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Philip V
King of Spain
Reign 1 November 1700 – 14 January 1724
(&0000000000000023.00000023 years, &0000000000000074.00000074 days)
Predecessor Charles II
Successor Louis I
King of Spain
Reign 6 September 1724 - 9 July 1746
(&0000000000000021.00000021 years, &0000000000000306.000000306 days)
Predecessor Louis I
Successor Ferdinand VI
Spouse Maria Luisa of Savoy
Elisabeth of Parma
Louis I of Spain
Ferdinand VI of Spain
Charles III of Spain
Mariana Victoria, Queen of Portugal
Philip, Duke of Parma
Maria Teresa, Dauphine of France
Infante Luis, Count of Chinchón
Maria Antonieta, Queen of Sardinia
House House of Bourbon
Father Louis, Dauphin of France
Mother Duchess Maria Anna of Bavaria
Born 19 December 1683
Palace of Versailles, France
Died 9 July 1746 (aged 62)
Madrid, Spain
Burial La Granja, Segovia, Spain

Philip V (Spanish: Felipe V; French: Philippe de France[1]; 19 December 1683 - 9 July 1746), fils de France and Duke of Anjou, was King of Spain from 1700 to 14 January 1724, when he abdicated in favor of his son, Louis I of Spain, and from 31 August 1724 to 1746, assuming the throne again upon his son's death. Philip was the first Bourbon king of Spain. His entire reign of 45 years and 21 days is the longest in Spanish history.



Philip was born at the Palace of Versailles[2] in France the second son of Louis, le Grand Dauphin and Duchess Maria Anna of Bavaria,[3] Dauphine Victoire. He was a younger brother of Louis, duc de Bourgogne and an uncle of Louis XV of France. At his birth he was named Duke of Anjou, which he would be known as until he became the king of Spain. He was baptised in 1687.

His paternal grandparents were Louis XIV of France[4] and Maria Theresa of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria and Princess Henriette Adelaide of Savoy, the daughter of Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy.

His older brother, Louis de France, duc de Bourgogne (1684-1712), was in line to the throne right after his father, Le Grand Dauphin, thus leaving him and his younger brother, Charles de France, duc de Berry (1686-1714) little expectation to ever rule over France.

As the son of the Dauphin, he was a Petit fils de France, "Grandson of France". This rank allowed him precedence over all at the court of his grandfather Louis XIV as well as the Princes of the Blood. This also allowed him the style of address Royal Highness. Despite this, the style was rarely used in France at the time except in relations with foreign powers; he was also allowed the style of Most High and Powerful Prince which was the one more commonly used. He was tutored with his brothers by François Fénelon, Archbishop of Cambrai. The three were also educated by Paul de Beauvilliers.

At the age of 6, Philip lost his mother. His had wed in 1680 and had his father Louis had always suffered from great melancholy. His father would later marry Marie Emilie Thérèse de Joly de Choin in a secret marriage in 1695. She was never Dauphine as Philip's mother was due to the union being Morganatic.

In 1697 his eldest brother Louis married a cousin, Princess Maria Adelaide of Savoy. She was the daughter of Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy and Philip's second cousin Anne Marie d'Orléans. The Duke and Duchess of Savoy were also the parents of Philip's first wife Maria Luisa of Savoy.

A possible bride was Caroline of Ansbach who refused due to her not wanting to renounce her faith. She was later the wife of George II of Great Britain. Another possible bride was his aunt Marie Anne de Bourbon, Dowager Princess of Conti - legitimised daughter of Louis XIV and Louise de La Vallière. The Dowager Princess refused in 1698.

On 2 November 1701 Philip married the 13-year old Princess Maria Luisa Gabriella of Savoy as chosen by his grandfather. There was a proxy ceremony at Turin[5] and another at Versailles on 11 September. This marriage was to cement the Treaty of Turin, which ended Franco-Savoyard conflicts during the Nine Years' War. The Duke and Duchess of Burgundy also personified this treaty.

The new Queen of Spain was a popular choice. She was a bright and pretty girl who would later serve as regent for her husband on several occasions. Her most successful term was when Philip was away touring his Italian domains for nine months in 1702.

