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Prince of Asturias
Portrait by Sánchez Coello, c. 1575
Born4 December 1571
Madrid, Crown of Castile, Spain
Died18 October 1578(1578-10-18) (aged 6)
Madrid, Crown of Castile, Spain
FatherPhilip II of Spain
MotherAnna of Austria

Ferdinand, Prince of Asturias (4 December 1571 – 18 October 1578) was a member of the House of Habsburg who was heir apparent to the Spanish throne.


Painting by Titian of Ferdinand's father offering him to victory

Born on 4 December 1571 at the Royal Alcázar of Madrid, Ferdinand was the eldest child of Philip II and Anne of Austria.[1][2] His mother was Philip II's niece and fourth wife.[3][4] His elder half-brother, Don Carlos, had died in 1568, which meant that he was the new heir-apparent at birth and therefore Prince of Asturias. To thank God for the birth of the long-awaited son, prisoners were released – as commemorated in Titian's painting, Philip II Offering Don Fernando to Victory.[5][6]

Most of his time was spent with his mother, his nurses and his two elder half sisters Catherine and Isabella.[citation needed]

On 31 May 1573, Ferdinand was officially made Prince of Asturias at San Jerónimo el Real.[citation needed]

Ferdinand died of dysentery.[citation needed] His father was eventually succeeded by his youngest brother, Philip III of Spain.



  1. ^ Parker 2014, p. 164.
  2. ^ Grierson 1974, pp. 142, 162.
  3. ^ Parker 2014, pp. 164–165.
  4. ^ Pierson 1975, p. 57.
  5. ^ Kamen 2010, pp. 188–189.
  6. ^ Parker 2014, p. 292-293.


Spanish royalty Preceded byCharles Prince of Asturias 1571–1578 Succeeded byDiego