Philip V of Spain Biography

(Former King of Spain (1700 - 1724))

Birthday: December 19, 1683 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Versailles, France

Philip V ruled as King of Spain for over four decades from November 1700 to early January 1724, and thereafter from early September 1724 till his death in 1746, thus emerging as the longest ruling monarch in the history of Spain. He was the grandson of King Louis XIV of France and son of Louis, Grand Dauphin. He became the first member of the House of Bourbon to ascend as King of Spain succeeding the childless King Charles II, younger half-brother of Philip’s grandmother and Queen of France Maria Theresa. His ascension to the Spanish throne triggered the 13-year War of the Spanish Succession which ended with the treaties of Utrecht, Rastatt, and Baden. Philip V was recognised as King of Spain but any future possibility of unifying the French and Spanish crowns was prohibited. During his reign, Philip brought about several significant reforms in Spain through the Nueva Planta decrees, particularly centralization of power of the monarchy. Philip abdicated the throne in 1724 in favour of his eldest son Louis, however untimely death of the latter led Philip to ascend to the Spanish throne again. Upon his death, Philip was succeeded by his son Ferdinand VI.

Quick Facts

French Celebrities Born In December

Also Known As: Felipe de Borbón y Baviera

Died At Age: 62


Spouse/Ex-: Elisabeth Farnese (m. 1714), Maria Luisa of Savoy (m. 1701–1714)

father: Louis, Dauphin of France

mother: Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria

siblings: Anne Louise de Bonbour, Charles; Duke of Berry, Charlotte de Fleury, Louis Duke of Burgundy, Louise Émilie de Vautedard

children: Charles III of Spain, Ferdinand VI of Spain, Francesc de Borbó i Farnese, Infante Luis of Spain, Louis I of Spain, Maria Antonia Ferdinanda of Spain, Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain, Mariana Victoria of Spain, Philip Louis of Spain, Philip of Spain (1712–1719), Philip; Duke of Parma

Born Country: France

Emperors & Kings French Men

Died on: July 9, 1746

place of death: San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain

City: Versailles, France

Childhood & Early Life
Philip V was born as Philippe, Duke of Anjou, into the French royal family on December 19, 1683, in Palace of Versailles, France.
At the time of his birth, his grandfather, Louis XIV, was the King of France and his father Louis, Grand Dauphin, was the heir apparent to the French throne. His grandmother, Maria Theresa, was the Queen of France and his mother, Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria, was the Dauphine Victoire.
His elder brother Louis, Duke of Burgundy, was second in the line of succession to his grandfather. His younger brother was Charles, Duke of Berry.
King Charles II of Spain was the younger half-brother of Philip’s grandmother Maria Theresa. Charles II was childless and although Philip’s father had the strongest genealogical claim to the Spanish throne, both the Grand Dauphin and Philip’s elder brother could not be displaced from the succession to the French throne and thus Philip was named as heir in the will of Charles II.
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Ascension to the Spanish Throne & Subsequent War of the Spanish Succession
Charles II died on November 1, 1700, following which the Royal Council had a long meeting in France where Philip’s father spoke in favour of Philip’s rights. The provisions of will of Charles II was accepted by the Royal Council after it was agreed that Philip V would become King of Spain but would renounce his as well as his descendants’ claim to the French throne forever.
On November 16, 1700, Philip V accepted and was proclaimed king of the undivided Spanish Empire. His ascension as King Philip V of Spain was however not taken well by other European powers as they were concerned that unification of France and Spain under a particular Bourbon monarch would disturb Europe’s balance of power.
This triggered the 13-year War of the Spanish Succession with France and Spain fighting against the Grand Alliance which included Holy Roman Empire, Great Britain, Dutch Republic, Pro-Habsburg Spain, Prussia (from 1702), Savoy (after 1703) and Portugal (from 1703).
While Philip V had support of the Crown of Castile in Spain, most of the nobility of the Crown of Aragon backed Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I’s son Charles of Austria whose grandmother was daughter of King Philip III of Spain.
During the ongoing war and shortly after its end, between 1707 and 1716, Philip V signed a number of decrees known as the Nueva Planta decrees, especially which centralized power of Spanish monarchy.
The charters of all independently administered kingdoms within Spain were abolished which included that of the Crown of Aragon that backed Charles VI in the war. In 1712, Philip refused an offer to renounce the Spanish throne when he was given a choice of becoming the heir of France.
The War of the Spanish Succession concluded on September 11, 1714, with a series of peace treaties, namely the treaties of Utrecht, Rastatt, and Baden that were signed by the belligerents.
According to the Treaty of Utrecht, Philip V was recognised as King of Spain but any future possibility of uniting the French and Spanish crowns was prohibited ensuring permanent separation of France and Spain.
He was forced to cede Gibraltar and Menorca to Britain; Spanish Netherlands, Milan, Naples and Sardinia to Austria; and Sicily to Savoy thus greatly diminishing the Spanish Empire in Europe.
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Moving on Philip made attempts to recover territorial losses of Spain by overturning terms of the Treaty of Utrecht. He tried to re-establish claims of Spain in Italy which led to the War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718–1720). The war resulted in an Allied victory and Philip had to sign the Treaty of The Hague.
Reign, Abdication & Later Reign
Philip made certain reforms in government and bolstered the central authorities. His government promoted agriculture, industry, and shipbuilding. Greater productivity and lesser famines and epidemics paved way for improved economy. The Navy was rebuilt following the destruction of the main silver fleet at Vigo in 1702.
He abdicated the Spanish throne in favour of his seventeen-year-old eldest son Louis on January 14, 1724. Louis ascended the Spanish throne on the following day, however ruled for a short period till August 31, 1724, when he succumbed to smallpox in Buen Retiro, Madrid, Spain. As Louis was childless and Philip’s younger son Ferdinand VI was still quite young, Philip returned to the Spanish throne and reigned till his death.
Philip aided his Bourbon relatives in re-conquering Oran from the Ottomans and Naples and Sicily from Austria during the War of the Polish Succession and the War of the Austrian Succession. During the War of Jenkins' Ear (1739–1748) the Spanish forces thrived in defending their territories in American from British invasion.
Although Spain started recovering during the reign of Philip, he inducted thousands of highly paid retainers to take care of the royal family while army and bureaucracy of the kingdom remained without pay for months. The one thing that sustained the system and kept it going was the shipments of silver which came from the New World. In 1739, Spain effectively declared bankruptcy when it suspended payments on its debt.
Family & Personal Life
Philip V married the 13-year-old Maria Luisa of Savoy, daughter of Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy. Their proxy wedding was held on September 12, 1701, and official wedding was held on November 2 that year.
Maria served as regent during her husband's absence in different occasions, most notably in 1702 when Philip was touring his Italian domains. She also acted as a political adviser during the War of the Spanish Succession. The well-loved Queen of Spain had an untimely death from tuberculosis on February 14, 1714. The couple had four sons Louis I of Spain, Philip, Infante Philip of Spain and Ferdinand VI of Spain.
On September 16, 1714, Philip had a proxy wedding with Elisabeth of Parma, daughter of Hereditary Prince of Parma Odoardo Farnese. She greatly influenced foreign policy of Spain and remained de facto ruler of the kingdom from 1714 to 1746.
Philip and Elisabeth had six children, namely Charles III of Spain, Infanta Mariana Victoria of Spain, Infante Philip of Spain, Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain, Infante Louis of Spain and Infanta Maria Antonia of Spain.
Philip suffered from deep melancholia and died on July 9, 1746, in El Escorial, in Madrid. He was interred in Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso. His son Ferdinand VI of Spain succeeded him to the Spanish throne.

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