Royal Genes: The Habsburg Jaw

A family trait made tragic by inbreeding

The Habsburgs were known for their tendency to make advantageous marriages to secure alliances. When they split their realms between two family branches, they often intermarried between these two branches to keep the family’s power strong. Unfortunately, the many marriages between relatives led to inbreeding, to such an extent that the Habsburgs lost the throne of Spain due to the genetic dead end of King Charles II. Charles suffered from a family trait, the Habsburg jaw, that was found in many of his ancestors and family members. In poor…