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05. - Carlos IV (1748-1819)

Carlos IV by GoyaCarlos IV was the seventh son of Carlos III and his wife, Maria Amalia de Sajonia.

He became king when he was already forty years old.

He got married to Maria Luisa de Parma. He was seventeen, she fourteen, when they married. They were cousins. Maria Luisa was also granddaughter of Felipe V and Isabel de Farnesio.

It seems that Carlos III had chosen her because she had character, ambition and was intelligent, all skills he did not have. It seems that he was very honest and a very kind soul. He had no interest in politics. He prefered to go hunting or to look after his many clocks.Maria Luisa de Parma by Mengs

They had 14 children, although Maria Luisa de Parma was pregnant 24 times. The Spaniards did not like her at all. They were angry because of her relationship with Godoy, who ruled the country instead of the king. Her rivalry with the Duquesa de Alba was well known. It seems that she was jealous of her relationship with Goya. The people even said that she had poisoned her. Some even commented that none of her children were her husband´s......

Manuel Godoy by Esteve y MarquesHe left the government in the hands of his powerful minister, Manuel Godoy, who was also the lover of the queen and the real brains of the court.

In any case he left his mark on history by appointing Francisco de Goya as royal court painter, leaving us so many wonderful paintings.

Carlos IV reigned during a difficult time. In France the Revolution had taken place and Napoleon was expanding his power. Manuel Godoy preferred not to fight against him.

He signed a treaty with Napoleon offering him the help of the Spanish army. Spain became a satellite state of France. In 1802 Godoy declared war onFamily of Carlos IV by Goya Portugal, allied with Britain. This war is known as the "War of Oranges", because Godoy sent the queen a bouquet of oranges. Although this war ended well for Spain, afterwards, in the Battle of Trafalgar, the Armada was defeated by the British army.
All these wars had their negative impact on the public funds. The ministers were unable to solve this situation. French soldiers could be seen in Spain and this increased the dissatisfaction of the inhabitants. They were against Godoy´s pro-French and reformist politics.

Maria Luisa de Parma by GoyaIn 1807 a plot led by Fernando VII, the king´s son was eventually thwarted. Afterwards the people rose up against Carlos IV, who abdicated in favour of his son.
Napoleon summoned the royal family to a meeting. He obliged Fernando to return the crown to his father, who then abdicated in favour of Napoleon, Napoleon appointed his brother Jose as King of Spain.

After this the events of May, 2nd took place.

Napoleon was defeated in 1814 and Fernando VII became King of Spain. He never let his parents come back.

Both died in exile in Italy.

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