In 1714 Maria Luisa died at the age of 26. She was nicknamed La Savoyana by her adoring subjects and was well loved in Spain. She died of Tuberculosis. Philip was distraught. The king needed to marry again. His next wife would be the famous Elisabeth of Parma - she was the daughter of Odoardo II Farnese and Dorothea Sophie of the Palatinate. She was the Heiress of the Duchy of Parma for most of her life. At the age of twenty-one (24 December 1714) she was married by proxy at Parma. The marriage was arranged by Cardinal Alberoni, with the concurrence of the Princesse des Ursins, the Camarera Mayor of the King of Spain.


Claims to the Spanish throne

In 1700 the King of Spain Charles II died childless. Charles' will named the 16-year old Philip, the grandson of Charles' sister Maria Theresa of Spain, as his successor.[3] Upon any possible refusal, the Crown of Spain would be offered next to Philip's younger brother, the duc de Berry, or, next, to Archduke Charles of Austria.[3]

Both claimants, Philip and Charles of Austria, had a legal right to the Spanish throne due to the fact that Philip's grandfather, King Louis XIV of France and Charles's father, Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, were sons of Charles II's aunts, Anne of Austria and Maria Anna of Austria. Philip had the better claim because his grandmother and great-grandmother were older than Leopold's. However, the Austrian branch claimed that Philip's grandmother had renounced the Spanish throne for herself and her descendants as part of her marriage contract. This was countered by the French branch's claim that it was on the basis of a dowry that had never been paid.[6]

After a long council meeting where the Dauphin spoke up in favour of his son's rights, it was agreed that Philip would ascend the throne but would forever renounce his claim to the throne of France for himself and his descendants.[3]

After the Royal Council decided to accept Charles' will naming Philip king of Spain, the Spanish ambassador was called in and introduced to his new king. The ambassador, along with his son, knelt before Philip and made a long speech in Spanish which Philip did not understand, although Louis XIV did as Philip had only begun taking Spanish lessons that day.

War of Spanish Succession

A Breech-loading gun which belonged to Philip V of Spain, made by A. Tienza, Madrid circa 1715. It came with a ready-to-load reusable cartridge. This is a miquelet system.

Concern amongst other European powers that a Spain and France united under a single Bourbon monarch would upset the balance of power in Europe led to the War of Spanish Succession from 1701 to 1714.

The Crowns of Castile and Navarre remained faithful to the House of Bourbon. On the other hand, the major party of the crown of Aragon supported rule by the Archduke Charles of Austria, son of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor and claimant to the Spanish throne by right of his grandmother Maria Anna of Spain. Charles claimed his right and was even hailed as the King of Spain as Charles III by Aragon.

The war was centred in Spain and West-Central Europe (especially the Low Countries), with other important fighting in Germany and Italy. Prince Eugene of Savoy and the Duke of Marlborough distinguished themselves as military commanders in the Low Countries.

The war was fought not only in Europe, but also in colonial North America, where the conflict became known to the English colonists as Queen Anne's War, and by corsairs and privateers along the Spanish Main. Over the course of the fighting, some 400,000 people were killed.[7]

At one point in 1712 Philip was offered the choice of renouncing the throne of Spain so that he could be made heir of France but he refused.

As a result of the war, although Philip was allowed to remain on the Spanish throne, Spain was forced to cede Minorca and Gibraltar to Great Britain; the Spanish Netherlands, Naples, Milan, and Sardinia to the Austrian Habsburgs; and Sicily and parts of Milan to Savoy.[8]

These losses greatly diminished the Spanish Empire in Europe, which had already been in decline. Throughout his reign, Philip sought to reverse the decline of Spanish power as Great Britain increasingly began to dominate at sea. Trying to overturn the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht Spain attempted to re-establish its territories in Italy, triggering the War of the Quadruple Alliance in which a coallition of states fought Spain. Phillip V was eventually forced to the negotiating table following a failed invasion of Scotland and a British Raid on Vigo.

Abdication and Louis I

The eldest of Philip's children was Infante Luis Felipe, Prince of Asturias. He was a son of Maria Luisa of Savoy. As the heir to the throne, Luis had to marry as soon as possible. On 20 January 1722, at Lerma, he met and married Louise Élisabeth d'Orléans, a daughter of Philippe d'Orléans, cousin of Louis' father and then the Regent of France. The dowry of this marriage was an enormous 4 million livres.[9]

This marriage was one of three Franco-Spanish alliances which had been negotiated with the Duke of Orléans. The Duke of Orléans was the Regent of France in the Regency of 1715-1723 during the minority of Louis XV of France. Philip and Orléans decided that Philip's eldest daughter Infante Maria Ana Victoria would marry Louis XV and become the Queen of France. The last proposal was between Philippine Élisabeth d'Orléans to the young Infante Carlos of Spain (future King of Spain). None of the marriages were successful, the latter marriage never occurred and like Mariana Victoria, Philippine was sent back home.

