Leopold I de Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor
Eleonore-Magdalena of Pfalz-Neuburg

Charles VI de Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor


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Elizabeth Christine

Charles VI de Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor

  • Born: 1 Oct 1686, Wien, Wien, Austria
  • Marriage: Elizabeth Christine
  • Died: 20 Oct 1740 at age 54

  General Notes:

Charles VI, (German Karl VI) was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia (as Karel II.) and Hungary (as Károly III.) from 1711 to 1740. From 1703 to 1711 he was an active claimant to the throne of Spain as Charles III.

* 1 Biography
* 2 Ancestors


Charles was born in Vienna, the second son of the Emperor Leopold I and of his third wife, Princess Eleonore-Magdalena of Pfalz-Neuburg. He was given the baptismal names Karl Josef Franz. His tutor was Prince Anton Florian of Liechtenstein.

Charles was the contracted heir of the Spanish Habsburgs. When Charles II of Spain made Philip V his heir, Louis XIV violated the contract. The dispute for the crown of Spain led to the War of the Spanish Succession.

After his older brother the Emperor Joseph I died suddenly in 1711, Charles returned to Austria. He succeeded immediately as King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. Later that year he was elected Holy Roman Emperor in Frankfurt.

Although Charles seems to have been clumsy in political affairs, the Austrian monarchy reached its widest expansion during his reign.

He married Elisabeth, eldest daughter of Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Elisabeth was a descendant of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and was also of the Habsburg family.

At the time of his death, his only surviving children were Maria Theresa and Maria Anna, so he had no living male heirs - a situation he had guarded against in the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, which stated that his realm could not be divided and allowed that daughters also could inherit the throne from their fathers. When he died, the War of the Austrian Succession took place, but in the end the Pragmatic Sanction held up and his daughter succeeded him as Queen of Hungary and Bohemia and Archduchess of Austria. However, being a female, she was not elected Holy Roman Empress. Instead, Charles VII was elected. However, after Charles VII's reign, Maria Theresa's husband Francis I was elected, ensuring that the Empire would continue in the Habsburg line.

Probably as a consequence of his years in Spain, he introduced the Spanish court ceremonial (Spanisches Hofzeremoniell) in Vienna and built the Spanish Riding School. Furthermore, the Reichskanzlei ("chancellory of the state") and the National Library were constructed during his reign and the Michaeler tract added to the Hofburg. Much was designed in baroque style in Vienna during Charles' reign.

He also had musical ambitions. Taught as a boy by Johann Joseph Fux, he composed, played the harpsichord, and now and then conducted the court's band.

There is some evidence that Charles' death was caused by consuming a meal of death cap mushrooms.

Charles's ancestors in three generations Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Father: Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
Paternal Grandfather: Ferdinand III, HREmperor
Paternal Great grandfather: Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
Grandfather's mother: Maria Anna of Bavaria
Paternal grandmother: Maria Anna of Spain
Paternal grandmother's father: Philip III of Spain
Paternal grandmother' mother: Margaret of Austria
Mother: Eleonore-Magdalena of Neuburg
Maternal grandfather: Philipp Wilhelm, Elector Palatine
Maternal great grandfather: Wolfgang Wilhelm, Pfalzgraf von Neuburg
Mother's father's mother: Magdalene of Bavaria
Maternal grandmother: Elisabeth Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt
Mother's mother's father: George II, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
Maternal grandmother's mother: Sofie Eleonore of Saxony

Names in other languages: German: Karl VI., Czech: Karel II., Hungarian: III. Károly, Slovak: Karol III., Croatian: Karlo III., Catalan: Carles III., Latin: Carolus VI.Polish Karol VI, Dutch: Karel VI.

Charles married Elizabeth Christine, daughter of Ludwig Rudolf Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Christine Louise. (Elizabeth Christine was born in 1691 and died in 1750.)

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