Spanish Royalty. Born at Valladolid, Castile, the son of Philip II and Maria Manuela of Portugal, after a prolonged and difficult labor, he exhibited various birth defects such as uneven shoulders and a right leg considerably shorter than the left. His mother died within four days of his birth. The infant Carlos was sickly and evidenced slow advances in both mental and physical development. Due to intermarriage, his genetic makeup included his parents who were first cousins, and only four great-grandparents, instead of the usual eight. He did not speak until the age of five, and then with pronounced impediments. Before he was ten, he was known to have tortured servants and animals. His temper was explosive and violent. In 1559, Carlos was betrothed to Elizabeth of Valois, but within a few months she wed his father for political reasons. In 1562 he fell down some stairs and suffered a serious head wound which was treated with bleeding and trepanning, and after two month of recovery, he was again able to leave his bed. His behavior, however, deteriorated. He fell into rages, periods of near catatonia, he whipped young women, attacked his servants; even forcing a shoemaker to cut up a pair of boots the prince disliked and eat them, and developed an obsessive dislike of the Duke of Alba, and his father. In December 1567 Carlos told his confessor that he wanted to kill a man apparently broadly suggesting that this man was Philip II. On January 17, Carlos was arrested and was confined in the tower of Arévalo castle and it was forbidden to mention him either in conversation or in prayers. In confinement Carlos vacillated between hunger strikes and swallowing odd things including jewelry. On July, 9 1568 a judgment pronounced Carlos guilty of treason for plotting against his father's life. He remained confined, developing a severe fever and died before the month was out. Rumors of poison that inevitably appeared are believed by modern scholarship to be unfounded. Friedrich Schiller's opera Don Carlos was improbably based on the prince's career.
Bio by: Iola