Charles II of Spain and the Consequences of Inbreeding

carlos II

Charles’ tree is more of a vine. Alverez, et al.


Painting of Carlos II by Juan de Miranda Carreno

The Royal houses of Europe are well known to be inbred.  But no royal is as famous for their pedigree collapse as Charles II of Spain (1661-1700).  He suffered from a panoply of illnesses, of which the geneticist, Gonzalo Alvarez from the University of Santiago de Compostella, has confirmed were caused by his rare genetic disorders, pituitary hormone deficiency and distal renal tubular acidosis.  Combined pituitary hormone deficiency leads to being small in stature, a disinterest in their environment, impotency, infertility and digestive problems and distal renal tubular acidosis exhibits itself through rickets and a large head all of which the monarch exhibited.  But the unfortunate Charles was most famous for his Hapsburg Jaw, or mandibular prognathism, which caused him an  inability to chew.  The Hapsburgs had been inbreeding for 16 generations and Charles’ mother was the niece of his father and his grandmother was also his aunt. Charles II was the King of Spain during the founding of the Carolinas and the specter of attack by the Spanish was always a fear of early colonists to the area.  However, it didn’t take a British army to bring down the Hapsburgs, but only their extreme consanguinity (inbreeding).

Source Not Exactly Rocket Science


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