If Philip IV of Spain left a healthy heir


Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
Like his predecessors, Philip IV of Spain had an extremely high rate of childhood mortality in his family.
He sired 15 children altogether; only one son survived into mid teenage (16); one daughter reached middle age (45); one daughter reached early adulthood (20);
one son reached middle age (39), and ironically, he was the sick and feeble-minded Charles II; one illegitimate son reached 50.
Both the relatively advanced age of Philip IV (for Charles II) and the extreme inbreeding (the mother of Charles II was a niece of Philip IV) were possible reasons.
While Margaret Theresa, a sister of Charles II, might be phenotypically normal, we don't know if she carried any questionable genes; most of her children did not reach adulthood, either.
By a healthy heir, we could assume that Balthasar Charles recovered fully after the smallpox (similar to Emperor Kangxi), or John of Austria the younger gained legitimacy, or any of the male childhood survived to middle age (Let's use the current definition of middle age of 45 or above.)
Could the Spanish Empire fare better with a healthy leader?
Likes: Futurist

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