It was at the end of August 1558. Thereafter his health deteriorated and he died three weeks later
It is known that the last day that Emperor Charles V enjoyed good health, despite his many ailments, was 30 August, although some biographers maintain that it was the 31st.
What did he do on that day? We will tell you about it in the following lines.
30 August 1558 (or 31, according to other biographers). It was a hot day at the end of August. The emperor was beginning to realise that his end was near. He was aware that he would soon place his soul in God’s hands. So much so, in fact, that some still maintain that he even commissioned his own funeral during his lifetime. Did this happen? Most historians have found no evidence to support this theory, but the legend remains.
What is known is that it was a quiet day for him. He attended the day’s religious services, as was his custom, also went to confession to his private confessor, and then set out to eat on the terrace of his palace attached to the Monastery of Yuste, as was his custom when the weather was good.
After lunch he spent a long time contemplating the portrait of the empress, as well as other paintings by Titian such as «The Lord’s Prayer in the Garden» and «The Last Judgement».
But at about four o’clock in the afternoon, he began to feel unwell and was taken to his room to rest. He was never to leave it again.
According to the correspondence of those days, Luis Méndez de Quijada wrote in a letter to Juan Vázquez de Molina, the Emperor’s secretary in Valladolid, that «The Emperor is in good health from the past indisposition«, as well as telling him that «your Lordship should know that last Tuesday, the 30th of August, His Majesty ate on the terrace of the palace and after eating he had a headache«.
It is now known that the cause of death was the bite of a mosquito, of which there were many in the vicinity of the pond at the foot of the emperor’s palace, which transmitted the malaria disease. You can visit this museum in Losar de la Vera (Cáceres), where you can find out more about this historic event.