Above: Auto-da-fé in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid | RIZI, FRANCISCO | Copyright ©Museo Nacional del Prado

The Spanish Habsburg Court during the Reign of Carlos II (1665-1700)

This special journal issue of The Court Historian: The International Journal of Court Studies on “The Spanish Habsburg Court during the Reign of Carlos II” that I guest edited is the first in English to focus entirely on his court. The volume investigates how Habsburg etiquette traditions adapted to the needs of a child-king, explores the role of royal and aristocratic women at court, and locates Carlos II’s court as a hub of international diplomacy.

The future of the Spanish succession remained unresolved because Carlos II’s two marriages failed to produce heirs. This succession crisis formed perhaps the most important diplomatic issue in European and international politics in the 1680s and 1690s; yet, the historiography tends to focus on French and Imperial (and to some extent on Bavarian) activity, marginalizing Spain and the Spanish Habsburgs. Establishing the active role of the court of Carlos II in diplomatic affairs is an important step forward in placing the Spanish Monarchy at the center of the history of Europe as an active political agent rather than a pawn of entities such as France or the Holy Roman Empire.