the age of only 23.
It was claimed that Prince Carlos was poisoned on the orders of King Philip, especially by William the Silent in his apology, a 1581 propaganda work against the Spanish king. Modern historians think that Don Carlos died of natural causes. He grew very thin and developed eating disorders during his imprisonment, alternating self-starvation with heavy binges.