Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain

Margaret of Austria (25 December 1584 – 3 October 1611) was Queen of Spain and Portugal by her marriage to King Philip III & II.

Margaret of Austria
Portrait by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, c. 1607
Queen consort of Spain and Portugal
Tenure18 April 1599 – 3 October 1611
Born(1584-12-25)25 December 1584
Graz, Duchy of Styria, Holy Roman Empire
Died3 October 1611(1611-10-03) (aged 26)
San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Crown of Castile
(m. 1599)
FatherCharles II of Austria
MotherMaria Anna of Bavaria



Margaret was the daughter of Archduke Charles II of Austria and Maria Anna of Bavaria and thus the paternal granddaughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I. Her elder brother was the Archduke Ferdinand, who was elected emperor in 1619. Two of her sisters, Anna and Constance, through their subsequent marriages to King Sigismund III Vasa, became Queens of Poland.

Queen of Spain

Coat of arms of Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain.

Margaret married Philip III of Spain, her first-cousin, once-removed, on 18 April 1599.

She became a very influential figure at her husband's court. Philip had an "affectionate, close relationship" with Margaret, and paid her additional attention after they had a son in 1605.[1]

Juan Pantoja de la Cruz - Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain, c. 1605

Margaret was also a great patron of the arts. She was considered by contemporaries[who?] to be a very pious Catholic and "astute and very skillful" in her political dealings.[2]

Alongside the Empress Maria, widow of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II, and the latter's daughter Archduchess Margaret, who lived as a nun in Madrid, Queen Margaret formed a circle of women wielding considerable influence over the king.[3] They emphasised Spain's status as a Catholic power acting in the interest of Catholic Europe and also highlighted the unity of the House of Habsburg.[3] They were successful, for example, in convincing Philip to provide financial support to Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor.[1]

The pro-Austrian camp at the Spanish court was opposed by the Duke of Lerma, the King's chief minister, who argued that Spain should pursue her own course of action independently of religious or dynastic ties. Queen Margaret was "melancholic" and unhappy about the influence of the Duke, whom she considered corrupt, over her husband,[2] and continually fought him for influence over the King. In this conflict, she was supported by her favourite Mariana de San José [es], prioress of the Monasteria la Encarnación, her husband's confessor Father Luis de Aliaga, and her daughter Maria Anna's confessor, the Franciscan friar Juan de Santa María - who was felt by contemporaries[who?] to have an excessive influence over the King at the end of his life.[4] The Duke of Lerma was eventually removed from power in 1618, though only after Margaret's death.

Margaret died while giving birth to her youngest child, Alfonso. Her husband never remarried and died ten years later.



Margaret and Philip had eight children:

  • Anna Maria Mauricia (22 September 1601 – 20 January 1666), queen of France
  • Maria (1 February 1603 -1 March 1603)
  • Philip (8 April 1605 – 17 September 1665), king of Spain
  • Maria Anna (18 August 1606 – 13 May 1646), empress of the Holy Roman Empire
  • Charles (14 September 1607 – 30 July 1632)
  • Ferdinand (16 May 1609 – 9 November 1641), a cardinal
  • Margaret (24 May 1610 – 11 March 1617)
  • Alphonse Maurice (22 September 1611 – 16 September 1612)



Depiction in media


Margaret of Austria is portrayed by Elena Rivera in the Spanish TV show El Ministerio del Tiempo.[18]

Actress Viveca Lindfors portrayed Margaret in the 1948 Hollywood movie Adventures of Don Juan.


  • Magdalena S. Sánchez, Pious and Political Images of a Habsburg Woman at the Court of Philip III (1598–1621). in: Magdalena S. Sánchez and Alain Saint-Saëns (ed.), Spanish women in the golden age: images and realities. Greenwood Publishing Group (1996).


  1. ^ a b Sánchez, p. 100.
  2. ^ a b Sánchez, p. 98-99.
  3. ^ a b Sánchez, p.91.
  4. ^ Sánchez, p.97.
  5. ^ a b Wurzbach, Constantin von, ed. (1860). "Habsburg, Karl II. von Steiermark" . Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire] (in German). Vol. 6. p. 352 – via Wikisource.
  6. ^ a b Wurzbach, Constantin von, ed. (1861). "Habsburg, Maria von Bayern" . Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire] (in German). Vol. 7. p. 20 – via Wikisource.
  7. ^ Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  8. ^ a b Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  9. ^ a b Obermayer-Marnach, Eva (1953), "Anna Jagjello", Neue Deutsche Biographie (in German), vol. 1, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, p. 299; (full text online)
  10. ^ a b Goetz, Walter (1953), "Albrecht V.", Neue Deutsche Biographie (in German), vol. 1, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 158–160; (full text online)
  11. ^ a b Wurzbach, Constantin von, ed. (1860). "Habsburg, Anna von Oesterreich (1528–1587)" . Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire] (in German). Vol. 6. p. 151 – via Wikisource.
  12. ^ a b Philip I, King of Castile at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  13. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Joanna" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  14. ^ a b Casimir IV, King of Poland at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  15. ^ a b Revue de l'Agenais (in French). Vol. 4. Société des sciences, lettres et arts d'Agen. 1877. p. 497.
  16. ^ a b Riezler, Sigmund Ritter von (1897), "Wilhelm IV.", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (in German), vol. 42, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 705–717
  17. ^ a b Brüning, Rainer (2001), "Philipp I.", Neue Deutsche Biographie (in German), vol. 20, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, p. 372; (full text online)
  18. ^ "Elena Rivera interpreta a la Infanta Margarita en 'El Ministerio del Tiempo'". Formula TV (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 June 2017.
Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain
Born: 25 December 1584 Died: 3 October 1611
Royal titles
Title last held by
Anna of Austria
Queen consort of Spain
and Portugal

Title next held by
Elisabeth of France