By Tiahna Osorio
As Valentine’s day approaches it’s good to look at some do’s and don’ts and this is in fact a don’t. As in don’t subject your family to generations of inbreeding so much so that your last descendent to ascend the throne is barely capable of staying alive. The Habsburg, the royal family of Spain from about 1500 to 1700, were notorious for being strange. However, nothing was as strange as their insistence on marrying within the family.
The last royal member of the family and one of the greatest sufferers of this poor decision was Charles II. He was described by Genevieve Carlton Ph.D. with the statement,” He could barely eat because of his disfigured jaw. He suffered from rickets, hallucinations, and an oversized head. He was impotent and infertile. Charles II of Spain, king of one of the largest empires in the world, was barely able to talk or walk - all because his dynasty was so inbred". His family was so inbred that his mother was also technically his cousin and his father was technically also his uncle. His parents tried to have more male children, but they all would die before the age of ten or soon after birth. Throughout his life, he was believed to be close to death or suffering some kind of ailment. In addition to this, he was completely uneducated and most of his rule took place with his mother’s oversight as regent despite him being fully grown. He was also the only person with the authority to produce an heir for his dynasty, but he was infertile and his death at thirty-nine years old without an heir left Spain grappling over who was to be the ruler. It is truly sad that Charles was born this way, because of the mistakes of so many people before him.
That is why this Valentine’s Day you should remember to not cause a tradition of generational inbreeding within your family. It is truly devastating and definitely, a don’t.