- Not Exactly Rocket Science
How inbreeding killed off a line of kings
On November 1st, 1700, an entire dynasty of kings came to a crashing end with the death of Charles II of Spain. Charles had neither a pleasant life nor a successful reign. He was physically disabled, mentally retarded and disfigured. A large tongue made his speech difficult to understand, he was bald by the age of 35, and he died senile and wracked by epileptic seizures. He had two wives but being impotent, he had no children and thus, no heirs. Which is what happens after 16 generations of inbreeding.
Charles II was the final king of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty (see family tree), part of a house that ruled over much of Europe for centuries and which took