Philip V


On November 9, 1700 , the news that the King of Spain, who at that time was Charles II , reached the court of France . This situation was actually something totally unexpected, although due to his poor health, his premature death had already been thought about. This situation made all the governments of Europe remain in suspense before the situation, mainly in Spain because it was not known what would be the true destiny of the country’s monarchy after the king died.


Personal information

  • When was he born: 12/19/1683
  • Where he was born: Versailles, France
  • When he died: 07/09/1746
  • Where he died: San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain

Who was Felipe V?

Felipe V, also known by the name of the Duke of Anjou , was the one who inherited the Spanish throne after the death of Carlos II , who had no descendants and who decided to name him as his successor , thus becoming the first Bourbon of the line dynastic of Spain .

  • What did Felipe V do
  • Biography of Felipe V
  • Death
  • Reign of Philip V
  • War of the Spanish Succession
  • Physical characteristics
  • Personality
  • Parents
  • Relations
  • Sons
  • Successor
  • Which dynasty did he belong to
  • Importance of Felipe V
  • Phrases
  • Curiosities
  • Presence in popular culture

What did Felipe V do

At the moment in which Felipe V began his mandate, he began a reformist action and ended with the idea that Seville would organize the fleets and that Cádiz would then take charge of putting them into operation. He ordered that the Casa de Contratación be taken to Cádiz and thus, the city managed to acquire the total monopoly of the race that was carried out towards the Indies .

He established a new regulation for the fleets and tried to solve all the needs that the metropolis had by establishing a protection regime for the country’s manufactures. With him began a large number of changes within political life , in finance , the army and the government, which managed to lay all the foundations of today’s Spain .

Biography of Felipe V

Felipe V was born on December 19, 1683 in Versailles , France . Before his reign, Philip held a very important place within the royal family of France as the grandson of King Louis XIV , his father the Great Dauphin Louis, and his mother Maria Ana de Baviera . Philip was born in the Palace of Versailles located in France, he was the younger brother of Louis, Duke of Burgundy. At birth, Philip was appointed Duke of Anjou , a traditional title for the youngest sons of the French royal family, and kept this name until he became King of Spain. Felipe received, along with his brothers,education by François Fénelon , Archbishop of Cambrai and by Paul de Beauvilliers .


Felipe V died due to a cerebrovascular attack which, supposedly, was caused by his mental illness and the physical deterioration that he had suffered. The day of his death was July 9, 1746 in the city of Madrid. He was buried in the Royal Palace of the San Ildefonso farm .

Reign of Philip V

The testament left by Carlos II, favored Felipe de Anjou as the successor to the throne of Spain, going on to take the name of Felipe V. To access the throne, he had to renounce the crown of France in order to prevent the two great nations could join. All Spain and the monarchies that were in it recognized him as king, except the House of Austria . This situation led to a confrontation between the King of France and Louis XIV, who was the Emperor of Austria as well as his allied countries .

This war was known as the War of the Spanish Succession , which finally ended through the Treaties of Utrech and the Treaty of Rastadt, with which Felipe V was officially recognized as King of Spain. His politics were mainly marked by French influence and for this reason, he initiated a whole renovation in the field of science , art , politics , religion and economics .

In the field of internal politics , he took charge of the different secretariats and municipalities and was in charge of generating a centralization and unification in the entire administrative area. After the death of his wife and his remarriage, his wife caused his French influence to change to Italian and then, requested the recovery of all Italian territories.

In the month of January of the year 1725 , he decided to abdicate his crown to his son Luis , but he died suddenly so I had to return to the position of king of Spain. In his second reign , he was charged with making a major change in politics and included several Spanish ministers .

War of the Spanish Succession

The War of the Spanish Succession was an armed and international conflict that lasted until the Treaty of Utrecht was finally signed . The main cause for this war to occur was the death of Carlos II of Spain , who had left no descendants and as a consequence, caused the House of Bourbon to be established in Spain .

Physical characteristics

There is no exact description of his physical characteristics but he has been referred to as a thin , sickly- looking man with short hair, a turned-up nose and a prominent chin.


His personality was quite upright, he was a man with great equity and also very religious . According to historians, he was afraid of the devil and used to get bored very easily, this situation even caused him to fall into almost total inertia during his last years He suffered from pathological melancholy and was seen by many as crazy .


His father was Great Dauphin of France and his mother, Maria Ana de Baviera .


On November 2, 1701 , Felipe married María Luisa de Saboya , a girl who was 13 years old and who had been chosen by her grandfather. She was the daughter of Víctor Amadeo II, Duke of Savoy, and of Felipe’s second cousin, Ana María de Orleans , also parents of the Duchess of Burgundy. In the year 1714, his wife died when she was 26 years old of tuberculosis, a devastating emotional blow to her husband. Later he married Isabel de Farnesio in 1714.


Felpe V had several children whom they named Carlos III, Ferdinando VI, Luis I of Spain, Philip Duke of Parma, Infante Luis of Spain, María Antonia Ferdinanda, Philip Louis, Mariana Victoria, María Teresa Rafaela, Philip and Francesc de Borbón Farnese.


He was succeeded to the throne by Fernando VI , who was the last son of his marriage. After Fernando died, the throne was in the hands of Carlos III , who was the first-born of his second marriage.

Which dynasty did he belong to

Felipe V belonged to the French dynasty of the Bourbons .

Importance of Felipe V

Despite his curiosities and eccentricities, Felipe V was a king of great importance in Spain because during his tenure, he managed to make the country prosper correctly. He carried out a large number of important political reforms both internally and externally, improved the country’s economy , the fiscal system and also education . He also built many university teaching centers and even managed and implemented a scholarship system. Thanks to him, was able to substantiate and establish all the foundations of modern Spain.


There are no records of famous phrases that have been mentioned by Felipe V.


Some curiosities of Felipe V are the following:

  • Many considered him crazy and this was because Felipe believed he was a frog and did not like to take baths to clean himself.
  • He was known by the nickname of ” game “.
  • Some experts say that Felipe V was not very intelligent and that due to all his mental problems he used to commit many eccentricities such as not cutting his hair or nails.
  • In the summer , he wrapped himself in blankets and during the winter he had all the castle windows open .
  • He had a constant fear of being poisoned and because of that, he did not change his clothes for a full year.

Presence in popular culture

In popular culture, one of the best and most controversial films that tell the story of Philip V is known as ” Change of Queens “, a film that has its historical background in the date, at a time when relations between France and Spain changed when Felipe came to the throne. Several books also tell his story, for example:

  • Felipe V, the Ghost King of Francisco Alonso Fernández.
  • The life and times of Felipe V by José Antonio Vidal Sales.
  • The Court Art of the Spain of Felipe V by Yves Bottineau.
  • Felipe V, A reign at war of Rubén Sáenz Abad.

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