Marianna Avstriyskaya

Marianna Avstriyskaya

Spanish queen, second wife of Philip IV, mother of Charles II, the last Spanish king of the Habsburg dynasty.
Date of Birth: 23.12.1634
Country: Spain

  1. Biography of Mariana of Austria
  2. Marriage and Regency
  3. Later Life and Death

Biography of Mariana of Austria

Mariana of Austria was the Queen consort of Spain, the second wife of Philip IV, and the mother of Charles II, the last Habsburg king of Spain. She was born on December 23, 1634, in Vienna, to Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife Mariana, an Infanta of Spain and daughter of King Philip III. Mariana was their eldest daughter and had two younger siblings, Ferdinand IV and Leopold I.

Marriage and Regency

From a young age, Mariana was intended to marry her cousin Baltasar Carlos, the Prince of Asturias and son of Philip IV. However, Baltasar Carlos passed away in 1646 at the age of 16, leaving Philip IV without an heir and Mariana without a fiancé. On November 8, 1649, Mariana married her uncle, Philip IV. They had six children together, but only two survived to adulthood - Margarita Teresa and the heir to the throne, Charles II.

After Philip IV's death on September 17, 1665, Mariana became regent for her three-year-old son, Charles II. As Charles was physically disabled, Mariana played a crucial role in governing the kingdom. She remained regent for most of her life, except for a brief period when she was exiled from Madrid in 1678 due to her support of Fernando de Valenzuela, a favorite of hers who faced opposition from the court. Mariana returned to Madrid in 1679 after the death of her illegitimate son Juan.

Later Life and Death

Mariana continued to have a significant role in state affairs until her death in 1696. Over the years, the strict Spanish court etiquette transformed her from a lively young girl into a somber, melancholic, and introverted woman. She made numerous attempts to secure a Habsburg successor for her son, but all her efforts failed. After the death of Charles II, the War of the Spanish Succession erupted.

Mariana's children included Margarita Teresa of Spain (1651-1673), who became Empress and wife of Leopold I; Maria (1655); Felipe Prospero (1657-1661); and Thomas Carlos (1658-1659). Charles II, her youngest son, ruled as the last Habsburg king of Spain until his death in 1700.