In this article, this hypothesis is checked by computing the inbreeding coefficient (F) of the Spanish Habsburg kings from an extended pedigree up to 16 generations in depth and involving more than 3,000 individuals.
The inbreeding coefficient of the Spanish Habsburg kings increased strongly along generations from 0.025 for king Philip I, the founder of the dynasty, to 0.254 for Charles II and several members of the dynasty had inbreeding coefficients higher than 0.20.
So F X ( 1 ) = 0.25 In other words, Charles II was moderately more inbred than the average among the offspring from brother-sister matings!
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In some ways inbreeding can be thought of as a way to crank down long term effective population size and increase the power of stochastic processes within a gene pool.
If drift becomes powerful enough it can lead the population toward extinction through mutational meltdown.
The Hapsburgs are one of those royal families who are relatively well known, and in the minds of the public are to a great extent the emblems of the downsides of inbreeding.
To painting to the left is of Charles II, king of Spain, the last of the Spanish Hapsburgs, and an imbecile whose premature death at the age of 39 ushered in a period of dynastic chaos which led to the War of Spanish Succession These conflicts between France and other European powers were one of those turning points in history, a sad capstone to the long reign of the Sun King, Louis the XIV.
Philip & Joanna are Charles’ forebears many times over. To see how, consider if Philip or Joanna carry a deleterious mutation which is recessive in its expression.
Presumably their children would be unaffected, because only one of them should carry a rare deleterious mutation, resulting complementation so that one full functional copy is sufficient.
But in Charles’ cases both of his parents are descendants of Philip & Joanna, so the probability that he will inherit the same faulty allele from both parents is heightened.
The formula for F, the inbreeding coefficient is: F ) What are you doing here is summing up through all of the distinct paths to common ancestors.
France’s position as the unchallenged power of Europe ended due to the fiscal and military overextension necessitated by Louis’ war to secure the Spanish throne for his grandson.
But this a story of genetics as well as history, because historians have long assumed impressionistically that there was something rotten in the gene pool of the Spanish Hapsburgs.
Here is an excerpt from an online biography of Charles II: The Habsburg King Carlos II of Spain was sadly degenerated with an enormous misshapen head.