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Queen Isabella II
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Monarch
    (October 10, 1830-April 10, 1904)
    Born in Madrid, Spain
    Queen of Spain (1833-68)
    Her reign started with a seven-year civil war, as supporters of her uncle, Carlos, Count of Molina, refused to accept a woman's right to the Spanish throne.
    Her husband, Francis, Duke of Cadiz, was her first cousin on both her mother's side and her father's side.
    She was so much larger than Francis that she was called his 'better two-thirds.'
    It was rumored that none of her twelve children were fathered by Francis.
    An English visitor to Spain wrote, 'There is no dignity either in her face or figure, and the graces of majesty are altogether wanting.'
    Her attempts at interfering in politics eventually caused the army to turn on her, forcing her into exile.
    After her son Alfonso XII took the throne (1874), she returned to Spain, began interjecting herself into politics again, and was asked to return to her exile.
    Her mother attempted to have her kidnapped. (In response to her mother having been replaced by a general as regent for Isabella.)
    She was forced to marry Francis for political reasons, despite preferring his younger brother.
    Francis was rumored to be both homosexual and impotent, so he wasn't a great catch.
    Only five of her twelve children lived to adulthood.
    Given all the royal interbreeding that had been going on, it undoubtedly benefited her kids' genetics for Francis not to be their dad.
    The relation between her and Francis became much friendlier after they went into exile.

Credit: C. Fishel


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