Translate / Traducir

Louis I

Luis I Prince of Asturias

Louis, Prince of Asturias, by Jean Ranc (Copyright © Museo Nacional del Prado)

Louis was the eldest son of the reigning King Philip V of Spain and his wife Maria Luisa Gabriella of Savoy.

Louis ruled for a short period between the time his father Philip V abdicated in his favour (14 January 1724) and his death from smallpox, just over seven months later, on 31 August 1724. History does not tell us exactly why Philip stepped down, but ironically it was most likely in order for Philip to be eligible to supplant his underage nephew, Louis XV, on the French throne, as the Treaty of Utrecht stipulated that the same monarch could not rule both Spain and France. It seems no mere coincidence that Philip’s abdication came just one month after the death of the French king’s regent, the Duke of Orleans. Fate stepped in, however, and on Louis' death, Philip was forced to return to the Spanish throne.

His father kept tabs on him from San Ildefonso and to counter his father's influence, Louis surrounded himself with officials who had not served under Philip. His plans were to focus more on the American colonies rather than the lost Italian territories. On his death, his father returned to the throne, and reigned 22 more years until his own death in 1746.