List of Spanish monarchs

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This is a list of Spanish monarchs—that is, rulers of the country of Spain in the modern sense of the word. The forerunners of the Spanish throne, as well as of the Portuguese throne, were the following:

These lineages were eventually united by the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. Although their kingdoms continued to be separate, with their personal union they ruled them together as one dominion. Ferdinand also conquered the southern part of Navarre and annexed it to what was to become Spain. Isabella left her kingdom to her daughter Joanna of Castile. Ferdinand served as her regent during her insanity; though rebuffed by the Castilian nobility and replaced with Joanna's husband Philip I of Castile, he resumed his regency after Philip's death. Joanna's son, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, succeeded her on the throne of Castile; and he also succeeded his grandfather Ferdinand on the Aragonese throne when Ferdinand died in 1516; thereafter the thrones were united.


Kings, Queens of Spain

There are four alternative moments (and three different persons) where the Kingship of Spain is considered to begin:

  • in 1479, when Ferdinand, already King Consort of Castile as husband of Isabel I of Castile, inherits Kingdom of Aragon at his father John II of Aragon's death. However, after this, the kingdoms became separate shortly, as Juana la Loca and Philip of Austria inherited Castile in 1504, but Aragon remained Ferdinand's; he even married again and had he produced a son, that son would have taken precedence in Aragon and kept that country separate in the future.
  • in 1516, when the future Emperor Charles V became the King of Aragon (after his grandfather Ferdinand) and guardian as well as co-king of Castile, in conjunction with his mother Juana la Loca who was incapable to rule. However, the old Hispania was not united, as Portugal remained independent. And in Castile, Charles was not the sole monarch, only in Aragon.
  • in 1555 at the death of Juana, when Charles (already the sole King of Aragon) became also sole king of Castile, being elevated to full kingship in Castile after some four decades of "co-kingship". However, the old Hispania was not united, as Portugal was independent.
  • in 1580, when, after the Portuguese dynastic crisis, at the moment of personal union between Portugal and all other Iberian monarchies, it is said the old Hispania, became a united realm. Charles's son Philip II of Spain who already was King of Castile and Aragon (directly from his father) also became King of Portugal, and no longer there was any other monarchy in the Iberian Peninsula. Latter, in 1640, Portugal rebelled and separated from this union under the House of Braganza (recognized by Spain only in 1668), and thenceforth the name of Spain does not refer to the whole of the Iberian peninsula (ancient Hispania), but only to one of its constituent countries.

House of Habsburg / House of Austria

The House of Habsburg (or "of Austria", as it was known in Spain) descended from Charles I of Spain (who was also the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V). He left behind a Spanish monarchy that also, for some time, retained control of the Netherlands; however, the title of Holy Roman Emperor did not pass to these Spanish monarchs.

House of Bourbon

The Spanish kings of the House of Bourbon were descended from the French royal family.

House of Bonaparte

See also Bonaparte.

House of Bourbon (first restoration)

See also House of Bourbon.

House of Savoy

See also House of Savoy.

Interregnum: First Republic

House of Bourbon (second restoration)

See also House of Bourbon.

Interregnum: Second Republic and Franco era

House of Bourbon (third restoration)

See also House of Bourbon.


  1. ^  There was a brief interregnum following Carlos II's death, during which the decision of the Duc d'Anjou as to whether he would accept the Spanish throne was awaited.
  2. ^  There was a short interregnum following the death of King Luis before his father resumed the throne.
  3. ^  Throughout much of Spain, Fernando's abdication was not recognized to be valid, having been given under duress. The Supreme Governing Junta established on 25 September 1808, which was recognized as the legitimate government of Spain by Britain, Portugal, and other governments, continued to recognize Fernando as King.
  4. ^  Following Carlos IV's second abdication, there was a month long interregnum, during which Marshal Joachim Murat ruled Spain as Lieutenant-General and Governor of the Realm.
  5. ^  This was Napoleon's brother Joseph. He was not universally recognized as King, and following the Bourbon restoration, his acts were largely considered to have been invalid.
  6. ^  Following Isabel's abdication, there was a more than two year interregnum, during which time the government sought a new monarch from abroad.
  7. ^  Following Alfonso XII's death, there was a regency. as the crown was in abeyance awaiting the finalization of who would be the heir, until the birth of his posthumous son Alfonso XIII. Were the child a daughter, the next monarch would have been Alfonso XII's eldest daughter, who at that time was known as Infanta Dona Maria Mercedes, Princess of Asturias. The mother of the children, Maria Cristina, was Regent.
  8. ^  In 1947, Franco proclaimed the restoration of the monarchy, but did not allow the pretender, the Count of Barcelona, to take the throne.

See also

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