Charles III of Spain

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Charles III (Spanish: Carlos III; Italian: Carlo III; 20 January 1716 – 14 December 1788) was the King of Spain and the Spanish Indies from 1759 to 1788. He was the eldest son of Philip V of Spain and his second wife, the Princess Elisabeth Farnese. In 1731, the fifteen-year-old Charles became the Duke of Parma and Piacenza, as Charles I, at the death of his childless great uncle Antonio Farnese, Duke of Parma.

In 1734, as the Duke of Parma, he conquered the kingdoms of Naples and of Sicily, and was crowned as the King of Naples and Sicily on 3 July 1735, reigning as King Charles, although he is contemporarily known as Charles VII of Naples and Charles V of Sicily.

In 1738 he married the Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony, an educated, cultured woman who bore him thirteen children, eight of whom reached adulthood. Charles and Maria Amalia resided in Naples for nineteen years; she died in Madrid on 27 September 1760, at the age of thirty-five.

Upon succeeding to the Spanish throne on 10 August 1759, Charles, a proponent of enlightened absolutism, on 6 October 1759 abdicated the Neapolitan and Sicilian thrones in favour of Ferdinand, his third surviving son, who became Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies, or Ferdinand IV of Naples and III of Sicily. Charles III's descendants ruled the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies until 1861.

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