Philip IV

The heyday of Spanish power belongs to the reign of Felipe II, but in terms of the size of the Spanish Empire, the main flourishing was achieved with the reign of his successor, King Felipe IV . He was known by the name of “El Grande” or also as “El Rey Planeta” . His reign lasted for 44 years and is considered the most extensive of the house of Austria.

Personal information

  • When was he born:  04/08/1605
  • Where he was born:  Valladolid, Spain
  • When he died:  09/17/1665
  • Where he died:  Madrid, Spain

Who was Felipe IV?

Felipe IV was king of Spain and Portugal , who was in charge of the country during the Hispanic monarchy when there was a decline in the economy and politics during the golden age and who lost the hegemony of Europe due to the internal crisis.

  • What did
  • Biography of Philip IV
  • Death
  • Reign of Philip IV
  • Physical appearance
  • Personality of Philip IV
  • Fathers
  • Relations
  • Sons
  • Successor
  • Importance
  • Phrases
  • Curiosities
  • Philip IV in popular culture

What did

In reality Felipe IV was a very carefree king about his empire and for this reason he delegated many important functions to his collaborators important tasks. Together with Gaspar de Guzmán, he established an energetic foreign policy to maintain unity in Spain . He participated in the War of the thirty years and began again war in Flanders .

Biography of Philip IV

Felipe Domingo Víctor de la Cruz, better known as Felipe IV, was born on April 8, 1605 in Valladolid. When he was only ten years old, he married Elizabeth of France in 1615. He was a tough man at times but was never tough enough to bear the burdens of his post and he found fun in horseback riding , hunting , theater and being a great patron of the arts . Like his father, he gave great power to his prime minister, the Duke of Olivares . However, Queen Elizabeth and a clique of nobles The powerful managed to have Olivares eliminated in 1643, making Philip IV a much more dominant figure until his death the following year.


At the beginning of the month of September of the year 1665 , the king began to feel ill and began to present bloody stools , suggesting historians who fell ill with dysentery , why he died on 17 the same month. He was buried in the Royal Crypt of the El Escorial Monastery , as he himself had requested in his will.

Reign of Philip IV

In the first stage of his reign, he divided responsibility for his affairs with Gaspar de Guzmán , who was in charge of deploying a war policy abroad while for the interior

the empire kept a very reformist policy trying to seek the hegemony of Europe . Later, Felipe IV took charge of the affairs of his country, always helped by some courtiers . These early years were regarded as successful , however, the war in Protestant Europe and against France led their empire little by little towards decline and ruin.

After the fall of Olivares, when Felipe IV began to take over the tasks of his state, he decided to appoint Luis Méndez de Haro as Prime Minister in order to end internal conflicts and achieve peace. Regarding its internal policy, protests were presented due to the shortage of food , the tax pressure and because the inhabitants were unhappy due to the alteration of their currency , in addition there were some conflicts in Naples, Aragon and Catalonia.

Spain recognized the independence of the United Provinces and the preservation of Flanders . The economic situation of the empire was quite tough and they continued to fight against the Portuguese, winning the battle and causing the union between the Spanish monarchy and the people of Portugal to never take place .

Physical appearance

There is no exact physical description of the physical characteristics of Philip IV, but in one of the paintings that were painted of him, it is very easy to recognize the characteristics of the Habsburg dynasty , in particular the prominent chin.

Personality of Philip IV

According to historians, Philip was not a very self – confident person , he was considered a pious person, and he was obsessed with proper decorum . He was a person who had a demeanor full of debauchery and for this reason, he also had an unbridled sex life , but at the same time he thought that his behavior had brought divine punishment to his country.


His parents were Felipe III of Spain and his second cousin, Archduchess Margarita of Austria .


For political reasons he married Isabel de Borbón when he was only 10 years old and to whom he was unfaithful on many occasions. Some time after Isabel died, he married Archduchess Mariana of Austria . He also had many women and with some of them he even had children who were not legally recognized.


From his first marriage to Isabel de Borbón the following children were born:

  • Maria Margaret of Austria
  • Margaret Mary Catherine of Austria
  • Maria Eugenia of Austria
  • Elizabeth Maria Teresa of Austria
  • Baltasar Carlos of Austria, Prince of Asturias
  • Francisco Fernando of Austria
  • Maria Ana Antonia of Austria
  • Maria Theresa of Austria, Queen of France

From his second marriage to his niece Mariana of Austria, five children were born:

  • Margaret Teresa of Austria
  • Maria Ambrosia de la Concepción
  • Felipe Prospero of Austria
  • Fernando Tomás Carlos of Austria
  • Carlos, King of Spain

Historically it is estimated that he had approximately 30 children out of wedlock , of which he only recognized two, some were:

  • Fernando Francisco Isidro of Austria
  • Juan José of Austria
  • Alonso Henríquez de Santo Tomás
  • Alonso Antonio de San Martin
  • Fernando Valdes
  • Carlos Fernando of Austria
  • Juan Cossío
  • Anne Margaret of Austria


The successor of Felipe IV was Carlos II of Spain, a son that Felipe IV had sought by all possible means and who was also the son of Mariana of Austria, was an extremely ill child but managed to reach the age to rule the country.


Felipe IV had great importance for the Spanish artistic heritage . He was a king who despite the difficulties suffered by his people, due to problems that were already dragging on, is considered a dignified and highly Catholic king , who fought to carry his principles and his inheritance to the end. He is responsible for the creation of the Prado Museum and the Retiro Park , the former Buen Retiro Palace.


At present there are no data on famous phrases that have been mentioned by Felipe IV.


His reign is considered the longest in the Austrian household.

  • In addition to having been King of Spain, he was also King of Portugal until a conspiracy against him by the Duke of Bragança occurred.
  • The court was confident that with his arrival a time of splendor would also arrive for Spain, which never happened, since Felipe IV could never manage to adapt to the bureaucratic model that Felipe II had .
  • His passion was women of all kinds, married, widows, maids and ladies.
  • He had enormous offspring , including children who were not legitimate, of whom it is estimated that there were between 30 and 60.
  • He was passionate about theater and poetry , which is why he is considered the king of the Golden Age of Spanish culture.

Philip IV in popular culture


  • Red Eagle
  • Memory of Spain
  • The Adventures of Captain Alatriste

Movie theater

  • The girl with the pitcher
  • The stunned king
  • Alatriste
  • Red Eagle: The Movie

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