The Man Who Would Never Be King: the tragic life and death of Carlos, Prince of Asturias (1545-1568)

This podcast takes us through the life of Carlos, Prince of Asturias, the first son of King Philip II (1527-1598), who was originally destined to succeed his father as ruler of the Spanish Empire. But inbreeding, a childhood full of emotional turmoil, mental health issues and a rivalry with his dad would force Philip to imprison his own son and heir, precipitating his death. It’s a story that would make it to stages and opera houses centuries later. Largely forgotten today, Carlos’ life somehow represents the bizarre and complex practices and inner-workings of this powerful 16th-century dynasty. In today’s podcast, we will mention Charles I of Spain, but mainly his son Philip II, and Philip’s son, Carlos. We will also include María Manuela of Portugal (Carlos’ mother), Philip’s second wife, Mary Tudor (Queen Mary of England), third wife, Elizabeth of Valois and a few others. Hope you enjoy it!