From 1703 to 1713/14 king of Spain as Charles III, (anti-king to Philip V of Anjou-Bourbon); as Charles VI emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and ruler of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1711 to his death in 1740
Born in Vienna on 1 October 1685
Died in Vienna on 20 October 1740
Motto: ‘Constanter continet orbem – Steadfast, he holds the empire together’
Charles was installed as heir to the Spanish Habsburgs in 1703 but lost the crown in the war of succession. As successor to his brother Joseph I, Charles VI was a quintessentially Baroque emperor who set great store by court ceremonial. In order to secure the dynasty’s position as a major European power he issued the Pragmatic Sanction, the first legal instrument to conceive the Habsburg empire as a unified whole, thus paving the way for the succession of his daughter Maria Theresa.