On 14 January 1724, Philip abdicated the throne to his eldest son, the seventeen-year old Louis, for reasons still the subject of debate:

One theory states that Philip V, who exhibited many elements of mental instability during his reign, did not wish to reign due to his increasing mental decline and so conscientiously abdicated in favour of his son.[10]

A second theory puts the abdication in context of the Bourbon dynasty. The French royal family recently had lost many legitimate agnates to diseases, making the lack of an heir and another continental war of succession a possibility. Philip V was a legitimate descendant of Louis XIV but matters were complicated by the Treaty of Utrecht (signed in 1713 as a result of the Succession war), which forbade a union of the French and Spanish crowns. The theory supposes that Philip V hoped that by abdicating the Spanish crown he could circumvent the Treaty and succeed to the French throne. However, this theory seems improbable as the French Bourbons' dynastic crisis was acute in 1711/1712 - before the Treaty of Utrecht was even signed - and not in 1724, a year after Louis XV had begun to govern in his own right. Furthermore, in the treaty Philip had renounced his and his descendants' rights to the succession in France, regardless of who actually reigned in Spain.

In any case, Louis died on 31 August 1724 in Madrid of smallpox, having reigned only seven months and leaving no issue. Philip was forced to return to the Spanish throne as his younger son, the later Ferdinand VI, was not yet of age.

Consequences of Philip V's reign

Philip helped his Bourbon relatives to make territorial gains in the War of the Polish Succession and the War of the Austrian Succession by reconquering Naples and Sicily from Austria and Oran from the Ottomans. Finally, at the end of his reign Spanish forces also successfully defended their American territories from a large British invasion during the War of Jenkins' Ear.

Half escudo gold coin of Philip V, dated 1743

During his reign, Spain began to recover from the stagnation it had suffered during the twilight of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. Ferdinand VI of Spain, his son by his first queen Maria Luisa of Savoy, succeeded him.

Philip was afflicted by fits of manic depression and increasingly fell victim to a deep melancholia.[11] His second wife, Elizabeth Farnese, completely dominated her passive husband. She bore him further sons, including another successor, Charles III of Spain.[11] Beginning in August 1737 his affliction was eased by the castrato singer Farinelli, who, became the "Musico de Camara of Their Majesties." Farinelli would sing eight or nine arias for the king and queen every night, usually with a trio of musicians.[3]

Philip died on 9 July 1746 in El Escorial, in Madrid, but was buried in his favorite Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, near Segovia.[3]


  • To commemorate the indignities the city of Xàtiva suffered after Philip's victory in the Battle of Almansa in the War of the Spanish Succession, in which he ordered the city to be burned and renamed San Felipe, the portrait of the monarch hangs upside down in the local museum of L'Almodí.[12]


First Marriage

Philip married his double-second cousin Princess Maria Luisa of Savoy (17 September 1688 – 14 February 1714) on 3 November 1701[3] and they had four sons:

Name Portrait Lifespan Notes
Luis Felipe
King of Spain
Luis I, rey de España.jpg 25 August 1707 –
31 August 1724
King of Spain from 14 January 1724 until his death. His reign is recorded as one of the shortest in history, as he was king for just over seven months; married Louise Élisabeth d'Orléans and had no issue;
Infante Felipe Pedro
Escudo de Carlos III de España Toisón y su Orden variante leones de gules.svg 2 July 1709 –
18 July 1709
died in infancy;
Infante Felipe Pedro Gabriel
Escudo de Carlos III de España Toisón y su Orden variante leones de gules.svg 7 June 1712 –
29 December 1719
died in infancy;
King of Spain
Allegory of King Ferdinand VI as a peaceful king.jpg 23 September 1713 –
10 August 1759
King of Spain from 1746 till death; married Barbara of Portugal and had no issue;

Second marriage

He married Elizabeth, Princess of Parma, (25 October 1692 – 11 July 1766), on 24 December 1714,[3] they had seven children:

