Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

On this day in history, 24th February 1500, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was born. Happy birthday, Charles! Here are some facts about Charles:-

  • Charles V was born on the 24th February 1500 in Ghent in the Low Countries
  • His parents were Joanna of Castile (Juana La Loca) and Philip I of Castile
  • Charles V’s maternal grandparents were the Catholic Reyes, Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, and his paternal grandparents were Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, and Mary of Burgundy
  • Charles was the nephew of Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon
  • He was King of Spain (Charles I) from 1516-1556
  • He was Holy Roman Emperor from 1519-1556
  • Charles V was also Duke of Burgundy, Lord of the Netherlands and Count Palatine of Burgundy
  • He abdicated from ruling the Holy Roman Empire and Spain in 1556 – His brother, Ferdinand I, became Holy Roman Emperor, and his son, Philip II, became King of Spain
  • Charles was the heir of three powerful dynasties: The House of Habsburg, the House of Valois-Burgundy and the House of Trastámara,
  • As a boy he was educated by William de Croy and Adrian of Utrecht (Pope Adrian VI)
  • He spoke French, Spanish, Italian and German/Dutch
  • In 1521 Charles became betrothed to five year old Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon
  • Charles married Isabella of Portugal in 1525
  • Charles and Isabella had 7 children: Philip II of Spain, Maria of Spain, Isabella, Ferdinand, Joan of Spain, John and Ferdinand
  • Charles also had children with his mistresses: Margaret of Parma by Johanna Maria van der Gheynst, and John of Austria by Barbara Blomberg

  • Charles V suffered from an enlarged jaw and this pronounced jawline became known as the Habsburg Jaw
  • Charles V was epileptic and also suffered from gout
  • Charles was involved in 4 wars with France – With Francis I in 1521, in 1527 (this involved the Sack of Rome) and 1535, and then with Francis’ son Henry II in 1551
  • Charles V famously imprisoned Pope Clement VII in the Sack of Rome 1527
  • Charles V's famous Habsburg jaw

    Charles V was also involved in wars against the Ottoman Empire

  • It was Charles V who called the Lutheran Martin Luther to the Diet of Worms in 1521
  • In his later life, Charles V, like Henry VIII, was carried around on a special chair. This was due to his gout
  • Charles V’s vast empire is shown by his titulature: Charles, by the grace of God, Holy Roman Emperor, forever August, King of Germany, King of Italy, King of all Spains, of Castile, Aragon, León, Navarra, Grenada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, Majorca, Sevilla, Cordova, Murcia, Jaén, Algarves, Algeciras, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, King of Two Sicilies, of Sardinia, Corsica, King of Jerusalem, King of the Western and Eastern Indies, Lord of the Islands and Main Ocean Sea, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Lorraine, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Limburg, Luxembourg, Gelderland, Neopatria, Württemberg, Landgrave of Alsace, Prince of Swabia, Asturia and Catalonia, Count of Flanders, Habsburg, Tyrol, Gorizia, Barcelona, Artois, Burgundy Palatine, Hainaut, Holland, Seeland, Ferrette, Kyburg, Namur, Roussillon, Cerdagne, Zutphen, Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire, Burgau, Oristano and Gociano, Lord of Frisia, the Wendish March, Pordenone, Biscay, Molin, Salins, Tripoli and Mechelen.

Quotes attributed to Charles

“I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse.”

“Fortune has something of the nature of a woman. If she is too intensely wooed, she commonly goes the further away.”

“To endeavor to domineer over conscience, is to invade the citadel of heaven.”

“My cousin Francis and I are in perfect accord – he wants Milan, and so do I.”

“A single friar who goes counter to all Christianity for a thousand years must be wrong.”

“Iron hand in a velvet glove.”

“Name me an emperor who was ever struck by a cannonball.”

“How absurd to try to make two men think alike on matters of religion, when I cannot make two timepieces agree!”

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