Name Portrait Lifespan Notes
Duke of Parma
King of Naples and Sicily
King of Spain
Charles III of Spain.jpg 20 January 1716 –
14 December 1788
was the King of Spain and the Spanish Indes from 1759 to his death in 1788. In 1738 he married the cultured Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony with whom he had 13 children;
Infante Francisco
Escudo de Carlos III de España Toisón y su Orden variante leones de gules.svg 21 March 1717 –
21 April 1717
died in infancy
Infanta Mariana Victoria
Queen of Portugal
Mariana Vitória de Portugal.jpg 31 March 1718 –
15 January 1781
 ; was Queen Consort of Portugal and the Algarves due to her marriage to Joseph I. She also acted as Queen Regent of Portugal.
Duke of Parma
Felipe de Parma.jpg 20 March 1720 –
18 July 1765
Duke of Parma, Plasencia and Guastalla (15 March 1720 – 18 July 1765) was duke of Parma from 1748 to 1765. He founded the house of Bourbon-Parma (a.k.a the Bourbons of Parma); married Princess Louise Élisabeth of France and had issue.
Infanta Maria Teresa Antonia Rafaela
Dauphine of France
María Teresa Rafaela of Spain.jpg 11 June 1726 –
22 July 1746
was Dauphine of France as spouse of Louis, Dauphin of France. In France, she was known simply as Madame la Dauphine.
Infante Luis Antonio Jamie
Count of Chinchón
InfanteLuisDeBorbon.jpg 25 July 1727 –
7 August 1785
known as the Cardinal-Infante. Was Archbishop of Toledo, Primate of Spain and Cardinal since 1735. In 1754 renounced his ecclesiastical titles and became Count of Chinchón. In 1776, he married morganatically Doña María Teresa de Vallabriga y Rozas and had issue, but without royal titles.
Infanta Maria Antona Fernanda
Queen of Sardinia
Maria antonia infanta spain sardinia 1729 1785.jpg 17 November 1729 –
19 September 1785
was Queen of Sardinia as the wife of King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia. She was a mother of 3 rulers of Sardinia.


Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 19 December 1683 - 1 November 1700 His Royal Highness the Duke of Anjou (Monseigneur le duc d'Anjou)
  • 1 November 1700 - 14 January' 1724 His Majesty the King of Spain
  • 14 January 1724 - 6 September 1724 His Majesty the King
  • 6 September 1724 - 9 July 1746 His Majesty the King of Spain


  1. ^ Achaintre, Nicolas Louis, Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de Bourbon, Vol. 2, (Publisher Mansut Fils, 4 Rue de l'École de Médecine, Paris, 1825), 128.
  2. ^ The New International Encyclopædia, p.14. Published by Dodd, Mead and Company, 1903.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Kamen, Henry. "Philip V of Spain:: The King who Reigned Twice", Published by Yale University Press, 2001. ISBN 0300087187
  4. ^ "The Houghton Mifflin Dictionary of Biography", p.1203. Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2003 ISBN 061825210X.
  5. ^ Capital of the Duchy of Savoy
  6. ^ Durant, Will. "The Age of Louis XIV", p.699. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1963.
  7. ^ Statistics of Wars, Oppressions and Atrocities of the Eighteenth Century, Matthew White
  8. ^ Durant, Will. "The Age of Louis XIV", p.715. Simon and Schuster, New York 1963.
  9. ^ Réimpression de l'ancien Moniteur, seule histoire authentique et inaltérée
  10. ^ p358, E.N. Williams, The Penguin Dictionary of English and European History
  11. ^ a b , Joan's Mad Monarchs Series, retrieved 2009-09-20  
  12. ^ Harris, Mary N., Sights and insights: interactive images of Europe and the wider world, (Pisa University Press, 1990), 203.[1]


  • Armstrong, Edward (1892). Elizabeth Farnese: "The Termagant of Spain". London: Longmans, Green, and Co.  
  • Kamen, Henry (2001). Philip V of Spain: The King Who Reigned Twice. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-08718-7.  
  • Petrie, Sir Charles (1958). The Spanish Royal House. London: Geoffrey Bles.  
Philip V of Spain
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 19 December 1683 Died: 9 July 1746
French royalty
Preceded by
Louis François de France
Duke of Anjou
Succeeded by
Louis de France
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles II
King of Naples and Sardinia;
Duke of Brabant, Guelders, Limburg,
Lothier, Luxembourg and Milan;
Count of Flanders, Hainaut and Namur

Succeeded by
Charles VI
King of Sicily
Succeeded by
Victor Amadeus II
King of Spain
(First time)
1700 – January 14, 1724
Succeeded by
Louis I
Preceded by
Louis I
King of Spain
September 6, 1724 – 1746
Succeeded by
Ferdinand VI


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